Approximately 105 children from a Libyan government home for orphans and abused children located in Misrata have been missing since February 2011. Groups like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International reported that rebel forces entering Misrata abducted the children.
However the events remain a mystery. The Gaddafi government claimed that the children were taken hostage by a group of rebels. Reports based on testimonies state that the children were seen for the last time while being taken into a Turkish, Italian or French ship, and one witness claims that some of the children were sold in Turkey.
The National Transitional Council denied the allegations on children trafficking and accused the Gaddafi Government of using them as human shields in the Bab al Azizya complex in the center of Tripoli. No human rights organization or journalists who have investigated this claim have seen any indication of the presence of children in Bab al Azizya. NATO, UNICEF, Save the Children or the office of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have not been able to provide information about missing children.
Title: Where Have Libya’s Children Gone?
Author: Franklin Lamb
Date of Publication: 8 August 2011
Student Researcher: Paloma Tur, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Faculty Evaluator: Luis Luján (Research Assistant) and Miguel Álvarez-Peralta (Research Assistant), Universidad Complutense de Madrid
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