Canada has resettled over 150 African migrants stranded in Libya since the 2017 CNN slave trade exposethat showed smugglers auctioning migrants off as slaves outside Tripoli.
Canada’s immigration minister, Ahmed Hussen, confirmed the country’s resettlement programme to local media Global News on Wednesday saying at least 600 migrants will be resettled in Canada over the next two years.
After the 2017 CNN report, “Canada was one of the few countries to step up to work with the UNHCR to resettle these refugees directly from Libya and offer them a new home in Canada,” said Hussen.
“To date, we have resettled more than 150 people and over the next two years, we anticipate more than 600 people will come to Canada under our regular refugee resettlement program,” he added.
Some of the resettled migrants were captured by smugglers and sold into slavery while trying to transit through Libya to Europe. Others were detained by Libyan officials in government-run migrant detention centres in the capital where they faced abuse and malnutrition.
“We are also taking action to resettle 100 refugees from Niger, rescued from Libyan migrant detention centres, including victims of human smuggling. Some people have already begun to arrive in Canada and processing for remaining individuals is underway,” Hussen was quoted by the Global News.
The report added that the resettlement of the 150 migrants to Canada was not announced because it was not done under the special resettlement programme used for Syrian and Yazidi refugees.
Early this year, Canada announced that it is opening its borders to one million more immigrants by 2020.
In November 2017, there was worldwide outrage over the video aired by CNN showing migrants being sold in Libya. Demonstrations were held in some African countries, Europe and the United States to elicit a swift action by world leaders.