According to the United Nations, 26,000 unaccompanied minors crossed the Mediterranean to Europe last year, most of those coming from sub-Saharan Africa were Gambians.
In the past three years, almost 15,000 people lost their lives trying to reach European shores. Undeterred, young men and women continue to take this route in what the UN’s describes as the biggest humanitarian catastrophe of our times. The UN estimates the illegal trade of smuggling people to be worth more than $35bn, and it is booming. Despite joint efforts by police forces from Europe and Africa, few smugglers have been arrested or prosecuted. Mohammed Lamine Jammeh, also known as L-Boy, help many execute this journey. For many, he is a hero. Families save up for years and take loans in order to send one of their children on this journey.
But who profits from this? Do these young men and women know the risks they are taking? How much do they pay for this journey? L-Boy, guides us through the business of human trafficking, and explain why travelling to Europe through Libya or the “backway” as it is known here is an open secret.