So, reports this month of white Libyan slave traders selling black African migrants at markets have drawn worldwide horror and condemnation.

That is why Libyan authorities have decided to open a transit centre for unaccompanied children and other vulnerable refugees from among hundreds of thousands of migrants.

They have not called on EU countries and others to accept them.

The U.N. refugee agency on Wednesday welcomed the decision.

Hundreds of thousands of migrants have been crossing the Sahara and the Mediterranean to reach Europe through Libya over the last 7 years.

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Thousands die while crossing the desert and at sea. Many are now being held in camps in Libya as slaves and in conditions rights groups describe as inhumane.

This year alone, the UN refugee agency, the International Organization for Migration, IOM has flown 13,000 migrants from Libya back to their countries of origin under a voluntary repatriation programme.

But thousands of others who face war or persecution at home cannot be sent back safely.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has been seeking to open a refugee transit centre in Tripoli to resettle or evacuate as many as 5,000 of the most vulnerable out of Libya each year.

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