Outrageous footage and a recent CNN investigation revealed shockingly that slave auctions are still taking place in modern day Libya.
The video, displayed below, shows men who appear to have been sold in Libya for $400. This has brought a focused international view onto the exploitation of refugees and migrants in the country. Due to the footage, there has been outcry across the globe, with protesters rallying outside Libyan embassies across Africa and Europe, and this has resulted in European and African leaders coming together to take action and prevent this from continuing. A plan has been agreed to evacuate migrants stuck in Libyan detention camps across the country. However, many have highlighted that this is a problem that has been ignored for years.
The slave trade seems to have occurred so rampantly in Libya due to the fact that the country is the main transition point for refugees who want to reach Europe by sea. Over the years with support from the E.U. and Italy. The Libyan Coast Guard has managed to limit the boats smuggling refugees and migrants into Europe, though this has led to almost one million people being taken and crammed into detention centers where rape, robbery and murder are common occurrences, according to a report by the U.N human rights agency. The living condition within these centers have been labelled as ‘horrific,’ and coupled with the aforementioned abuses, these people are vulnerable to being sold off as slaves.
Lenard Doyle, Director of Media and Communications for the IOM in Geneva has described to TIME, that the slave trade now established within Libya is a “total extortion machine, fuelled by the absolute rush of migrants through Libya thinking they can get out of poverty, following a dream that doesn’t exist.”
It’s been reported that the Libyan government has launched a formal investigation, but many aren’t hopeful as Libya is largely considered a failed stated since Muammar Gaddafi was ousted in 2011, resulting in civil war across a splintered and lawless country. Unfortunately, this has resulted in slave trade being seen as an industry with a high potential for profit.
Libya have come to a deal with the E.U. and African leaders to allow the emergency evacuation of the people from the detention centers to occur. The Libya government also agree on an open transit center for to safely house people before they are sent to a third another country.
Watch the shocking footage below:
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