Since 1865 the US has been slave free….and you would think that in the 21st century that slavery would be a thing of the past, right?
You would be greatly mistaken as I was when I first read an article about this situation……
Trafficked people passing through Libya have previously reported violence, extortion and slave labour. But the new testimony from the International Organization for Migration suggests that the trade in human beings has become so normalised that people are being traded in public.
“The latest reports of ‘slave markets’ for migrants can be added to a long list of outrages [in Libya],” said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM’s head of operation and emergencies. “The situation is dire. The more IOM engages inside Libya, the more we learn that it is a vale of tears for all too many migrants.”
The north African nation is a major exit point for refugees from Africa trying to take boats to Europe. But since the overthrow of autocratic leader Muammar Gaddafi, the vast, sparsely populated country has slid into violent chaos and migrants with little cash and usually no papers are particularly vulnerable.
CNN brought this story to light…..they should be commended for finding this story and digging for the facts…..
CNN recently released an exclusive report detailing slave auctions occurring across Libya. Migrants and refugees, comprised of people who have travelled to Libya with the hopes of a better future, are being auctioned off. Instead of providing them with a better future, the smugglers sold them to labourers for under one thousand U.S. dollars. After seeing footage of such an auction taking place, CNN travelled to Libya to investigate further and to verify the information. The journalists witnessed one auction outside Tripoli and were told of at least eight others across the country – and there is believed to be more.
While CNN’s report may be bringing this issue to the attention of the mainstream media, this is not a new development. Mohammed Abdiker, the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Director of Operation and Emergencies, called the slave market in Libya “dire” after visiting earlier this year. In April, the Independent talked to migrants in a rehabilitation centre run by Médecins Sans Frontières in Sicily. Here they heard stories from Nigerian men who had spent time in Libya on their journey to Europe. While there, they were made to do hard labour, threatened with guns if they refused to work or asked for pay. This is not an isolated incident. IOM estimated almost half of the migrants arriving in Italy had been forced into work, 90% of this taking place in Libya.
The world and most media outlets do not want to report on such stories…..for no one cares about Africa…..so they ignore an important story as slave trade in Libya.
I have lost some respect for CNN over the last couple of decades…..but they have gained my respect for this story.