Libyans Being Sold Into Slavery In 2017: Where’s The Media Coverage?

Libya’s government claims they are investigating reports that hundreds of African refugees and migrants are being bought and sold in modern-day slave markets.

Libya has been the gateway for people attempting to reach Europe by sea and in the past three years, more than 150,000 people have successfully migrated. The route has been described as the deadliest route in earth.

“They [the refugees] are from several African countries and they say they have fled war, poverty and unemployment in their countries … They have taken a tough journey through the desert and they have paid people smugglers to get to Libya to try to cross the Mediterranean to Europe. With the security and financial collapse in Libya, human trafficking and smuggling have become a booming trade,” says Mahmoud Abdelwahed, reporting from a detention centre in the Libyan capital Tripoli.

Aljazeera.com is reporting:

According to reports, the business of detention centres is unsupervised in some parts of Libya and stories of torture, rape and forced labour have emerged.
When the centres get too crowded, people are then allegedly sold off like goods in an open market. Survivors have told the UN’s migration agency that they use smartphones to connect with people smugglers to get them to Libya’s coast, and that they were then sold, being held for ransom, used as forced labour or for sexual exploitation.
The International Organization for Migration says trade in humans has become so normalised that people are being bought and sold in public for as little as $400.
“As shocking as it seems, it’s indeed true,” Leonard Doyle from the International Organization for Migration tells Counting the Cost. “The reason it [slave trade] can happen is because there is really no rule of law across much of Libya. Libya is a country as big as France, with a lot of space there. Migrants are coming there … they see the promise of a new life when they go to their Facebook feed and they think something wonderful is waiting for them in Europe, because a smuggler has abused the system and has sold them that lie.”
“Modern-day slavery is widespread around the world and Libya is by no means unique. It’s happening in the developed countries of the world as well as the undeveloped countries. But what’s particularly shocking is that this is happening effectively in the open, where people can go to a farmhouse, place a bid and end up ‘owning’ a human being.”

Angry demonstrators have taken to the streets in their respective countries to protest the inhumane treatment of immigrants in Libya. Learn more here.

Bishop TD Jakes shared this video on social media to bring awareness to the issues but with no regulation or laws to protect these immigrants, what can be done. Where do we begin?

 

@Robinrazzi


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Robin is a digital content creator and has worked in the digital space for nearly ten years. “Robinrazzi” is a nickname given from a former colleague and is a perfect integration of her name and one of her greatest hobbies of having a camera in hand to capture once in a lifetime moments like paparazzi. She has traveled the world covering entertainment, celebrities, events and anything trending. She holds a BA in communications from Penn State and MS in marketing from Johns Hopkins University. She currently serves as Digital Content Manager for WHUR and the Howard University Radio Network.

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