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Here’s What You Need To Know About The Libyan Slave Trade, & How You Can Help End It


Via CNN & Bustle

(CNN)Libyan authorities have launched a formal investigation into slave auctions in the country following an exclusive CNN report earlier this week, the government said Friday.

“A high-level committee has been convened encompassing representatives from all the security apparatus to oversee this investigation,” Anes Alazabi, an official with the internationally recognized government of Libya’s Anti-Illegal Immigration Agency, told CNN.
“Priorities of the investigation are not only to convict those responsible for these inhumane acts, but also to identify the location of those who have been sold in order to bring them to safety and return them to their countries of origin.”
Alazabi’s agency will be overseeing the probe. Part of its work will be to assess whether all the locations of these auctions are under the control of the United Nations-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli.
The International Organization for Migration, an intergovernmental organization based in Geneva that focuses on migration management, welcomed the investigation. But its chief of mission for Libya warned in an interview with CNN’s Nima Elbagir “that the smuggling networks are becoming stronger, more organized and better equipped.”
“We definitely welcome the news for any investigation and we hope that this will cover not only this case but definitely all the cases of abuse and violence against migrants in Libya,” Othman Belbeisi said from Tunis.

Long struggle

CNN’s Alex Platt and Raja Razek traveled with Elbagir to Libya in October after obtaining footage of a migrant auction.
At a property outside the capital of Tripoli, CNN witnessed a dozen men being sold like commodities — some auctioned off for as little as $400.
CNN was told of auctions at nine locations across Libya, but many more are believed to take place each month. CNN believes some of the auction sites are in territory controlled by the GNA, but others are not; the GNA does not control the entire country.

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Via Bustle:

The Libyan slave trade, as well as the global slave trade, are certainly complex issues which will require a worldwide effort to eradicate. However, there are steps you can take to help end slavery in Libya and beyond.

Make Sure The U.N. Focuses Its Efforts On This Issue

First and foremost, you should advocate for the U.S. and the United Nations  take a strong stance when it comes to investigating, condemning, and ending the Libyan slave trade. On Tuesday, diplomats at a U.N. Security Council meeting (including U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley) called for an investigation into the Libyan slave trade, as well as a coordinated U.N. response to help combat the problem.

While this initial momentum is promising, it is imperative to continue to put pressure on the U.N. to follow through with an investigation, as well as to develop a comprehensive response to addressing the issue. Consider contacting Ambassador Haley to encourage her to continue to prioritize the slave trade issue within the United Nations system.


Support The International Organization For Migration (IOM)

The IOM is working in Libya to protect migrants’ human rights and to prevent them from being trafficked into servitude by smugglers. The organization is doing so by pushing Libyan authorities to develop alternatives to migrant detention centers (where migrants are often exploited and abused) and demanding that authorities hold those who abuse or enslave migrants accountable for their actions.

So far, the organization has succeeded in closing seven detention centers in the country and is pushing for the creation of open detention centers that respect migrants’ rights. You can donate to the IOM here.

Fight The “Root Causes” Of Slavery And Trafficking

You can also help stop the Libyan slave trade by helping fight what U.N. Secretary General António Guterres refers to as the “root causes” of trafficking and slavery — one of which is poverty. You can help stop trafficking and slavery by donating to development organizations that help refugees (like the United Nations Refugee Agency) or to organizations that work on country-wide aid and development, either in Libya or in the countries from which migrants are fleeing.

Two options for donations to broader humanitarian and development aid include the World Food ProgramSave The ChildrenOxfam, and Medecins Sans Frontieres, among others.

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