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2017; Slave Trade Alive, Well In Libya

by Michael Allen

 

Many people blame the instability in Libya, which has created a modern slave trade, on the ouster and death of former Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi.


 

It’s Not Just in the Past

 

Imagine this.

 

You are fleeing a poverty stricken and war-torn life in your home country.

 

You desperately want to escape to Europe in search of a better life.

 

Because of social media, you are able to connect with people around the world who say they want to help you get to that better way of life.

 

You escape your homeland and make it to Libya where you think you are halfway to your desired destination and to more freedom.

 

Then that freedom is brutally snatched away in exchange for a few hundred dollars.

 

You are now a slave like many of your ancestors centuries ago.

 

It is 2017, not 1717 and slavery is still a present reality, not just a horrific memory of the distant past.

 

According to AlJazeera.com, “The world’s most vulnerable, fleeing war and poverty back home, are being abused and auctioned off as slaves—a shocking danger facing migrants and refugees in Libya.  It has been reported that hundreds of people are being auctioned in modern day slave markets in Libya for as little as $400.”

 

AlJazeera.com reported that migrants come from countries like Somalia, Sudan, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Eritrea, Gambia and Guinea.


Many believe that Libya is ripe for such injustice because of the country’s fractured government in the wake of the fall of Muammar Gaddafi and the influx of migrants from countries like Nigeria.


“As shocking as it seems, it’s indeed true,” said Leonard Doyle of the International Organization of Migration.  “The reason [the slave trade] can happen is because there is really no rule of law across much of Libya.”


According to Fortune.com, for the last three years 150,000 people have made the journey from Libya to Europe in hopes of a better life.


With help from Italy, Libya’s coast guard has captured many vessels trying to smuggle people into Europe, which has left an estimated 400,000 to 1 million people stuck in Libya and at the mercy of slave traders.


Fortune.com reported, “Smugglers who are now unable to get the people—who have often sold all their possessions in order to pay their way—into Europe are holding them against their will…


“CNN recorded footage of men being sold for $400 as farm laborers at a nighttime auction in Libya…On Wednesday, nearly 250 Nigerian migrants returned to their home country.  Officials from Nigeria have been working with the International Organization of Migration and told CNN that a total of 5,000 Nigerians have come back from Libya in the past year.”


The shocking realization that the slave trade still exists in 2017 has Hollywood’s elite in an uproar and taking to social media to demand justice for those captured in Libya.


Rapper/actor T.I. tweeted, “ Absolutely no words.  Bringing awareness to this atrocity is THE ABSOLUTE LEAST we can do.  I’m truly disgusted by the thought of this being possible in this day & age.  It’s repulsive!!!  Don’t let this ride…repost.  Kill Your Masters!!!!-@KillerMike voice.”


According to Fortune.com, “Supporting the International Organization of Migration, which is working in Libya, helps them protect migrants in the country.  Donating to global anti-slavery organizations like Free the Slaves, End Slavery Now, and the Polaris Project also helps those working to end slavery around the world.”

 

When slavery is finally a thing of the past, maybe migrants searching for a better life can find the freedom they desperately search for.


This article was published on Friday 01 December, 2017.
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