Discovery of Libyan Slave Trade Sparks Outrage


Recent footage derived from undercover CNN reporters in Libya shows an event very similar to that of an auction. But in this kind of auction, the people are being sold. In the video, the “auctioneers” describe the people they are auctioning off based on their physical abilities, such as having the qualities of a digger or a farmer. Then, the buyers are heard yelling with responses, some as little as $400.

“Does anybody need a digger? This is a digger, a big strong man, he’ll dig,” an auctioneer said, according to CNN. “What am I bid, what am I bid?”

For years, Libya has been a central place of transit for refugees who are trying to reach Europe. According to the International Organization for Migrants, in the past three years over 150,000 migrants made their way through Europe and for four years consistently, over 3,000 have died while attempting the journey. Yet, the unseen treatment of the migrants has remained undocumented. The travellers who made it out and reached their destination, and those who were not too traumatized to speak of their experience, explain the hostile mistreatments, which include robbery, rape, and murder.

After Gaddafi was driven out of power in 2011, Libya has descended into a desperate civil war, which has consequently caused the formation of several factions of militias, tribes, and gangs. As there is essentially no execution of law throughout the nation, the crisis will only be solved with the help of international assistance.

The footage has put a global spotlight on Libya and has sparked widespread recognition of the situation, initiating riots and protests throughout Europe. In cities such as Paris, Rome, Brussels, Berlin, Stockholm, protesters gathered in the streets with signs that say such phrases as, “Stop the Slavery, Now, Now, Now!” or “Human Rights for All!” Celebrities such as Naomi Campbell and Rihanna have spoken out about the issue publicly. On the other hand, the situation has rallied leaders from Africa and Europe to meet and discuss possible evacuation methods for refugees stuck in Libyan detention camps.

As of right now, the fabricated auctions are under strict investigation. The main focus of these supporting countries is to get the migrants back home to safety.