Human beings for sale. In 2017.
In mid-November, CNN reported the sale of African migrants in Libya and the horrendous conditions/detention centers in which they are kept prior to deportation back to their home countries. According to the African Union, anywhere between 400,000 and 700,000 migrants who were en route to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea, are trapped in 42 detention centers across war-torn Libya. CNN’s exposé further revealed the deplorable and dehumanizing conditions within which the migrants are imprisoned. Many have been kidnapped and held for random, while others are raped (both men and women), severely beaten, murdered, starved, violated and subjected to dehumanizing servitude, having been sold and resold.
Want to know how this happened? Watch our Facebook Live video, recorded on December 1, 2017, here.
Over the last year, Nigeria, where we are working to eradicate sex trafficking and the exploitation of women and girls, has reportedly repatriated 5,000 migrants. Most of the women who have been repatriated have returned pregnant, likely as a result of sexual assault while en route to or in Libya. Over 70% of Nigeria’s returnees are returning to Edo State, an internationally recognized hub of sex trafficking and the State in which we are working the most aggressively to fight the scourge. Government officials contend that about 12,000 Nigerian migrants remain in detention centres across Libya and that all Nigerians who wish to return to Nigeria will be repatriated.
Wondering how you can act to address the slave trade and migrant crisis in Libya?
Here’s how you can get involved:
1. Raise your voice and raise awareness on social media. Feel free to share our content and use the hashtags: #Not4Sale #AfricansNotSlaves #EndItLibya
2. Join/Organize a protest to demand that the enslaving of African migrants end immediately and that the detention centres be permanently closed. If you are planning a protest or are aware of one, please send details and any fliers to firstname.lastname@example.org, which is housing all ongoing information related to the crisis on diasporariseup.org.
3. Support organizations working to end the scourge of human trafficking and modern slavery.
a. International Organization for Migration (working in Libya to help repatriate migrants) – https://www.iom.int/
b. MSF/Doctors Without Borders (working in the Mediterranean and in Libya to provide medical care to migrants): https://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/
c. Pathfinders Justice Initiative, Inc. We are actively working in Nigeria with survivors from Libya to provide holistic, rights based and survivor centered rehabilitation to female survivors of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation. We expect to serve an additional several dozen survivors by the end of the year. Please support that effort by donating to our work now: https://www.pathfindersji.org/donate.
d. Sign up with Diaspora RiseUP! for diaspora updates and alerts on this issue: https://diasporariseup.org/get-involved/
4. Write to the U.S. government, member states of the European Union, the Embassies of Nigeria, Niger, Libya, Ghana, Sudan and Chad and demand action that results in the permanent closure of the detention centres and long term holistic support for repatriating survivors. Visit Amnesty International – https://www.amnesty.org/…/urgent-stop-selling-and-detentio…/
5. Sign the petition to demand that the United Nations and the African Union take immediate and concrete measures to end slavery in Libya. Visit: https://www.change.org/p/stop-migrants-becoming-slaves-in-l…