This news release originally appeared on the website of the Elders on 21 November 2017.
The Elders today strongly condemned “slave auctions” of African migrants in Libya and urged the international community to take all necessary steps to protect the rights and dignity of all people, especially vulnerable foreigners, in the conflict-wracked country.
They shared the concern and dismay expressed by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, and called for an immediate end to these practices and other criminal acts of human trafficking.
Kofi Annan, Chair of The Elders, said:
“I am shocked and angered by the recent media reports of African migrants being sold as slaves in Libyan auctions. The Libyan authorities must take urgent steps to eradicate these abuses, and the international community must provide necessary political and logistical support to bring criminals to justice.”
The Elders reiterated their call for increased legal pathways for migration so displaced people do not have to rely on smugglers and organised crime networks.
Hina Jilani, Elder and human rights advocate, added:
“The slave auctions in Libya are a horrifying symptom of the failure both to agree international response mechanisms to large flows of people, and to ensure that the human rights of all people on the move are protected. The European Union and its member states, which have struck deals seeking to prevent refugees and migrants from crossing the Mediterranean, must insist Libya ends these abuses, which constitute an attack on the common values of our shared humanity.”