Home Africa Slave Markets: The migrant slave trade is booming in Libya. Why is the world ignoring it?

Slave Markets: The migrant slave trade is booming in Libya. Why is the world ignoring it?

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It is a scandalous and inhuman treatment that exhumes among Africans distant and painful memories arising from a past that was believed to be gone. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) staff in Niger and Libya reported in a communiqué issued on Tuesday (April 11th) that there was a trade in sub-Saharan migrants, sold as pecuniary slaves Of “markets” in Libya. An immoral trade that proliferates in total indifference in a Libya devastated by war and which tends to become a sort of new Gorée for migrants.

Sub-Saharan migrants “exchanged” between $ 200 and $ 500 and then were assigned to work in Libyan homes. Others are sequestered, tortured and forced to call their families to pay for their release. In Libya, denunciation that IOM said in a statement , d are hundreds of sub-Saharan migrants and migrants are publicly sold in “markets” or garages.





$ 200 to $ 500 to “buy” a migrant as a slave

According to several testimonies collected during an investigation by IOM staff of rescued migrants, “you go to the market, and you can pay between $ 200 and $ 500 to have a migrant”, says Othman Belbeisi, the head of the Mission in Libya. ”  After buying it, you become responsible for that person. (…) Some of them escape, others are kept in bondage,  “adds the official, reprinted by the media of the whole world.

The martyrdom of migrants does not end there. “Sub-Saharan migrants were sold and bought by Libyans, with the help of Ghanaians and Nigerians who work for them,” IOM staff tells stories told by migrants. On the road to migration between Niger and Libya, notably in Sbaha, Misrata or Tripoli, most sub-Saharan migrants are victims of unscrupulous smugglers who subsequently deliver them to Libyan“buyers” .

According to the testimonies, the kidnappers subsequently sequestered the migrants, who were freed after convincing their families to pay between 300,000 CFA francs (about 480 dollars) and 600,000 CFA francs (about 970 dollars) via a Western Union Or Money Gram. Migrant women are victims of physical abuse and forced into the domestic work of their “buyer” when they are not reduced to sexual slaves.





Disastrous situation, mute international community

“The situation is disastrous. We know that migrants who fall into the hands of traffickers face systematic malnutrition, sexual abuse and even murder,  “said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM’s Director of Emergency Operations.

In the face of the disaster described by the UN-affiliated organization, a silent and immobile international community faced with open and grave violations of human rights. Later, IOM’s denunciation brings back painful memories of a painful past in Africa.

The “slavery” practices under way in Libya and the trade they are going to help create are almost comparable to those of the time of slavery, the island of Gorée, off Dakar, still bears the vestiges with its very Visited “House of the slaves”. The Libyan slave markets that flourish in Libya are so many “slave houses” that are trampling on human dignity. If nothing is done, this Libya devastated by war and undermined by instability is on the way to becoming the “New Gorée”!

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