Libyan slave trade: 700,000 victims and counting

Odyssey Fields | Staff Writer

libya pic
David Ramos | Getty Images

Hidden between walls of North Africa, over 700,000 migrants and refugees have been secretly kidnapped and sold into the horrific system of slavery.

Libya has been under chaos since their dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, was overthrown in 2011. In response, uproar struck the impoverished country, leaving millions of people in danger.

According to Brookings Institution (Washington D.C. public policy organization) reports , as the year continued, Libya’s economy plummeted and its resources continued to become limited, with its productive oil reserve declining as well.

Their infrastructure began to deteriorate and the country was put at a standstill full devastation.

In efforts to escape horrific conditions, migrants decided to travel to Europe to improve their living conditions, opening up opportunities for success.

During their attempt, over 700,000 migrants were captured and smuggled into Libya, the main gate to Europe by the Mediterranean Sea, according to Washington Post reports.

And now, The Libya Observer, Libya’s leading online news source, estimated that an average of 150,000 people pass this gate every year, leading traffickers to aim at their refugee targets.

People from countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Zambia, Senegal, Gambia and Sudan have been effortlessly pulled into captivity.

Thousands have been sent to detention centers where they were brutally abused and tortured in unimaginable and inhumane conditions.

Some were starved, forced to labor, women and children were sexually abused., according to CNN reporters. Approximately 25,800 children were smuggled and sold into prostitution.

There have been a total of 34 detention centers discovered in Libya, with many children awaiting to be sold and some even held for ransom.

Tatyanna Sutton, cybersecurity major from Upper Marlboro, Maryland said, “Slavery has truly never ended. Instead it has been normalized.

“I [was sad to hear] slave trades are still occurring today and has been normalized in these third world countries.”

Though it has been hidden, the Libya slave trade has been up and running since 2011 revolution.

“To see that it is happening the way that it is, is definitely a complete shock to me,” Hannah McCall, second year journalism major from Houston, said.

“It’s even more shocking to know how long it has been going on and how it hasn’t been stopped yet!”

Many European and African leaders have begun to step in, ordering that all refugees and migrants be brought back to their native countries.

As efforts to return victims to their homes progress, the United Nations Security Council has started an investigation into the auctions in efforts to immediately put a halt to all detention centers and trades in Libya.


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