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.


NSU President set to retire

Odyssey Fields | Staff Writer

Moore_E Portrait
Courtesy of Norfolk State University

After serving as Norfolk State University president for a year, Eddie N. Moore Jr. is retiring.

The university’s sixth president fulfilled the promise he made when he first took office: to clean up Norfolk State’s academic slate.

NSU had been on academic probation. Its accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, cited administrative shortcomings and shoddy bookkeeping when it put Norfolk State on warning in 2013 and probation a year later.

After two years of patient work by Moore and others in the administration, SACS restored Norfolk State to good standing.

Moore released his retirement statement to faculty, staff and students Sept. 25.

He previously served NSU as an interim president for three years. After signing his two-year contract, President Moore swiftly tackled the issues the university faced.

With more than 40 years of experience, Moore has conquered a variety of challenges that stood in the path of his journey at NSU.

After gaining back its accreditation, Moore worked on Norfolk’s “institutional integrity.” His three goals were improving graduation rates, increasing the amount of enrollment for students and flourishing the culture of accountability at NSU.

“NSU is a great institution that will come back greater. Whomever takes over for Mr. Moore will hopefully fulfill the legacy of NSU,” said Victoria Balogun, an NSU sophomore mass communications major.

Since 2013, the university’s rankings have greatly increased, leaving NSU ranked at No. 27 for HBCU listings. In the 2016-2017 enrollment year, admitted students increased to almost 5,000 students.

Moore also has increased funding for the Cybersecurity Workforce. On Jan. 16, 2015, Norfolk State University received a $25 million grant from U.S National Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

The grant allows students majoring in cybersecurity to be properly trained and help develop the university’s cybersecurity workforce. The $25 million grant was only the start to strengthening NSU’s financial support.

In July 2016, NSU received $5 million in grant money for renewable research. Leading into March of 2017, Norfolk raises an additional $1 million from the National Science Department, toward the STEM program.

A portion of the money went toward upgrading the laboratory and experiment equipment used throughout the science department. The grant also helped to support tuition for four undergraduate students attending NSU. In addition to the grant, the number of students within the STEM program increased.

“NSU will continue to prosper as a university,” NSU freshman marketing major Tatyanna Taylor said, “but President Moore will be missed.”