Libya: AU-EU Meeting Must Tackle Libya Slave Trade

Photo: Irin
Over 400 migrants intercepted by the Misrata Coast Guard in four inflatable boats in April 2016 reach out for bottles of water being thrown from the shore. Many were later transferred to the Krareem Detention Centre.

Abidjan — LEADERS attending the fifth African Union - European Union (AU-EU) summit in the Ivory Coast have been urged to address alleged slave trade in Libya.

The leaders are meeting in the capital Abidjan days after reports emerged of African migrants being sold as slaves at markets in the North African country.

While the reports have recently appeared in media, in April, the International Organization for Migration sounded the alarm on the sale of migrants in modern day slave markets in Libya.

African Diaspora Forum (ADF) said it learnt with "shock and utter dismay."

"Nothing could have come as a worse shock than learning that in the 21st century, the heinous trade in human beings, which was abolished centuries ago can still be practised by other human beings - worse in open-air slave markets, in our African continent," the organisation said.

ADF pointed out the theme of the EU-AU meeting was "Investing in Youth for a Sustainable Future."

"The best way the youth can be invested in is when they are given the dignity they deserve, not when they are subjected to inhuman acts like what is happening in Libya."

ADF retained hope the summit would address the issues that end up exposing Africans to treacherous economic environment that leave them desperate for life as refugees abroad.

"This is where these slave traders get the leeway to trade in human beings."

The government of Libya said it had opened investigations into the allegations of slave trade.

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