Africans trying to move to Europe, entering thru Italy specifically, to seek better opportunities, are being captured by human smugglers on their way there, in Libya, and are being sold as slaves to curropt detention centers where they work for no pay, or are auctioned off to private owners who buy them for manual labor.
You just read that right.
The captors who run the prisons then contact the immigrant’s family, either thru Facebook Live or by phone, and abuse them, physically and sexually, while demanding a ransom for their loved one’s release. Once receiving the money, the captors often don’t keep their promise, but instead sell their ‘slaves’ to another detention center where their asking price doubles, or auctions them off to the highest private bidder to do manual labor and be abused at their new master’s will.
These captors are Lybian smugglers and criminal gangs who reach out to sub-Saharan Africans looking to reach Europe in promise of a better future. They act as if they’ll help transport the migrants to Italy or France etc, but once they gain access to the immigrants in Libya, which is the portal to Europe, they capture them thru violence and force them into a life a slavery.
Slavery, ransoming for their return, and the disappearance of these immigrants has become so routine that Libyan smugglers have started holding open market slave auctions for captured africans.
CNN recently went undercover into Libya to try and uncover the horrors of the slave trade of africans. You can watch this video to see first hand the human atrocities taking place in Libya.
Its a vicious cycle, one where the only real escape is for immigrants to try to escape smuggler detentions and their private owners through their own means, or for third party groups to come into Libya and demand an end to this disgusting cycle of human trafficking and slavery.
You can help end the slavery in Libya by contacting Ambassador Haley to encourage her to continue to prioritize the slave trade issue with the United Nations.
You can also donate to the IOM here, which has succeeded in closing seven detention centers in Libya and is pushing for the creation of open detention centers that respect immigrants’ rights.