Libya's migration crisis fuelling slave trade
African migrants in Libya have begun returning to their home countries. Côte d’Ivoire repatriated over 350 citizens from Tripoli on Wednesday, after video footage appearing to show migrants being auctioned off as slaves sparked global outcry. The UN says the auctions may amount to crimes against humanity.
“I was shocked at seeing the footage of the CNN report, but I wasn't surprised,” Umberto Profazio, an analyst with the International Institute for Security Studies in London told RFI Tuesday.
In the footage, migrants--predominantly black--are seen being put up for auction as potential farmhands and being sold for, in some cases, four hundred dollars each.
The images sparked protests against slavery in Paris and cities across the world, prompting Libyan authorities to launch an investigation.
"Slave markets in Libya are not new," continues Profazio, who recalls that the International Organization for Migration (IOM) first documented in April how migrants were being sold as slaves in the southern Libyan city of Sabha.