Saturday, 1 July 2017

FreedomUnited: TAKE ACTION: Libya’s slave markets

Dear Reader,

“The men on the pick-up were brought to a square, or parking lot, where a kind of slave trade was happening. There were locals – he described them as Arabs – buying sub-Saharan migrants.” Livia Manante, IOM Officer.[1]

As you read this, traffickers are selling migrant men and women in make-shift ‘slave markets’ in Libya. Yet the international community is failing to take action to close them. Unbelievably, these modern day slave markets are thriving as much of the world remains oblivious to the shocking reality. Only when many thousands of us start making a noise can we convince decision-makers that they need to act.
Watch our video to find out what happens to migrants and refugees sold in Libya’s slave markets.

Known as the ‘Gateway to Europe’, Libya has become a transit point for thousands of migrants and refugees desperate to cross the Mediterranean to Europe in search of a better life. But many don’t make it that far. Instead, smugglers offering to take them to the coast are selling them to the highest bidder.

“They took people and put them in the street, under a sign that said ‘for sale’” Shamsuddin Jibril, from Cameroon.[2]

First hand witnesses report men and women are sold on the street for between $200 and $500 each.[3] Once bought, they are held for ransom in mass prisons and detention centers, or used as forced labor and for sexual exploitation. Conditions are extreme, with hundreds crammed into filthy rooms, with inadequate space, food or hygiene facilities.

This is unacceptable. We must make this an issue of international political concern. The best way to get this on decision-makers’ radar is to increase awareness. This is why we’re asking for your help.

Watch our video to learn more and then sign to call for action against slavery in Libya.

Survivors have spoken of the methods used by slave masters to extract ransoms from relatives, including beating and torturing their captives while on the phone to their families. “People were tied up like goats, beaten with broom handles and pipes every blessed day, to get the money,” said Isoomah, from Liberia.[4]

We must call for immediate action.

The more people like you that make a noise about this issue, the more interest politicians and decision-makers will take.

Watch our video and then sign the pledge to call for action against slavery in Libya.

In solidarity,

Zoe, Joanna, Miriam and the Freedom United Team

Our team relies on donations from supporters like you to continue the work that is so crucial. Please keep Freedom United strong by setting up a monthly donation or chipping in $5. Your donation will help change the future.
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