A CNN report earlier this month showing video of a slave market in Libya raised outrage (and no shortage of political posturing) over the long-running issue of the treatment of migrants in the African country. The footage showed migrants being auctioned off for as little as $400.
“As shocking as it seems, it’s indeed true. The reason [the slave trade] can happen is because there is really no rule of law across much of Libya,” Leonard Doyle of the International Organization of Migration told Al Jazeera.
Each year for the past three years, more than 150,000 migrants and refugees have crossed into Europe from Libya in hopes of making their way to a new life. It’s a treacherous journey. More than 3,000 people have drowned each of the past four years trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea.
Since the CNN report, many celebrities and public figures have spoken out against the slavery in Libya and tried to shed light on the issue including civil rights activist Al Sharpton, actress Tessa Thompson, and artists Common, Rihanna and Pharrell Williams.
How to Help:
There are a few ways to help stop the slave trade in Libya, as Bustle pointed out in a much-applauded post, and raise awareness about enslaved people worldwide.
Supporting the International Organization for Migration, which is working in Libya, helps them protect migrants in the country. Donating to global anti-slavery organizations, like Free the Slaves, End Slavery Now, and the Polaris Project also helps those working to end slavery around the world.
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