What's Going On In Libya?
By: Jael Jones
Slave trade, auction markets, torture, detention camps, rape, and murder. If you were enraged about it then, why aren’t you enraged about it now? It is 2017 and black bodies are being sold for as little as $400 into servitude, into prostitution, in the essence of slavery. Women prepare for their journey across the Mediterranean Sea by taking pills to prevent pregnancy because they know that at every stop, they will be raped. If you were enraged about it then, why aren’t you enraged about it now?
Migrants are paying thousands of dollars and risking their lives to leave countries such as: Nigeria, Eritrea, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Senegal, Sudan, and Somalia and heading to southern Europe in hopes that whatever is ahead is better than what is behind, or so they thought. They are fleeing from areas stricken by war, poverty and death, climbing into rickety rubber boats owned by sketchy smugglers only to maybe make it to their destination. Now, this journey has gotten even more dangerous because Libyan governments are stopping these boats and sending the passengers to detention camps. Yes, detention camps. Authorities in places like Rome are ordering those rescuing migrants and helping them cross to siest and desist and allow Libyan Government to take care of it instead.
I’m sure you’re wondering how this is possible in 2017. With the fall of Mummer Gaddafi, human trafficking and smuggling has become a flourishing trade. Because of this, there is no rule of law across Libya. Al Jazeera did a private interview with a smuggler in which he explained that his “business” increased seven-fold with this new law of the land. The EU (European Union) has also selfishly curbed migration and further tightened borders creating no alternate or safe/ legal way for migrants and refuges. After the African migrants are taken from the boat by the government, they travel to detention camps where they stay until further notice. Smugglers either extort them and their families for additional money to be set free, or they are forced to sell themselves into slavery or killed. It is mostly men who are sold or tortured and women often face rape in detention camps or are sold into prostitution. It is a shameful environment.
So now you are probably are thinking what can be done to help the situation. The IOM (International Organization for Migration) has known about these slave markets since April of 2017. It is estimated that 400k to 1million refuges are trapped in Libya facing these conditions. Yet it is France’s ambassador urging the security council to sanction those involved in Libya’s slave trade. So again, I ask If you were enraged about it then, why aren’t you enraged about it now?