UN Human Rights experts call on Libya to end ongoing slave trade

- UN Human Rights experts call on Libya to end ongoing slave trade.

- Calls on international community to take urgent action.

- UN estimates that there are currently around 700,000 migrants in Libya.
A coalition of United Nations human rights experts has issued a statement to strongly condemn the ongoing lave trade in Libya after reports recently emerged that African migrants and
refugees are being bought and sold off in markets across the country on a weekly basis.

The group of Human Rights experts issued a joint statement to call on the Libyan government to "urgently bring this practice to an end. 

"We were extremely disturbed to see the images which show migrants being auctioned as merchandise, and the evidence of markets in enslaved Africans which has since been gathered," the statement noted.

"It is now clear that slavery is an outrageous reality in Libya. The auctions are reminiscent of one of the darkest chapters in human history, when millions of Africans were uprooted, enslaved, trafficked and auctioned to the highest bidder."

The statement called on the Libyan government and the international community to "take immediate and decisive action to ensure that this crime does not continue", calling for the immediate release of those already enslaved.

"It is imperative that the authorities urgently locate and rescue the victims of this horrendous crime and that Libya holds the perpetrators accountable," the statement noted, adding that migrants in Libya "are at high risk of multiple grave violations of their human rights, such as slavery, forced labour, trafficking, arbitrary and indefinite detention, exploitation and extortion, rape, torture and even being killed".

The United Nations estimates that there are around 700,000 migrants in Libya which serves as a connecting point to several European destinations.

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