The Africa Liberal Network takes note and condemns in the strongest possible terms reports of the ongoing Libyan slave trade. Due to recent media reports it has come to our attention that African migrants are being sold at auction for as little as $400. This exploitation of Africans leaving their countries looking for better prospects is not only inhumane but a blatant abuse of human rights. Libya has become a large transit hub for Africans leaving for Europe, and the Libyan government should ensure the safety of all Africans, irrespective of origin, background, class or creed. We call on the Libyan authorities, regional powers and international community to speak out against these crimes against humanity, and for those who are found to partake in such actions to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, including internationally. The situation requires new avenues of legal migration and ensuring that smugglers and traffickers do not exploit those who are most vulnerable and marginalized. Smuggling networks often resort to ruthless actions against migrants, including torturing, extorting and detaining migrants before they face the dangerous trip to Europe across the Mediterranean. Furthermore, the instability in Libya has created a breeding ground for such actions and it is paramount that the country addresses these issues internally as well.
There is no place in Africa for the sale of humans and such clear abuse of power. The Africa Liberal Network is committed to a better future for all Africans, and condemns this horrific treatment of migrants. As African countries we have a duty to stand up and speak out against such human rights abuses, and we must act to ensure it never happens again. In 2014 the ALN passed the Marrakech Declaration on Human Rights, reaffirming it’s position and commitment to protect human rights. Every ALN member party is also expected to ascribe to these values and promote it in their policies.
Zanie Ferreira (ALN Coordinator)