Disturbing video footage of ‘big strong boys for farm work’ being auctioned off as slaves in Libya has emerged online sparking protests around the world.
The grainy footage has prompted the UN Secretary-General to call on the international community to ‘unite in fighting this scourge’.
In the grainy mobile footage obtained by CNN unidentified men are being offered up for sale for as little as £300.
Watch as Africans are literally being priced like commodities and sold off as slaves in Libya today. This is the Slave Trade going on in Libya right now.
— Facts About Africa (@OnlyAfricaFacts) November 29, 2017
CNN journalists later said they had witnessed another sale of a dozen men in a courtyard outside the country’s capital, Tripoli.
An auctioneer, dressed in camouflage, is heard in the video saying:
Does anybody need a digger?
This is a digger, a big strong man, he’ll dig.
After the footage emerged protests erupted across cities including Paris and others, and Libyans ‘expressed solidarity with the victims’ using the hashtag #LibyansAgainstSlavery’ on social media, writes The Independent.
The United Nations-backed Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), said it’s keen to address violations against illegal immigrants but called upon regional and global partners to provide assistance.
The GNA said in a statement:
[Libya] is going through difficult times which affected its own citizens as well. It is, therefore, not fair to assume responsibility for the consequences of this immigration, which everyone unanimously agreed that addressing this phenomenon exceeds the national capacities.
We affirm again that the practical solution is to address the real reasons that drive people to leave their home countries, treat them and develop final solutions for them.
Taking to social media, people shared their heartbreak over the footage and are asking how this could be happening in this day and age.
Jacob Banks wrote:
Breaks my heart that this is still a reality in 2017. But here we are. Black people are being sold as slaves in Libya.
A Twitter user by the name of ‘K H A Y A’ said:
Who are these people that selling slaves? Who are these people that are buying slaves? Why is the world so quiet? Each country has an army why don’t we send the army secure their release?
Breaks my heart that this is still a reality in 2017
But here we are
Black people are being sold as slaves in Libya
— Jacob Banks (@MrJacobBanks) November 28, 2017
who are these people that selling slaves? Who are these people that are buying slaves? Why is the world so quiet? Each country has an army why dont we send the army secure their release?
— K H A Y A (@iKingVele_Le) November 28, 2017
I stand with my culture!,Forever BLACK!!✊🏽..Say no to Slavery,SAY NO TO SLAVERY IN LYBIA!!!✊🏽.My heart goes out to our brothers and sisters who are being victimized as slaves in Lybia!,I pray for your freedom and protection🙏🏽,One love✊🏽#slaveryinlibya #slaveryinlibya2017 pic.twitter.com/umc0eFuuZB
— I am Thebaski (@The_baski) November 28, 2017
how the fuck are people so nonchalant about the situation in Libya rn ? BLACK PEOPLE ARE BEING SOLD AS SLAVES FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!!!!
— Reine Ma-Brigãdo. (@_Bridgxtte) November 29, 2017
good morning. Black people are being sold as slaves in Libya.
— spread love (@mickjenkins) November 28, 2017
We have ppl in America that after 3 yrs still do not have clean water, millions in Yemen are starving to death, Rohingya Muslims are facing ethic cleaning, and ppl in Libya are being sold as slaves in the yr 2017. The world has to do better. Speak out against these atrocities.
— brooke (@bXbyrne) November 29, 2017
In recent years, Libya has been flooded by migrants desperately trying to travel to Europe.
The UN estimates there are between 700,000 and a million migrants in the country, with those who have crossed the Mediterranean sharing horrifying stories about beatings, kidnappings and enslavement.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres said the latest reports served as a stark reminder Europe’s refugee crisis needed to be addressed in a ‘comprehensive and humane manner’.
I abhor these appalling acts and call upon all competent authorities to investigate these activities without delay and to bring the perpetrators to justice. I have asked the relevant United Nations actors to actively pursue this matter.
Slavery has no place in our world and these actions are among the most egregious abuses of human rights and may amount to crimes against humanity. I urge the international community to unite in fighting this scourge.
However, rights organisations have warned meaningful action could ‘take a long time’.
Human Rights Watch researcher Hanan Salah said:
People are rightfully outraged. But don’t hold your breath that anything real is going to happen.
There is no place in the world for slavery.