How Are Slavery And Human Trafficking Still Going On Today? 

It’s unimaginable that these kinds of atrocities and inhumanities are happening today. It’s sad, horrible, and a huge shame to see what some people in Libya are doing to black Africans in our times: selling beating and killing them, all in front of the eyes of the international community.

It’s terrible to watch those men being treated like merchandise in a market. The first video I watched had someone saying, “You pay $500 and I’ll give you this guy.” I thought it was a joke. Or maybe comedy skit taking place in 17th century America, when the first African slaves were brought to Jamestown in the then colony of Virginia.

A few minutes after watching this shocking video, a friend of mine from Europe sent me another one. It had popular musician Alpha Blondy reacting to these videos coming from Libya and saying, “[We] are surprised and amazed at your silence over the dismal, humiliating and unacceptable situation that your nationals, brothers, sisters, our sons and daughters are sold as slaves in Libya (a member of the African Union).”

I thought it was a joke. Or maybe comedy skit taking place in 17th century America, when the first African slaves were brought to Jamestown in the then colony of Virginia.

In my opinion, this is a shame not only for the African nations involved, but also for all of the international community. What’s happening today in Libya is a complete violation of human rights. The majority of these black Africans are fleeing wars; suffer from poverty and unemployment; and lack of freedom of speech back in their home countries. Most of these countries are led by dictators who have created dangerous and oppressive conditions that make it dangerous for many of these men and women to go back home. But in the end, for hundreds, if not thousands, of these individuals become victims of human trafficking as they try to reach Europe.

As terrible as it sounds, slavery and human trafficking in Libya are nothing new, but it worsened after Muammar Ghaddafi was deposed. Last week, when I was celebrating Thanksgiving with a family from Africa, we were discussing this horrible treatment of human beings. One person, who was from Tunisia, told me what was happening in Libya today is not new in the Maghreb (a region in North Africa consisting of Tunisia, Libya, Morocco, Algeria, and Mauritania). He said slavery there is considered like any other business, meaning that people are sold on the market. Again, I was deeply shocked.

The majority of these black Africans are fleeing wars; suffer from poverty and unemployment; and lack of freedom of speech back in their home countries.

I call upon everyone, including members of the African Union and the international community in general, to stand up, raise a voice, and stop these activities not only in Libya, but everywhere in the world. For the Africans nations whose citizens are affected, you should be more active in protecting your people from abuse and respect the human rights of all.

Thanks

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