21st century slave trade


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Many have taken to protesting the slave trade in Libya.

Cathleen Weng, Staff Writer

The general consensus on slavery is that it is one: A horrendous part of history, and two: History. However, slavery is not as completely tied to history books as the mortality of people would like to think. For one, human trafficking has always been a very real and prevalent threat, and in addition to that, a new slavery trade has recently popped up in Libya.

CNN’s Nima Elbagir, Raja Razek, Alex Platt and Bryony Jones dropped the exclusive report on Nov. 14 with footage of a slave auction in Libya. As CNN reported, the people being auctioned off were migrants who uprooted themselves and spent their life’s savings for the chance to get smuggled out of their respective countries in search for a better life. Due to new security measures by the Libyan coastguard, however, smugglers are able to take fewer people across the borders, leaving them with too many passengers and too few boats. Therefore, smugglers take their would-be-passengers and auction them off.

Libyan authorities have since promised to launch an investigation based on the filmed footage that CNN handed them. Many migrants that did not make it onto smuggler boats are being held in crowded Libyan detention centers at the hands of the Libyan government while they recover from the inhumane treatment given from the smugglers.

“If you look at most of the people [in Libya’s migrant detention centers], if you check your bodies, you see the marks. They are beaten, mutilated,” said Victory, one of the detained migrants, according to CNN.

CNN has a timeline of the events following their exclusive report where readers can go to find more information. In addition to this, there are ways that anyone can help stop Libya’s slave trade. Bustle has published an extensive list of options which include bringing the slave trade to the attention of the U.S. government, as well as donating to charities such as Polaris Project, Free the Slaves and End Slavery Now. If anyone has the resources to donate or even just a few minutes to send a tweet to the government, this is an event that needs far more attention and help.