Libya is selling refugees as slaves and the atrocity is more widespread than you think



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A covert CNN investigation in November revealed that refugees in Libya are regularly sold as slaves, prompting condemnation and global outrage. While the international community is struggling to address what French President Emmanuel Macron describes as a "crime against humanity," the episode is a crucial reminder that, however distressing modern slavery is, it is not uncommon.

As of 2016, it is estimated that there are 45 million human beings around the world who live in slavery, according to the Global Slavery Index. To put that number in perspective, that's more than triple the total number of Africans who were kidnapped and sent to the West as slaves between 1525 and 1866, and more than 10 times the number of slaves in the United States until 1860, according to Harvard. Professor Henry Louis Gates.

Even more alarming is that the Global Slavery Index found that slavery, in one form or another, currently exists in 167 countries. That's roughly 85 percent of all countries. * According to the most recent report of the organization, the countries with the highest proportion of slaves in relation to their populations are North Korea, Uzbekistan, Cambodia, India and Qatar; From the point of view of the gross numbers, the countries with the most slaves are India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Uzbekistan.

Slavery, in other words, remains a widespread problem in the 21st century. It is not limited to Libya or any other region of the world. Even the United States, which ostensibly abolished slavery more than 100 years ago, still houses some 57,000 slaves as of 2016, according to the Global Slavery Index.

People are outraged after CNN launched images of a slave auction in real-life Libya. https://t.co/EcUYYO0UVy

– (@ajplus) #

That said, the covert images of Libya that CNN filmed are still horrifying in their own right. The Government of National Accord of Libya, one of the two entities in Libya that claims to be the country's legitimate government body, condemned the slave auctions after they were made public and launched an investigation. However, he also said that he can not fully address the problem unless the international community does more to address the growing number of refugees around the world.

The GNA issued a statement in this regard:

Libya is a transit country for large and continuous flows of illegal immigrants. He is going through difficult times that also affected his own citizens. Therefore, it is not fair to badume responsibility for the consequences of this immigration, in which all agreed unanimously that addressing this phenomenon exceeds national capabilities. Therefore, we affirm again that the practical solution is to address the real reasons that lead people to leave their countries of origin, treat them and develop final solutions for them.

But although it seems that the ball pbades, the GNA actually a point: according to all indications, the Libyan government is not prepared to address the preponderance of slave auctions. That's because the country, including the government, is in a state of chaos, and has been for a long time.

In 2011, NATO forces bombed Libya in a successful attempt to overthrow then-President Muammar Gaddafi. Since then, however, the country has steadily descended into near anarchy. ISIS infiltrated Libya in 2014 and now has a strong presence in the country, domestic militias are almost too numerous to count, and the elected government is constantly attacked by extremists of all kinds. As mentioned above, there is no universally recognized governing body in the country.

It is also worth mentioning that there are currently approximately 22 million refugees around the world, of which 700,000 are in Libya, the fact that there are so many refugees is, of course, not the fault of Libya.

Fortunately, some countries have taken action since the videos of the slave auction were published. Rwanda, for example, has committed to hosting 30,000 refugees currently in Libya. Still, no matter how distressing the slave auctions in Libya are, they are unfortunately only a very small part of a much larger problem.

* There are about 195 countries on Earth; however, there is no consensus on that number, because some places that claim to be independent countries, such as Taiwan, are not universally recognized as such.

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