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United Nations News Center – The Security Council condemns the slave trade of migrants in Libya

December 7, 2017 – The United Nations Security Council on Thursday condemned the slave trade of African migrants in Libya as "heinous human rights abuses that can also constitute crimes against humanity" and urged the responsible to render accounts.

In a statement read at a formal meeting by Ambassador Koro Bessho of Japan, Chairman of the Council for December, the 15-member body expressed "grave concern" over the reports of immigrants sold as slaves in Libya and emphasized that all Migrants should be treated with humanity and dignity and that their rights should be fully respected.

The Council urged the Libyan authorities and all member states to comply with their obligations under international law and stressed the need to transfer detainees to the authority of the State. The Council also encouraged those authorities to strengthen cooperation with international organizations and United Nations agencies and to ensure full humanitarian access to detention centers.

The Council welcomed the statement of the Presidential Council of the Government of National Accord of Libya denouncing trafficking in persons, including for the purpose of slavery, inside or outside the country, and noted that the Libyan authorities had initiated an investigation and They had committed to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The Council also welcomed the statements of the African Union calling for the immediate cessation of such practices and the Secretary-General of the United Nations requesting United Nations agents to actively pursue the matter. Reaffirming its support for the Action Plan for Libya, the Council emphasized that a stable Libya was the only way to help improve the living conditions of all people in the country, including migrants.

stressing the need for all actors to cooperate with the Government of Libya's National Accord, including Assistance to the country to develop capacities to secure its borders and put an end to human trafficking, the Council urged the ratification and application of international instruments that counteract such trafficking by all Member States.

The Council encouraged cooperation between the European Union, the African Union and the United Nations to protect the lives of migrants and refugees along migration routes, within Libya in particular.

In addition, he underscored the need to coordinate efforts to address the root causes of large movements of people, including forced displacement, unmanaged migration and trafficking, in a comprehensive manner to prevent the exploitation of refugees and migrants, as well as as for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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