October 19, 2021

Remember the Slave Trade?

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By Joanna Ewart-James, Freedom United

Call for action to end the slave markets.,

Today is the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition.

As we remember the awful suffering of enslaved people historically and celebrate those who challenged the system supporting the transatlantic slave trade, we have a chance to join in their legacy.

Sadly, people are literally being sold as slaves even today. For many migrants and refugees, a slave auction is not a distant memory. It’s a recent one. For some, having a price put on their life is happening right now.

Call for the close of slave markets in Libya.

Last year, footage of slave auctions in Libya went viral and caused outrage, and rightly so. News accounts and videos of people being bought and sold led to a global uproar.

One migrant, SC*, reached Sabha in southwestern Libya. He was taken to a parking area where he witnessed a slave market taking place. SC was forcibly sold and taken to a private house where over 100 other migrants were being held captive.[2]

News like this led to a public outcry. Some even set up petitions.

Almost one year on, who will continue the call for the slave markets to be shut down?

We are here to say, “We will!”

Sign our petition to end the slave markets and stop people being bought and sold like property in Libya.

As the world’s largest anti-slavery community, with a track record of sustained focus on specific situations of slavery, the Freedom United community will continue the call.

Yes, there has been widespread public outrage. But, will our collective shock and outrage lead to a sustainable solution that stops the slave markets in Libya?

Only if there is a commitment to a sustained and specific call.

We believe petitioning UN Secretary-General António Guterres to have the United Nations formally investigate the slave markets, is the logical next step. The UN is in a position to lead the international community in putting in place specific plans to shut down the markets and to protect the migrants and refugees.

Today, as we remember those who suffered the abuse of slavery in history and those who took action to end it, we remember that for some, having a price put on their life, being abused and sold like property is not something that happened in the distant past.

It’s happening right now.

And we are committed to continue the call.

Will you help sustain and grow our voice?

In solidarity,

Joanna and the whole team at Freedom United

*Referred to as SC to protect his identity.
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[1] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/10/libya-public-slave-auctions-un-migration
[2] https://www.iom.int/news/iom-learns-slave-market-conditions-endangering-migrants-north-africa
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IMAGE: “The men on the pick-up were brought to a square, or parking lot, where a kind of slave trade was happening. There were locals […] buying sub-Saharan migrants.”[1]
− Livia Manante, an IOM officer based in Niger

To donate go to: https://www.freedomunited.org/donate/?trk_msg=PIMKKPUSH7CK7FK6IBURF22I80&trk_contact=037FSGUJ91I19DOFIHRSCHO86K&trk_sid=H3RINCIN5336VQVVJ8G5JB177G&utm_source=Listrak&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Please+keep+Freedom+United+strong+by+setting+up+a+monthly+donation+or+chipping+in+%245&utm_campaign=FU-EN-JUNE-2017-LIBYA&utm_content=libya_chaser_NAT_23Aug_2018

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