Here’s how you can do your bit against slavery in Libya

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Earlier this month, CNN released footage purporting to show the sale of African men at a slave market outside Tripoli, Libya for as little as £300.

The American news network had been sent footage of two men being sold, and travelled to the country to verify the story.

During this time the reporter visited an actual auction and CNN handed its footage over to the Libyan authorities, who committed to launching an investigation.

Meanwhile the network’s investigation has opened the eyes of many to the plight of refugees who are in the control of people smugglers.

The UN, governments and public figures have joined the outcry against modern day slavery. Here’s how you can help.

Sign a petition


A petition asking the UK government to pressure the Libyan government to take action to stop those kidnapping and selling people currently has over 220,000 signatures.

It has reached the 100,000 signatures required for Parliament to debate the issue, the date for which will be set on Friday. If you’d like to add your voice, you can sign the petition here.

There is another wider petition aimed at the United Nations, Council of the European Union, United Nations Security Council  and other groups.

March on Saturday

A protest against slavery will be taking place on Saturday December 9. It will begin at Belgrave Square in London and marchers will walk a short distance to the Libyan embassy.

According to a Facebook event for the protest, all are welcome to stand up for the humans rights of those held against their will in Libya.

Contact your UN representative

The UN has many priorities, but this if you’d like this one to stay at the top of the organisation’s agenda, try writing to the United Kingdom’s mission to the UN or tweeting the UK’s ambassador to the UN, Matthew Rycroft.

On Thursday a team of UN experts including Urmila Bhoola, special rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences and Felipe Gonzalez-Morales, Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants urged the international community to do more.

They said: “UN Member States must stop ignoring the unimaginable horrors endured by migrants in Libya, must urge countries to suspend any measures, including bilateral agreements with countries of origin and transit, that expose migrants to further risks, and should ensure that any such incidents are expeditiously and thoroughly investigated.

“It is a dangerous trend that European States are shifting responsibility for migrants to African countries instead of creating regular, safe, affordable and accessible channels for them.”

Donate to organisations fighting modern slavery

If you’d like to contribute funds to help raise awareness and fight slavery, find an organisation dedicated to this area and donate.

The Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights has trained over 8000 human rights defenders and supports victims. You can donate here.

The International Organisation For Migration is on the ground in Libya assisting refugees and pressuring the Libyan government to put measures in place to end human smuggling and prosecute those involved in selling people into slavery.

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