AU orders comprehensive probe into Libyan migrants slavery

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - The African Union has instructed its l its human organs to begin a comprehensive investigation into the reported acts of slavery and slave trade involving migrants in Libya following a recent expose.

The Chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said on Saturday, the African Union's human rights body, the African Commission on Human and People's Rights, which is based in Banjul, The Gambia, should investigate the cases of human slavery and trafficking of persons.

The AU Chairperson said he learned with dismay of reports on the auctioning of African migrants in Libya as slaves.

"Following the communiqué of the Chairperson of the Union, Professor Alpha Conde, he strongly condemns these despicable acts which are at odds with the ideals of the Founding Fathers of our Organization and relevant African and international instruments, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights," the Chairperson's office said.

The Chairperson of the Commission called for an immediate end to these practices and other criminal acts of human trafficking.

He urged swift action to identify all perpetrators and accomplices, with a view to bringing them to justice.

In a recent expose, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) discovered how migrants from Gambia, Nigeria, Niger, Ghana were forced into slavery and subjected to slave trade and slave labour without pay.

According to the IOM report, a victim of the slavery, who was rescued from Libya, narrated how the slave masters and human traffickers, abandoned the victims and later subjected them to slavery for paltry amount of cash.

The migrants sold as slaves were later subjected to slave labour without pay in the Libyan construction sites.

An international investigation by the Cable News Network  (CNN) discovered the warehouses where the migrants were kept and showed footage of auctioneers during a live auction of the slaves.

The AUC Chairperson welcomed the announcement by the Libyan authorities of an investigation into these criminal acts and looks forward to a credible outcome.

He further urged the Libyan authorities to do everything in their power to improve the conditions of African migrants on their territory.

"The Chairperson of the Commission expresses the determination of the African Union to spare no effort to help bring these acts to an end and ensure the respect of the most basic human rights," the AUC said.

Mahamat requested the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights to urgently launch an investigation in support of the measures announced by the Libyan authorities and to submit its conclusions as soon as possible to ensure timely follow-up and action.

The Chairperson of the Commission also intends to quickly dispatch an envoy to Libya for consultations with the Government of Libya and other stakeholders, to agree on practical steps in support of efforts to address the plight of the African migrants in Libya.
-0- PANA AO/MA 19Nov2017

19 november 2017 10:49:26




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