Tell the EU to End Slavery in Libya - FreedomUnited.org

Call to End Slavery in Libya

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The world was shocked when news of slave markets in Libya broke four years ago, but since then cases of modern slavery, slave trade and slave auctions in Libya have evolved considerably. And they are all linked back to migrant detention centers and the money and power fueling their existence.

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the United Nations have all documented major human rights violations and clear cases of modern slavery in these facilities.

So who’s throwing these vulnerable people behind bars?

The Libyan Coastguard — supported generously by funding from the European Union.1,2

In a bid to prevent refugees and migrants from reaching the shores of Europe, the Libyan Coastguard has increased its interception of boats in the Mediterranean Sea, returning those on board to Libya and locking them up in migrant detention centers.3

And as the devastating, deadly airstrike on the Tajoura migrant detention center shows, these facilities are now targets in the country’s ongoing conflict and no place for refugees to live.

We know racism within Libya is contributing to the problem as well; black and dark-skinned refugees and migrants from Sub-Saharan African are the majority of those trafficked and subjected to forced labor. The United Nations even reported that “a commonly used word to refer to black people in Libya is ‘abidat’, which translates to “slaves.”4

Take it from Leyla, a Somali refugee.

“We barely ate and there wasn’t enough water. So many people were sick with TB, some died in my arms. I was beaten up and we were tortured – with electricity,” she said.5

She and her husband fled Islamist al-Shabab militants in Somalia in 2016 but ended up in the hands of human traffickers in Libya. When they managed to escape their traffickers, the couple boarded an inflatable boat, hoping to cross the Mediterranean.

But when their boat ran out of fuel it was the Libyan Coastguard that forcibly took them to Tripoli, locking them up in the Triq al-Sikka Detention Center. Running out of hope that they would be freed, her husband set himself on fire, burning to death.

A petition has been prepared, we must break this cycle of exploitation.

And that starts with putting pressure on the EU. Telling the EU to put human lives before inhume immigration policies that are sending refugees and migrants back into danger in Libya.

Your signature tells the EU that it can no longer be complicit in allowing modern slavery to persist in Libya. Act now and sign the petition.

  • November 2022: Despite hundreds of activists taking to the streets around Europe and flooding social media, Italy’s far-right government failed to take action against modern slavery in Libya. The Italy-Libya Memorandum was renewed, but we won’t stop fighting for justice and freedom for every person who faces forced labor, torture, extortion and abuse in Libya.

  • October, 2022: Hundreds of you in the Freedom United community have taken to Twitter to call on the Ambassador of Italy to Libya and the Ministry of the Interior to cancel the Italy-Libya Memorandum of Understanding. From Barcelona to Berlin, activists in at least 15 European cities also protested on October 15. Read more.

  • October 2022:  Six human rights groups have lodged a complaint accusing the E.U. border agency Frontex of failing to assess the risks to human rights associated with its support for the so-called Libyan Coast Guard. An E.U. ombudsman has opened an inquiry as a result of the complaint and has asked Frontex to provide information on whether risk assessments were carried out. Read more.

  • August 2022: A new report by Alarm Phone documents the rise of the Department of Combating Settlement and Illegal Migration (DCSIM), a competing body of the Government of National Unity’s DCIM, created by a faction of the Stability Support Apparatus (SSA). This group has been responsible for nearly half of all the returns since the beginning of 2022 and is notorious for its brutality.

    The SSA manages the Al Maya detention centers, located about 30 km west of Tripoli. Survivors have reported “guards regularly beating detained migrants and refugees and subjecting them to forced labour, rape and other sexual violence, including forced prostitution” in these centers.

    Read the full report here.

  • July 2022: Dozens of the Freedom United community in Italy took to Twitter to demand that their representatives say #NoToItalianComplicity in slavery in Libya. Ahead of a vote on the renewal of funding for Italy’s military missions in support of the Libyan Coast Guard, we mobilized to ask key decision-makers to reject the proposal. And they heard us! Days later, Enrico Letta, secretary of the Democratic Party, announced that his party would abstain from the vote on one of the key support missions. Although the proposal still received enough support to go ahead, this decision is an important turning point in the party’s stance on cooperation with Libya.

  • Jun 19, 2017: Campaign Launches

Chip in and help end modern slavery once and for all.

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Andrew (Andy) Alcock
Andrew (Andy) Alcock
3 years ago

It was NATO that caused the whole catastrophe in Libya in 2011 by toppling its government, killing and maiming many of its people, creating massive numbers of refugees and destroying infrastructure. Now European governments don’t want to take responsibility for the refugees who are the victims of their criminal actions.

Citizens of NATO nations should ensure that their leaders take responsibility for the death and suffering that they caused and that they do everything to assist the victims.

Grindl
Grindl
9 months ago

If all these Western powers stopped pretending they are still empires/imperial to the rest of the world, we might see some sense in foreign policy! The state of western leaders is dismal to say the least in terms of hope and positive change, where the self interested basis of policies is exchanged for the humane and peaceful solutions needed! Yemen is a point in case also!

Christine Knott
Christine Knott
9 months ago

I agree. David Cameron authorised air strikes. The West has done so much damage to the Middle East- perhaps with good intentions, perhaps not! But they have left devastation and walked away. Disgraceful.

Shan Fistell
Shan Fistell
5 months ago

If uninvited guests kill your family, burn down your house, and destroy your property- there were never good intentions.

Last edited 5 months ago by Shan Fistell
ANDREA LENZI
ANDREA LENZI
5 months ago
Reply to  Shan Fistell

Before nato came in, the situation was all pink and love?

Lucy
Lucy
10 months ago

Well said Andy!

Pedro Rabacal
Pedro Rabacal
1 year ago

I was Gaydafi duck who started this war by massacring protesters and calling them rats. It was he who supported terrorism for decades.
It were ALL arab dictators who massacred protesters during Arab Srping, most of them friends of USA.
Dont pretend it is not the fault of arab governments.

Dr Siddhartha
Dr Siddhartha
3 months ago
Reply to  Pedro Rabacal

But what did west,? Bombed it and turn it into a poor country with flourishing flesh trade, human slavery!!!!!!!

Archie1954
Archie1954
28 days ago
Reply to  Dr Siddhartha

The US is behind many of the World’s wars, regime changes, destabilizations, assassinations, violent coups, deadly sanctions and much more evil!

Shan Fistell
Shan Fistell
5 months ago
Reply to  Pedro Rabacal

The USA, Britain, Canada, FranceComplicity to murder

Johan Smuts
1 year ago
Reply to  Pedro Rabacal

Pedro you are absolutely right, and the EU countries know that.

Luigi Rosolin
Luigi Rosolin
3 years ago

What about Barack and Clinton affair there? Nato or France US??

Luigi Rosolin
Luigi Rosolin
3 years ago

Refuge are not only from Syria most are black young people from Africa that tray to follow the dream of EU, but end in picking up tomato in Italy under mafia or in Spain orticulture with same treatment. Pour pay, terrible condition. Some are like the Nigeria now controlling the prostitution and drug in Italy where people are logically not so happy about to had such criminal there by already fight drangheda, camorra and mafia with a lot of corruption. France and UK are not in better situation !

anu
anu
11 months ago
Reply to  Luigi Rosolin

turn white xtian and get id certificate signed by appropriate power in that commune.. simplest for all ..paygrade issue resolved for all time..

Yvonne Lyons
Yvonne Lyons
3 years ago

These atrocious acts against refugees in Libya are simply something that should never ever be able to exist and happen in this world today. Someone and some authority /body including the EU has to take responsibility for being part of the henious acts perpetrated upon these refugee victims. Unless this happens we will be a very long way from aiding these desperate people into living normal, decent and fulfilling lives.

R.C.VIVEK
2 years ago

Human trafficking is against humanity hence it must be end as early as possible ,thanks

biggi vinkeloe
biggi vinkeloe
2 years ago
Reply to  R.C.VIVEK

the only way to end migration chaos and trafficking is to abolish all boarders and let people decide where they want o settle and build up a new life or connect with loved ones. End asylum procedures which are costly and hurtful and devastating and give people a chance to make their own choices. Have the boarders in a symbolic way just like we have regions today, for community building and more closeness to everyday life business, education, healthcare, infrastructure…

Jhonny
Jhonny
1 year ago
Reply to  biggi vinkeloe

Is the door to your house going to be symbolic too? After all if a nations borders are symbolic and not public property but the worlds property, maybe your home is public property but not private property? You ought to practice what you preach and let some of those migrants settle in your home whenever they like, but alas I doubt it.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jhonny
Beulah Okonkwo
Beulah Okonkwo
1 month ago
Reply to  Jhonny

No need for them to come into someone’s private residence (except they were offered refuge) if they are allowed to cross the border freely and given shelter, employment opportunities to support themselves and their families!

H Usky
H Usky
3 months ago
Reply to  Jhonny

National boundaries are not set because of fire codes and house ownership or rental agreements. A sample size that small cannot truthfully be used on such a large scale. I also doubt those that are upvoting your comment or you have taken enough people to really put a dent in the problem.

ANDREA LENZI
ANDREA LENZI
5 months ago
Reply to  Jhonny

A simple rational allocation policy would stop the phenomenon you describe.

Everyone should be free to go whenever he wants, anyway because no one decide where to be born

rick be
rick be
3 months ago
Reply to  ANDREA LENZI

I salute the Flag and thank God everyday
that He had me born in the USA.

Luigi Rosolin
Luigi Rosolin
3 years ago

North Africa but not only is under the colonialism of France with provide Libia arm also control the money as many nation there are using the stamped money provide by France. Africa multinational or colonialism had increase with extremist regime poverty and disparity. See Zimbabwe, Sudan, Congo, Marocco Nigeria. Also Islamic extremist active in Libia too are killing & use slavery as a commodity. EU, UN the world with China now there new colonials power are one fo the cause of the exodus.

Tell the EU to End Slavery in Libya

Help us reach 50,000 actions
33,392

To: EU member states

Modern slavery and horrific human rights abuses have persisted in Libya since the news of slave markets shocked the world two years ago.

Innocent people fleeing violence at home are being intercepted at sea by the Libyan Coastguard, returned to Libya and thrown in migrant detention centers.

The UN has called out the EU-funded Libyan Coastguard’s links to human trafficking networks. Furthermore, the airstrike of the Tajoura detention center, killing 53 people, should send a clear signal that these facilities are not safe in Libya’s civil war.

This is why I am calling on EU member states to step up for humanity. I urge EU governments to:

  1. Cease funding for the Libyan Coastguard
  2. Push to close all migrant detention centers in Libya, release and evacuate of all men, women and children currently detained there
  3. Set up of a disembarkation and relocation mechanism for people rescued in the Mediterranean Sea not tied to the Libyan Coastguard
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