Slavery in Libya

Jack Smith, News Editor

Recently it has come to the attention of the entire world that there are people being held in Libya in extreme and inhumane conditions. It is modern day slavery. People are being bought for as little as only $400.

“In this area here we have above 1,000 people, and the place is very tight for them,” says Anes Alazabi, the detention center supervisor. “A few people can’t even find a place to sleep, and we’re missing a lot of stuff for the migrants, like clothes, covers, pillows, slippers, all that stuff.”

The people that are being held in these detention camps were on their way to Europe in hopes of better lives. Some now regret even making the journey and wish to return home.

“I have been here three weeks now, nobody writes my name. They don’t know my name,” says 29-year-old Ali Jemma from Ghana, one of the many migrants here who feels trapped and forgotten in the Libyan capital. He had hoped to reach Italy, but six months on, all he wants is to return home.

People are now living in warehouses like cattle. They have been stowed away in them by smugglers. Some of these people could be sold into slavery. Others face the threat of deportation back to their home countries. The same countries that they fled in the hopes of better lives. People that are being sent back spent most, if not all, of their lifetime earnings on the “trip” to Europe.

“We did not know the journey was going to be like this, I spent my life savings leaving the country,” Victory, a 21-year-old migrant from Nigeria says. “I go back and start back from square one. It’s very painful. Very painful.”

It was once thought that slavery did not exist anymore, but this unfortunate situation in Libya has shown that is not the case. People are losing their freedom all because they were in search of better lives not only for themselves, but also for their families. This just goes to show that some very old, and sinister customs may never go away.  

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