By Miya Jones
On Nov. 15, a video of a modern-day slave auction where men were being sold for hundreds of dollars was captured by CNN and the situation has since gained lots of attention. Several images of the Libyan slave trade show black bodies being held against their will and forced into crowded cramp spaces.
So how does something like this happen?
Libya faced turmoil after Muammar Gaddafi, who ran the country for 40 years, was overthrown in 2011. This made citizens and migrants coming to the country vulnerable to lawlessness, corruption and eventually a civil war. Refugees and migrants trying to make it to Europe stop in Libya during the dangerous journey, and this is where we see refugees being taken advantage of and sold into slavery.
Smugglers who would promise refugees a chance at a new life in Europe would then become slave masters, taking advantage of the situation by selling unknowing refugees into slavery. Refugees have been sold into slavery, and many have also been captured by Libyan officials and forced into crowded and poor detention centers, waiting to be deported.
The Libyan government is now investigating the situation. Yesterday, Libyan leaders along with the European Union have come up with a plan to free over 3,800 migrants from the detention centers. Seeing these images of black bodies being detained and abused gives me, and I’m sure many others, déja vu. This story has been a cruel reminder that history can easily repeat itself.
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