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1st LD Writethru: UN Security Council concerned about slavery in Libya

Xinhua,December 08, 2017 Adjust font size:

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council on Thursday expressed grave concern about reports of migrants being sold into slavery in Libya and called for justice for the victims.

"The Security Council condemns such actions as heinous abuses of human rights which may also amount to crimes against humanity," said a statement of the council president.

The Security Council called upon all relevant authorities to investigate such activities without delay to bring the perpetrators to justice and hold those responsible to account, said the statement.

The council reiterated concern about the smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons and welcomed the work of the UN Support Mission in Libya in coordinating and supporting the provision of humanitarian assistance for refugees and migrants.

The council emphasized that all migrants should be treated with humanity and dignity and that their rights should be fully respected, and urged the Libyan authorities and all UN member states to comply with their obligations under international law, including international human rights law and international refugee law.

It stressed the need to transfer detainees to state authorities and encouraged the Libyan authorities to reinforce their cooperation with international organizations and UN agencies and to ensure humanitarian access to detention centers.

The Security Council also reiterated concern about the implications for regional stability posed by transnational organized crime and illicit activities such as human trafficking and the smuggling of migrants.

It called upon member states to step up their efforts to investigate, disrupt and dismantle networks engaging in human trafficking in areas affected by armed conflict and to take all appropriate measures to collect, preserve and store evidence of human trafficking to help hold those responsible accountable, and assist victims of human trafficking.

The Security Council encouraged cooperation between the European Union, the African Union and the United Nations to protect the lives of migrants and refugees along migration routes and in particular inside Libya.

It further reiterated the need to place prevention and protection of victims of trafficking at the center of the national and international response.

It also encouraged member states, especially transit and destination states, to develop and use early warning and early screening frameworks.

The council further underlined the need for coordination of efforts to tackle the root causes of large movements of people, including forced displacement, unmanaged migration and human trafficking, in a comprehensive and holistic manner, to prevent exploitation of refugees and migrants by smugglers and human traffickers.

The council stressed the importance of a comprehensive response for all migrants in Libya and strengthened international cooperation with the Libyan authorities.

It welcomed ongoing efforts by members states and regional organisations to assist Libya in building capacity including to secure its borders and to prevent, investigate and prosecute acts of smuggling of migrants and human trafficking through its territory and in its territorial seas.

A CNN report last month that included video footage of a slave auction in October outside the Libyan capital of Tripoli, where about a dozen migrants were sold as slaves in a matter of minutes, triggered international outcry.

Since the uprising in Libya that overthrew longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya's coast has became a hub for human trafficking and smuggling. Most of the migrants in Libya are fleeing sub-Saharan Africa on their way to Europe. Enditem