Plaid Cymru condemns “horrifying” Libyan slave trade


Jonathan Edwards MP has condemned the brutal exploitation and abuse being suffered in Libya. The Plaid Cymru MP is pushing the UK Government to work with the UN to end the atrocity of modern day slavery in Libya.

A UN report in April this year warned that sub-Saharan Africans who travelled north to Libya were routinely facing detention in squalid conditions, becoming victims of rape, beatings and being sold into slavery. The UN's International Organization for Migration has helped 13,000 people get out of detention centres in Libya and 8,000 in Niger but warns that there are about 15,000 still suffering in such facilities.

The MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr has tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) in Westminster, highlighting an online petition which has received more than 260,000 signatures. Despite significant public outcry, the issue is yet to be raised in the main chamber of the House of Commons and neither the Westminster Prime Minister nor the Foreign Secretary have addressed the issue.

Mr Edwards is calling on the Westminster Government to work with the United Nations to put an end to the slave trade in Libya and work towards building a stable government in the country.

Plaid Cymru’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Jonathan Edwards MP, said:

“I condemn, in the strongest terms, the abhorrent use of auctions to buy and sell humans as slaves. I was horrified to learn of the terror faced by victims of human trafficking and slavery in Libya and I am appalled at the lack of action, and frankly, disinterest, from the Westminster Government.

“There needs to be an approach based on three main pillars which need to be implemented together if we are to make progress on this issue. Firstly we have to cut off trafficking routes to Europe; secondly we must build a functioning government in Libya that can tackle slavery across all of its territory and uphold the rule of law; and thirdly we have to help build the economies of sub-Saharan countries, and in particular a universal educational campaign highlighting the awful fate befalling on far too many migrants to counteract the false promises of the traffickers.

“The Westminster Government must urgently commit to working with the United Nations to stop this deplorable crime against humanity. Those wrongly enslaved and imprisoned must be released and supported by the international community and those participating in the slave trade must be brought to justice.”

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