In April this year, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said it had gleaned more evidence pointing to the existence of modern slave in Libya. Over seven months today, footages has emerged in international media proving this claim.
This week, a video released by the CNN showed a group of young men being sold as farm workers. In this footage, it appeared youths from Niger and other sub-Saharan countries were being sold to buyers for about $400 (£300) at undisclosed locations in Libya. Moreover, uncensored images published on some global media outlets speaks to the inhumane and demoralizing treatments of these Africans on their soils. Some of the youth had their shirts filled with blood stains; some had swollen faces from the beatings meted out to them whilst some were chained with anchor-ropes at their necks, and kept in a dungeon-looking uncompleted rooms.
The international community and sub-regional bodies like the AU, remains shocked over what its Chairman, President Alpha Conde, terms as a “despicable trade” “from another era”. He called for prosecutions.
The international media reported that “Migrants trying to reach Europe have spoken of being held by smugglers and forced to work for little or no money”.
It is therefore important to issue a reminder that Ghanaian nationals especially students be given maximum protection under both international law and state sovereignty, in these times and subsequently. Efforts to reaching some of our brothers and sisters in this part of Africa has proven difficult , and this points to the fact that, there is the urgent need to ascertain if there are Ghanaians trapped in this crime: a call on the Foreign Ministry and the Parliamentary Select Committee on Foreign Affairs.
We hereby call on the aforementioned bodies and civil societies to conduct an investigations into the trapped “slaves” to ascertain the presence of Ghanaian youths; afterwhich rescue missions be conducted.
Whilst calling for these, we also want to use this rather sad incident to discourage Ghanaian youths who are or have already embarked on life-threatening journeys across the Mediterranean Sea in search of greener pastures. We should be reminded that the smugglers are always ready to make money out of us and to dispose us off after having their way. We are the youth of this nation. We should therefore be ready to mobilize for the future by working in our homeland to contribute to accelerated development.
We also call on government and international bodies to jointly repatriate such migrants back home, if found to be Ghanaian, rather than subjecting them to inhuman treatments and sometimes drowning them in the sea.
Victor Elias SESHIE
International Relations Secretary-Elect
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Parliamentary Select Committee On Foreign Affair