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Libya Slave Trade: Foreign Affairs Minister summoned   
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Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Prof. Michael Aaron Oquaye, has directed the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, to appear before the House and brief Members over the widely reported modern slave trade in Libya.

The Speaker has subsequently, tasked the Committee on Foreign Affairs chaired by Frank Annoh-Dompreh, to liaise with Madam Ayorkor Botchwey to conclude on the exact date she will be available to brief the House over the alleged slave auction in the North African nation.

His directive was spurred by a statement that was delivered on the floor of the House, Wednesday, by Annoh-Dompreh, who doubles as the MP for Nsawam-Adoagiri, calling on all actors that matter, including the United Nations, the Libyan Government, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs to conduct a conclusive investigation into the alleged slave trade which has sparked an outrage around the world.

“As a matter of fact, an immediate trip by the Foreign Affairs Minister and other stakeholders to the detention center in Libya where most of our own Ghanaian people are captured will not be out of place”, he noted.

This, he added, will afford them the opportunity to better appreciate the situation and initiate appropriate intervention measures as soon as practicable.

Libya is a much touted and prominent route that serves as the main departure point for refugees hoping to reach Europe by sea.

Latest developments indicate that migrants and refugees living in Libya or passing through are being bought and sold in modern day slavery markets before being held for ransom or used as forced labour or for sexual exploitation.

They are subjected to a range of abuses.

Some of the migrants and refugees say they were traded in garages and car parks in the Southern city of Sabha,one of Libya’s main people-smuggling centers.

Reports say, people are bought for between $200 and $500 and are held on average for two to three months.

The refugees and migrants, some from Nigeria, Senegal and the Gambia are captured as they head north towards Libya’s Mediterranean coast where some try to catch boats for Italy.

Along the way, some become prey to an array of armed groups and people-smuggling networks that often try to extort extra money in exchange for allowing them to continue.

Most of them, according to reports, are used as day labourers in construction or agriculture.

Some are paid but a huge chunk of others are forced to work for no stipends at all.

A lot of the migrants who are unable to pay their captora are reportedly killed or left to starve to death.

Some are even buried without being identified by their families back home uncertain to their fate.

So far , statistics indicate that an estimated 26,886 migrants have crossed to Italy from different countries which is over 7000 more than during the same period in 2016.

More than 600 are also known to have died at sea while an unknown number perish during their journey north through the desert.
Source: kasapafmonline.com

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