African and European leaders’ joint statement condemns migrant slave trade News
African and European leaders’ joint statement condemns migrant slave trade

African and European leaders, gathered in Abidjan for the 5th AU/EU Summit [official website], condemned in a joint statement [text, PDF] the inhuman treatment of African migrants and refugees by criminal groups.

The statement is seen as an response to the recent documentation [CNN report] of human traffickers in Libya selling migrants as slaves in open air markets. The leaders resolved to work together for an immediate end of these criminal practices and to ensure the well-being of the migrants and refugees.

[The statement] stressed the imperative need for coordinated action involving all the stakeholders concerned, especially the African Union, the United Nations, the European Union and the League of Arab States, in order to expedite the lasting solution to the crisis.

French President Emmanuel Macron detailed [WP report] that the AU, EU and UN will work together to freeze the assets of human traffickers, some of whom may be referable to the International Criminal Court.

The current wave of mass migration [BBC report] is widely seen as beginning in 2015. The crisis involves migrants and refugees that pay human traffickers help them reach Europe. Many migrants have died in the process, while others have suffered human rights abuses at the hands of traffickers along the way. In 2016 the UN International Organization for Migration [official website] highlighted that the crisis led to more migrant deaths [JURIST report] than any previous year. According to a UN expert, the depth of the crisis calls for comprehensive solutions [JURIST report] that address the sources of the migration.