The revulsion and anger on the faces of the protestors outside the Libyan embassy in Paris was plain for all to see. The signs they carried expressed their outrage all the more. “Put an end to the slavery and concentration camps in Libya,” said one poster as the enraged protestors chanted, “Free our brothers”.
The demonstration was occasioned by the airing of CNN footage a few days earlier of a slave auction occurring in Libya. The footage of a slave auction soon went viral. In the footage, African migrants were sold off as slaves for as little as US$400. Whilst this auction took place in the capital Tripoli, CNN made clear that there were several other slave auctions taking place across Libya of African migrants. Indeed, the demand for slaves were so huge that there was a backlog for slaves in the country, which currently hosts between 700,000 and one million migrants. Whilst footage of the slave auction was new, reports of slave markets in Libya is not. In April 2017, the International Organization for Migration, a UN agency, already reported the existence of slave markets across the war-ravaged nation.