France calls for UN Security Council meeting on Libya slave auctions

Posted at 4:36 PM, Nov 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-22 16:36:38-05

French President Emmanuel Macron called the sale of migrants at slave auctions in Libya “a crime against humanity” and vowed to press for sanctions.

France has requested an “urgent” meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss this treatment of migrants in Libya, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said. France will advocate for international sanctions against Libya if its justice system fails to act, he said.

Libyan authorities launched a formal investigation into the human slave auctions, which CNN revealed this month in exclusive reporting.

After obtaining footage of a human auction in Libya, a CNN team went to the country in October to investigate. It saw a dozen men sold at an auction outside of the capital, Tripoli — some for as little as $400. The crew was told of auctions taking place at nine locations in the country.

Auctions report sparks Paris protest

News of the auctions sparked protests outside of the Libyan Embassy in Paris. French soccer star Paul Pogba raised the issue after scoring a goal for his club, Manchester United, putting his wrists together as if they were handcuffed.

The UN secretary-general said Monday that the reports from Libya demonstrate some of “the most egregious abuses of human rights” and may amount to crimes against humanity,

Secretary-General António Guterres urged the international community to unite on the issue and called on all countries to adopt the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocol on human trafficking.

“I abhor these appalling acts and call upon all competent authorities to investigate these activities without delay and to bring the perpetrators to justice,” Guterres said. “I have asked the relevant United Nations actors to actively pursue this matter.”