Libya: Slavery

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 6th December 2017.

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Photo of Steve Reed Steve Reed Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) (Civil Society)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the Libyan Government regarding recent reports of African migrants being sold at slave auctions.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Jointly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

Holding answer received on 05 December 2017

Tackling forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking is a domestic and foreign policy priority for the British Government. We share others’ disgust and concern at the recent news footage reportedly showing slave markets in Libya. We have raised our concerns about these reports with the Libyan Government, and welcome their commitment to immediately investigate these reports and to ensure those involved are brought to justice. We also support the announcement in Abidjan this week of a joint EU-AU-UN Task Force to address this dire situation, and efforts to sanction people smugglers at the UN. Our new £75m migration programme will also specifically target migrants travelling from West Africa via the Sahel to Libya, and get humanitarian support to those in desperate need. We are clear that a sustainable improvement in the human rights situation in Libya can only be achieved under the stability of a united and representative government, and continue to work with our international partners to support UN efforts towards this goal.​​

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