The following statement by UN Secretary-General António Guterres was issued today:
I am horrified at news reports and video footage showing African migrants in Libya reportedly being sold as slaves. I abhor these appalling acts and call upon all competent authorities to investigate these activities without delay and to bring the perpetrators to justice. I have asked the relevant United Nations actors to actively pursue this matter.
Slavery has no place in our world and these actions are among the most egregious abuses of human rights and may amount to crimes against humanity. I urge every nation to adopt and apply the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocol on trafficking in persons, and I urge the international community to unite in fighting this scourge.
This also reminds us of the need to address migration flows in a comprehensive and humane manner: through development cooperation aiming at addressing its root causes; through a meaningful increase of all the opportunities for legal migration; and through enhanced international cooperation in cracking down on smugglers and traffickers, and protecting the rights of their victims.