WASHINGTON – Expressing deep concern over recent reports of slave auctions in Libya, U.S. Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today urged President Donald J. Trump to make elimination of slavery a priority for U.S. policy toward Libya. President Trump is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj of the Government of National Accord (GNA) on Friday, and the senators in a letter asked the president to discuss strategies for Libya to eradicate slavery during the meeting.
Text of the letter is included below. A signed copy is available here.
November 30, 2017
President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
We are deeply concerned by reports that slave auctions are taking place in at least nine locations across Libya. If confirmed, these reports suggest that slave traders are exploiting Libya’s political instability and forcing migrants and refugees into servitude.
The internationally recognized Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli has acknowledged that these slave auctions are taking place. But given its limited capacity, the GNA has asked the international community for assistance in shutting down these auctions and holding slave traders accountable. We therefore urge you to discuss strategies for eliminating slavery with GNA Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj when he visits the Oval Office this week and to make the elimination of slavery within Libya an integral part of U.S. policy towards that country. This issue will similarly be raised with the prime minister in congressional meetings with him.
There are presently more than 27 million people enslaved worldwide. This scourge on humanity knows no borders or boundaries. It is imperative that the U.S. continue to lead in the fight to end modern slavery.