Vatican News

UN sanctions target human traffickers in Libya

The UN has imposed sanctions on six leaders of human trafficking networks operating in Libya.

By Nathan Morley

The sanctions, which include and freeze on assets and a travel ban, will take effect immediately.

People traffickers illegally moving migrants and refugees, remains a lucrative business in Libya.

According to the UN, two Eritrean nationals and four Libyans – all involved in the human trafficking trade have been targeted.

Ermias Ghermay of Eritrea is one of the key figures working from Libya. He is responsible for trafficking and smuggling tens of thousands of migrants from the Horn of Africa to the coast of Libya and onwards to Europe and the United States.

"Today's sanctions send a strong message that the international community is united in seeking accountability for perpetrators of human trafficking and smuggling. There is no place in our world for such abuses of human rights and human dignity,” said US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley.

Last month more than a 100 migrants from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia managed to escape from a barbed wire camp in Libya, where they were being held hostage by people traffickers

Doctors Without Borders said that 15 migrants were killed and many others injured during the escape.

With better weather, more migrant boats are expected to set sail in the coming weeks.

Listen to Nathan Morley's report
08 June 2018, 16:57