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Sounding OFF: Hip-Hop Responds To Libya Slave Trade

Artists Call For The End Of Slave Trade In Libya

The continued turmoil in Libya has been getting a lot of attention following a shocking report from CNN, made earlier this month, which shows detailed video evidence of young migrants being sold into slavery.

Furious over the current state of affairs in the North African nation, several names in the hip-hop industry have struck back online, calling for more media attention to the ongoing conflict. Among the most outraged was Atlanta rapper T.I. who responded to the story on Twitter with some disturbing images, which detail the extent of the torment that these men endured.

“This is PURE EVIL!!!!! I’m LIVID!!!! Satin is BUSY as a muuufucka. Spiritual Warfare in full effect. What side u on? Fight Back… Repost!!!! For more info just google ‘slave trade in Libya.’”

Thousands of migrants and refugees and have been looking to flee from the war-torn nation, hoping to find new opportunity by crossing the border into Europe. However, with the coast guard cracking down on the number of boats making it to sea, smugglers have taken to selling the refugees and migrants into slavery.

However, the video obtained by CNN is not the only evidence of slave trade… back in April, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), an intergovernmental organization orchestrated by the United Nations (UN), published a report detailing illegal slave trade along migrant routes bound for Libya.

“The situation is dire,” said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM’s Director of Operation and Emergencies, who recently returned from a visit to Tripoli. “The more IOM engages inside Libya, the more we learn that it is a vale of tears for many migrants. Some reports are truly horrifying and the latest reports of ‘slave markets’ for migrants can be added to a long list of outrages.”

The situation has gotten so dire that IOM reports nearly 9,000 stranded migrants have opted to return home instead of taking the risk.

To backtrack just a little, following the 2010 “Arab Spring” uprising in Tunisia and Egypt, Lybia underwent a full-scale revolt, and with the help of NATO forces, were able to topple the authoritarian government led by dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Following the fall of the Gaddafi regime in 2011, the country struggled to elect and instate a stable form of government and has remained in a constant state of turmoil ever since. Rival militant groups—the Libyan National Army and National Salvation Government—have continued to tear apart the country in what has since been labeled the second Libyan civil war.

In response to current affairs in Libya, Bronx rapper Cardi B posted a video on Instagram, blasting the UN for the thriving slave trade, calling it “shameful and disgusting.”

“[The UN] is always on somebody’s business, some bullshit, all the time. I don’t understand why they’re not making it their problem or priority to help what’s going on in Libya,” she says in the video. “You want to know why they’re not making it a priority? Because Libya has not had a president or any type of government running them for a long time… and nobody cares. Do you wanna know why they don’t care? Because it’s convenient for them. It’s convenient for them because they want free resources, they want their free goods, and that’s why they don’t give a fuck.”

We must applaud Cardi B for doing her research on this complex global issue and for calling out the UN for its inaction against evident violations of human rights. However, she is not the only artist to be outspoken on the topic:

End Human trafficking in Libya ! @realdonaldtrump

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To try and help end the slave trade in Libya, you can make a donation to the IOM or global anti-slavery organizations such as Free The Slaves, End Slavery Now, and the Polaris Project. You might also reach out to U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley, via his website, to urge for swift action to be taken. 

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