On January 27, 2018, USA for IOM, the nonprofit partner of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), will join the “March Against Slavery in Libya and Beyond” in Los Angeles, California. The march organized by activists Sahndra Fon Dufe and Angelique Mendes aims to raise awareness for migrants being abused and exploited in Libya and other countries around the world.
In November 2017, CNN reported that African migrants were sold off as slaves in Libya for the equivalent of approximately $400. Earlier in 2017, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, had sounded the alarm on the existence of “Libyan slave markets” and reported harrowing shared by African migrants in Niger and Libya.
“We were horrified to find out that migrants were exploited and enslaved in Libya. IOM took immediate measures to work with national authorities and with countries of origin to disrupt this human exploitation, assist the most vulnerable and called for the protection of all victims and migrants in Libya. Today, we are glad to see that members of the civil society are also joining these efforts and taking action to denounce and demand the end all forms of modern slavery,” said Luca Dall’Oglio, CEO of USA for IOM.
In 2017, IOM rescued over 19,000 migrants out of Libya and helped them return to their home country. Upon their arrivals, the most vulnerable migrants also received psychosocial support. Additionally, all migrants were given a “pocket money” allowance to cover their immediate needs such as transportation, clothing and housing once they arrived. In 2018, IOM is continuing its repatriation operations and is providing reintegration assistance.
“As long as migration remains under the management of smuggling and trafficking networks, we will continue to see desperate individuals being abused throughout their migration journey” said Mr Dall’Oglio. “By facilitating and encouraging alternative modalities for regular, documented and safe migration channels, we will be better equipped to address human rights violations and be more effective in combatting transnational criminal networks preying on the migrants.”
All proceeds from the anti-slavery march will be donated to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to support their efforts in assisting and protecting vulnerable migrants in Libya and other transit countries.
The march will be held on January 27 at 10:00 am PT in downtown Los Angeles. The following speakers confirmed their participation in the march:
- Sahndra Fon Dufe – Actress, Author of Yefon: The Red Necklace
- Angelique Mendes – Actress, Model, Waterkeeper Ambassador
- Bamba Bambadjan – Hollywood Actor (Black Panther), DACA activist
- Tolu Olubunmi – Social Entrepreneur and Member of USA for IOM’s Board of Directors
- Funmilola Fagbamila – Playwright, USC Professor, Activist
- Adrienne Nicole – Community Activist and Democratic Party Candidate for Congress