By: Cristina Diaz
The 13th amendment may have abolished slavery in the United States, but it did not abolish slavery in the world. To this day, humans are being auctioned off to the highest bidder—just take a look at Libya. Slavery has risen from the pages of our history books and is here to haunt us again.
In November, CNN released a shocking and heartbreaking video of a man being sold for 1,200 Libyan dinars, amounting to $800 USD. After European countries closed their doors on Libyan refugees, the boats carrying the refugees were sent back to Libya. The government detained all individuals on board, transferring them to detention centers, where they were raped, robbed, and murdered.
The last time slavery caused me any concern was when the lives of Haitian slaves were being described in detail through a classwork packet. But never on the news. Never in real life. Slavery was always a distant concept I’ve been able to denounce and to regard as something of the distant past. I thought that the world had since evolved. But the truth is that is has not. Slavery remains a problem that nations around the world need to tackle head on. The way European nations are handling the issue makes it seem like human lives mean nothing more than that of an ant. Since 2010, Italian legislators have been aware that many Libyans were being held in desert “concentration camps,” and for a whopping eight years, they didn’t lift a finger to help.
If the world has gotten to a point where the rise of slavery is shunned, there’s something wrong within society. The world tends to ignore things that cannot be solved easily, but desperately require a solution. The selfish nature of western countries is being exposed again as they allow the violation of human rights to exist simply because becoming involved is too inconvenient. People are being disposed of after being sold, and world leaders are hesitating to lend a helping hand.
While nations scramble to blame each other for the issue, human lives are being used and thrown away like tissues. This is a test of the human spirit—a test of humanity—and we’re failing. Not only do I fear for the future of the caged up people in Libya, but I fear for the world. The response to this atrocity is revolting. There is no other word to use. It is revolting to see world leaders like Emmanuel Macron lie about their knowledge of the issue, simply to protect their image, even if it comes at the price of human lives. If the people cannot trust their government to help nations in need, then who is there to turn to?
The more this problem is ignored, the worse it will get. Slavery is an issue that must remain in history, and Libya needs help to help it be sent back to the past. Ignorance is bliss, but at what cost does it come?