Assemblywoman Angela McKnight (D-Hudson) on Friday expressed horror and outrage over the growing humanitarian crisis in Libya that has led to a burgeoning slave trade preying on migrants attempting to flee to Europe.
McKnight also urged federal officials and the international community to come together to address the crisis swiftly.
“What’s happening in Libya is beyond tragic. People fleeing horrific conditions in parts of conflict-torn Africa are selling everything they own in the hopes of finding a better life and instead they are ensnared by predators and sold like cattle at auction into a life of slavery.
“It’s unconscionable for the developed world to turn a blind eye to this issue. We are in the midst of a full-blown humanitarian crisis that begs the attention of our world leaders and the focus of the U.S. in particular,” said McKnight.
At a Tuesday meeting of the U.N. Security Council, which included U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, various diplomats called for an investigation into the Libyan slave trade, and a coordinated U.N. response to combat the problem, however, the meeting failed to produce any concrete action.
The Assemblywoman is currently drafting legislation, which she hopes to introduce in the legislature in the coming weeks, urging Ambassador Nikki Haley and the U.N. to push for swift and decisive action to combat the issue.
“The U.S. and the United Nations must take a strong stance when it comes to investigating and condemning this practice so that we can put an end to the Libyan slave trade before it grows even larger and claims more lives.
“Long-term, we need to address the systemic issues at the root of the problem, chief among them being poverty. To do so, we need to continue using our voices to raise awareness so that hopefully we can place enough pressure on our federal officials to act to end this crisis,” added McKnight.