What Is Happening When A Persons Life Is Valued At Less Than An iPad?

CNN revealed a couple of weeks ago that slave auctions are actually still taking place in Libya. The reporter who went undercover to investigate described it as being like going back in time two hundred years, just without the shackles.

There is a massive problem of refugees passing through Libya (from Africa) on their way to seek a better life in Europe.  They cross the Libyan border in the hope that they can get on boats which will take them to Europe.  However, the Libyan coast guard has been significantly clamping down on these smugglers boats and the refugees are either being transferred to Libyan detention centres, (where they are raped, beaten and mutilated, before being returned home) or the smugglers claim them as their own property and sell them at auction. The smugglers also extract ransom money from the refugees families with the promise of returning them home. Once the now slave has worked off the money they “owe” the smuggler with one owner, the smuggler increases the debt and the cycle continues.

CNN received footage of an auction taking place and after checking the authenticity of the video they took an undercover team over to Tripoli to investigate further:

“Carrying concealed cameras into a property outside the capital of Tripoli last month, we witness a dozen people go “under the hammer” in the space of six or seven minutes.

“Does anybody need a digger? This is a digger, a big strong man, he’ll dig,” the salesman, dressed in camouflage gear, says. “What am I bid, what am I bid?””

(Extract from CNN article)


CNN reported that as you walk down the street in Tripoli, where people are going about their everyday lives, the auctions are taking place in ordinary properties which would not draw your attention.  This is the point that Gary Haugen (CEO of Innternational Justice Mission) strongly makes in his book “The Locust Effect”.  Extreme violence takes place every day all over the world but no one sees it because it’s so easily hidden. You could be standing next to a house filled with slaves sold into sex trafficking and you would never know about it.  Haugen likens violence to grief.  It’s so great, it goes so deep, yet it can be so easily hidden and violence is concealed in the same way.

These slaves are being sold for $400, that’s not even the cost of an iPad.  What is happening when a persons life can be valued at less than an iPad?


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