UK foreign secretary has welcomed UN asset freezes and international travel ban sanctions against six major human traffickers operating in Libya, the Foreign Office said on Friday in a press release.
This has marked the first time the organisation has applied sanctions on migrant smugglers.
On Thursday, a UN Security Council panel sanctioned six people for their role in human trafficking and smuggling of migrants in Libya.
“I am pleased to announce that the UK, working closely with our partners has secured United Nations Security Council agreement to impose sanctions against six major people traffickers operating in Libya.
“This is the first time the UN has used sanctions against people traffickers, and builds on the work initiated by the UK in December 2017.
“Following reports of slave auctions in Libya in December 2017, to secure a strong Security Council condemnation of those involved in people trafficking,’’ Johnson said, as quoted in the Foreign Office’s press release.
According to Johnson, the targeted individuals have been complicit in committing serious human rights abuses against migrants, including women and children, and contributing to “instability, lawlessness and insecurity more widely in Libya.’’
The politician noted that the consistent UK push for sanctioning people traffickers complemented London’s capacity-building work with the Libyan law enforcement authorities and judiciary, humanitarian support to migrants in country, and its contributions to the EU Trust Fund for North Africa.
“We stand ready to work with partners to introduce additional sanctions against other individuals who threaten the peace, stability or security in Libya, or who undermine its peaceful political transition,’’ he concluded.
Libya has been in turmoil since the 2011 civil war and foreign intervention which resulted in the overturn of its long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Along with it, the country has been one of the main points of destinations for thousands of migrants from different African states seeking to flee to Europe via the so-called central Mediterranean route. (Sputnik/NAN)