Press release

Foreign Secretary welcomes new UN sanctions against people traffickers operating in Libya

The UK has today announced success in securing UN Security Council sanctions against 6 major people traffickers operating in Libya.

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With the full support of the Government of Libya, Ghermay Ermias, Abdelrazak Fitiwi, Oumar Ahmad, Abu Qarin Mus’ab, Kachlaf Mohammed, and Al-Rahman Abd al-Milad, will now be subject to asset freezes and international travel ban sanctions by all UN member states, effective immediately.

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.

Welcoming the news, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said:

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.

These sanctions directly target six individuals who are complicit in committing serious human rights abuses against migrants, including women and children. They have harmed their own communities, and contributed to instability, lawlessness and insecurity more widely in Libya. As a result of our action at the UN, which has the full support of the Government of Libya, these traffickers will have their assets frozen and be banned from all international travel.

These sanctions demonstrate our resolve to tackle the people traffickers and organised criminal gangs that pay no heed either to the desperate human suffering caused by their despicable trade or to international borders. It complements other UK initiatives to tackle criminal activity and protect vulnerable individuals in Libya, including capacity-building work with the Libyan law enforcement authorities and judiciary, £5 million for humanitarian support to migrants in-country, and a further 3 million Euros to the EU Trust Fund for North Africa, which includes funding in Libya.

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.

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Published 8 June 2018