An Africa Update From U.S. Rep. Bass

U.S. Representative Karen Bass of Los Angeles, California is a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs where she is Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Africa. Below is her latest update on the resolution that she recently introduced condemning the ongoing auction of migrants and refugees in Libya. (Courtesy photo)

Press Release

Karen Bass, Member of Congress

I wanted to provide you with an update regarding my work in reaction to the video of a slave auction in Libya, which was released by CNN in November.

Put simply, slavery is a crime against humanity. Congress cannot sit idly by as this travesty occurs. In order to combat this, I have introduced House Resolution 644, which would strongly condemn the slave auctions of migrants and refugees in Libya. This resolution calls for a comprehensive response, both domestically and internationally, to this report, which is what we’ll need going forward to take an effective stand against this tragedy. You can read more about the resolution here. To follow up on the introduction of the resolution, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and I called a meeting with Libyan Ambassador Wafa Bughaighis. You can read more about the meeting here. We agreed that the country must end the slave auctions and forced labor immediately and the CBC will continue to monitor the situation regularly.

Late last month, I hosted my last Africa policy forum of the year, which focused on the Sahel region of Africa. The current social, political, and economic situation has placed security concerns at the front and center of policy however it is essential to address the root causes of contemporary security challenges. Now, we are faced with the pressing evaluation of policy. In the absence of clear direction from the current administration, it’s incredibly important for us listen to the ideas expressed in forums like these. You can watch the forum here.

To follow up on both the introduction of the resolution and the forum, the Congressional Black Caucus and I called a meeting with Libyan Ambassador Wafa Bughaighis out of the profound concern that in this day and age, people are being sold as property. You can read more about the meeting here. The international community must operate on the assumption that we don’t need further proof of the slave trade, what we need to do is stop it.

This year, we plan to continue to expand our work on Africa.

You can stay in contact with my office and up to date on this initiative on my website .

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