NEW YORK, MAY 8 – On a day that saw yet another tragedy in the Mediterranean – 163 people missing in Libyan waters and 82 in international waters – Italy at the UN highlighted the comprehensive approach that the country is taking by tackling its root causes, dismantling the business model of traffickers and saving lives at sea.
“The activities of networks of traffickers identified by the Prosecutor in her report require urgent attention”, the Italian permanent Representative Sebastiano Cardi told the UN Security Council following a briefing of the (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda: “Not only must trafficking be stopped, but traffickers must also be brought to justice and punished. The slavers of the Twentieth Century, as then Foreign Minister Gentiloni put it in November 2015, must be brought to justice, including at the international level where appropriate. We are supportive of all efforts in this direction and stand ready to cooperate with the Court”.
Ms Bensouda briefing focused on Libya. The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court told the Council that her Office is considering launching an investigation into alleged migrant-related crimes in Libya, including human trafficking. “My Office continues to collect and analyze information relating to serious and widespread crimes allegedly committed against migrants attempting to transit through Libya,” said Fatou Bensouda during a Security Council meeting on the North African country’s situation.
“I’m similarly dismayed by credible accounts that Libya has become a marketplace for the trafficking of human beings,” she added, noting that her Office “is carefully examining the feasibility” of opening an investigation into migrant-related crimes in Libya should the Court’s jurisdictional requirements be met. We must act to curb these worrying trends,” she said.
Ms. Bensouda said that reports indicate the country is at risk of returning to widespread conflict, and such an outcome would not bode well for the rule of law in Libya, and will surely aggravate a climate of impunity, which could in turn lead to widespread human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law.
Cardi reiterated that the main message brought by the Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano when he visited Tripoli two days ago was the need for a sustainable political solution based on the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA). “We deplore that instability in Libya has been hampering the Court in carrying out its investigations in the field; however – Cardi said – we are confident that improvement can create conditions conducive to allowing the Prosecutor to visit Libyan territory. (@OnuItalia)