#FreeMyTribe | History
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Slavery in Libya

Slavery has a long history in the region of present day Libya and predates the 3rd century (CE).


Institution of Slavery

1800’s marks a significant period with regards to the institution of slavery due to the violent upheaval caused by the religious and political transformation that took place across the Savanah spanning across the North, West and East of Africa.


Holy War (Jihad)

The Holy War (Jihad) began from West to the East . This religious warfare caused a rise in slave exports, generating a high demand of enslaved people in Libya. These were traded along with other commodities, across the caravan route across the sahara to the coast of Tripoli


Vienna Conference

Following the Vienna Conference Britain attempted to control the caravan route and decrease the trade of slavery (as they wanted to dominate this trade). This provided pressure for the ottoman empire to reduce the trafficking of slaves as they wanted to increase tax revenue


Convention Against Slavery

Ottoman Governor Uthman Mozhir signed the Convention Against Slavery due to external pressures. He claimed to send letters to all cities in Libya informing them slavery was abolished. However, this was seen as a diplomatic gesture and did not result in any practical change.


Abolition Law

Abolition Law was introduced by Ahmad Rasian Pasha. He declared that all slaves should be freed and those who kept slaves would be punished.


Italian Occupation

During Italian occupation the trading of enslaved people had reduced but not disappeared. The formal status that underlined slavery still existed.

Present day

Racist Anti-Blackness

The continued usage of ‘abd’ and ‘khadim/ jariya’ meaning male/ female slave as a description applied to describe black people in Libya that they continue to inhabit an inferior status and that this is closely linked to their racialisation.