Brussels – The European Union (EU) on Thursday announced the sanctions against six human smugglers in a statement.
The six individuals, four of Libyan nationality and two of Eritrean nationality, will subject to a travel ban and an asset freeze.
They are key figures in human trafficking and migrant smuggling activities in and around Libya.
The EU’s decision follows the sanctions against these people adopted by the UN on June 7.
It is the first time that the UN imposes sanctions against human traffickers.
The decision by the UN Security Council committee was the result of coordinated efforts of several EU members states, according to the statement.
NAN reports on June 7, the UN Security Council sanctioned six people for involvement in human trafficking and smuggling of migrants in Libya after Russia lifted a hold it had set on the request for action against the individuals.
The Netherlands, backed by France, Germany, Britain and the U. S., asked the 15-member council’s Libya sanctions committee last month to impose a global asset freeze and travel ban on the six people.
Russia had asked in May for more information on the proposed action.
With the Russian hold lifted, the sanctions go into effect immediately.
The proposal came after a video, appearing to show African migrants sold as slaves, sparked global outrage late last year.
Under a sanctions regime set up in 2011, the Security Council is able to impose a global asset freeze and travel ban on “individuals and entities involved in or complicit in ordering, controlling, or otherwise directing, the commission of serious human rights abuses against persons in Libya.”
The six people listed are Mus’Ab Abu-Qarin, Mohammed Kachlaf, Abd Al Rahman Al-Milad, Ermias Ghermay, Fitiwi Abdelrazak and Ahmad Oumar Al-Dabbashi.
Libya descended into chaos after a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 led to the overthrow and killing of leader Muammar Gaddafi, with two competing governments backed by militias scrambling for control of the oil-producing country. Islamic State militants also gained a foothold in the North African state.
People smugglers operating with impunity in Libya have sent hundreds of thousands of migrants by sea to Europe, mainly Italy, since 2014.
Thousands have died during the voyages.