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Frontline Insight: Photographing Libya’s slaves

by Valeria Cardi

Instead of being a place of transit for migrants on their way to Europe, Libya has become a trafficking market where people are bought and sold on a daily basis for as little as $200.

We interviewed photojournalist Narciso Contreras, recipient of the 7th Carmignac Photojournalism Award, on his experience photographing this unfolding humanitarian crisis.

Six years after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya is still a lawless state where armed groups compete for land and resources and large weapons and people-smuggling networks operate with impunity.

"We got contacts with smugglers in the south, with militias in the north – key characters that gave us access to very sensitive information. [...] You’re taken by hand by these characters, so you have to move very carefully," Contreras said.

Read full interview: 'World turns blind eye to Libya slave trade', says photojournalist


Contreras’s work on Libya is on show at the Saatchi Gallery in London until June 16, 2017.

All images © Narciso Contreras for Fondation Carmignac.

Frontline Insight is a new opinion series from the Thomson Reuters Foundation in which speakers from the Frontline Club in London share their views on a range of topics.

Find out about upcoming Frontline events here: http://www.frontlineclub.com/club/events/ 

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