UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Security Council on Thursday condemned the sale of African migrants into slavery in Libya as “heinous abuses of human rights” that may constitute crimes against humanity.

A presidential statement approved by all 15 council members and read at an open meeting called for a speedy investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The statement comes after an emergency council meeting on Nov. 28 held amid global outrage over CNN video showing African men being sold at a Libyan slave market.

The Security Council urged Libyan authorities and all U.N. member states to comply with their obligations under international law, including respect for the rights of migrants.

Jonathan Allen, Britain’s deputy U.N. ambassador, said the council welcomes that Libya is “making strong efforts to resolve this individual case, but the council statement makes clear that we need to do more to support Libya.”

He said the British-drafted presidential statement marks a rare focus on slavery in a specific country.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said in a statement that “the United States denounces modern slavery in all its forms and will continue to work with the international community to eradicate it from the globe.”

“All countries must do everything they can to end this barbaric practice,” she said.

William Lacy Swing, the head of the U.N. migration agency, told the council Nov. 28 that as part of an effort to tackle enslaving of migrants, the U.N. planned to try to empty government-controlled detention centers in Libya holding about 15,000 people.

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