There has been global outrage after the CNN released a shocking video showing dozens of sub-Saharan migrants being sold like commodities.
The footage shows young boys and men from Niger and other sub-Saharan countries being sold to buyers as farm workers for about $400 (£300) at undisclosed locations in Libya.
The African Union (AU) has expressed outrage after the footage, demanding prosecutions over a “despicable” trade “from another era”.
The chairman of the AU, President Alpha Conde of Guinea, said: “These modern slavery practices must end and the African Union will use all the tools at its disposal.”
Libya has launched an investigation into the practice, the CNN reported on Friday.
“A high-level committee has been convened encompassing representatives from all the security apparatus to oversee this investigation,” Anes Alazabi, an official with the internationally recognised government of Libya’s Anti-Illegal Immigration Agency, told CNN.
Mr Alazabi added: “Priorities of the investigation are not only to convict those responsible for these inhumane acts, but also to identify the location of those who have been sold in order to bring them to safety and return them to their countries of origin.”
The Anti-Illegal Immigration Agency will be overseeing the probe.
Part of its work will be to assess whether all the locations of these auctions are under the control of the United Nations-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli.