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Human trafficking in Ethiopia

Ethiopia is a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic country. Ethiopia is one of the world’s poorest countries, the second-most heavily populated country in Sub-Saharan Africa with a population of 97.0 million, and population growth rate of 2.5% in 2014. The country’s per capita income of $550 is substantially lower than the regional average.

Ethiopians are predominantly young and have a key role in both the current and future development of the country. The case for investing in young people is clear. Young people are at the heart of today’s great strategic opportunities and challenges, from building the economy, reducing poverty to strengthen the expectation of the society.

Basically, it is clear that Ethiopia has been the home of different nations, nationalities and different ethnic groups with different religious, cultural and other ideological varieties, manifested within a country and live together along one another. As Danish Refugee Council (2012) argues “Ethiopians from different parts of Ethiopia, from different religions and ethnicities and with different skills sets are motivated to migrate for a variety of reasons.” Despite the job opportunities created for youth due to the expansion of factories, industries and construction in Ethiopia, people especially the youth are still irregularly migrating to other Countries, where many of them end up in the hands of human traffickers.

Today developing country like Ethiopia, the incidence of human trafficking is complex and serious phenomena. Although migrating in human beings is not new, trafficking in women and youths in and from Ethiopia is wide ranging in the contemporary period. As far as the evidence, related to the practical experience of human trafficking, migrants involve the most dehumanizing form of treatment, and are over exploited throughout the processes of trafficking; especially women & children are the victims of the system at large.

According to the report by UNICEF January 2016, Over 82,000 Ethiopian migrants reached Yemen in 2015. UNHCR began systematic recording of arrivals in Yemen in 2006. Till January 2016, only 2011 (103,154) and 2012 (107,532) have seen higher arrivals of Ethiopians and Somalis in Yemen, than there were in 2015.  From the migrants, who arrived in Yemen by boat, the majority (82,268) of 2015 arrivals were from Ethiopia.

The Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat (RMMS) report indicates that  those crossing into or out of Ethiopia do so by a combination of walking, using private vehicles, through a network of small-scale ‘brokers’, and groups of smugglers, who organize transportation from different parts of Ethiopia to the  border, crossings, and beyond. International Labor Organization (ILO) report of 2013 indicated that, one of the largest current international migration flows is Ethiopian women and youths, migrating to the Middle East, as domestic workers, which also often occurs through trafficking. Destinations of these migrants in the Middle East are currently to Djibouti, Lebanon, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Migration routes are also South Africa & Europe through Libya. As returnees and others, who have tried migrating irregular have witnessed that, as a result of irregular migration, they have faced exhaustion, dehydration, starvation, deprivation of sleep, physical abuse extortion & robbery, sexual abuse including rape & death.

                                                                                                         We Need to Do More to Fight Human Trafficking