Ethiopia: We Need to Do More to Fight Human Trafficking
Human trafficking, which is mainly (currently) the smuggling of economic migrants across deserts and oceans with a false promise of a better life, usually ends up in the loss of dignity if not lives of the migrants. This global phenomenon is affecting every continent and every country in the world. Ethiopia, which is still one of the poorest nations in the world and also found in a strategic location to travel to Europe, is also one of the affected.
According to reports, nearly or more than 90,000 migrants mainly from Ethiopia and Somalia were smuggled into Yemen in 2014. Ethiopia is a country of origin and transit to three migration routes in Africa -Northern, Southern and Eastern.
Migrants face inconceivable misfortunes such as abductions, mistreatment, starvation and dehydration on route, physical, sexual and psychological abuse, restriction of movements and unpaid labor at destination.
In Yemen, which is the preferred destination for East African migrants, an Ethiopian woman is worth USD 2000 at a property market. In the country experiencing the worst civil war, a woman is traded, exchanged and her organs harvested upon death. If she have children, they will be a slave in the 19th century fashion. This is abhorrent for any civilized human at this day and age.
The international media is awash with similar stories of the return of tens of thousands of migrants and on how “illegal” Ethiopian migrants are treated in the Middle East. The torrent of horror stories and injustices inflected upon them is disconcerting to say the least.
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