Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

City acts to stop trafficking

Domestic workers’ travel to Emirate banned

The Addis Ababa City Administration has decided to form a joint council to eliminate illegal human trafficking from the country.  The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs’ (MoLSA) closed 33 agencies involved in the business of labour export to the Middle East and Southern African countries, and suspended new registration.  It in fact banned such travels for domestic workers to the Emirates.  
A study conducted by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MoLSA) indicated that over 1,000 illegal traffickers are actively working in the capital city.
“These traffickers have a nationwide network to collect labour for trafficking abroad criminally in the Middle East, and in southern Africa countries,” experts said.
The City Administration’s Labour and Social Affairs’ Bureau proposed two weeks back that Kuma Demekssa, Mayor of Addis Ababa, forms a council in collaboration with federal offices to halt the growing illegal activity.
Tadesse Benti, head of the Administration Labour and Social Affairs’ Bureau, told Capital that the administration has decided to establish the joint council.
“The joint council will be officially launched on Monday July 16 at the City Administration Council Hall in the presence of higher government officials from federal and city administration offices,” Tadesse added.
Accordingly, federal and city administration social affairs bureaus, the police and other experts will be part of the joint council.
Illegal trafficking has become a hot issue after hundreds of Ethiopians lost their lives or came back severely abused when they tried to migrate to foreign countries recently. Currently, the government is taking several measures related with the issue including closing agencies and arresting people suspected of trafficking.
The Ministry’s office closed the 33 agencies on July 9 suspected of reportedly trafficking domestic workers illegally even though they were registered by the Ministry to facilitate the connection between local job seekers and employer abroad. According to sources, MoLSA also suspended giving new agency licenses for an unspecific period. 
In addition to that, sources told Capital that MoLSA has also banned travel to the United Arab Emirates as of July 9.
According to experts, the government plans to take more measures on this illegal activity in the coming weeks.
“A conference will be held on a national basis on September 25, 2012 about the issue and more action will be taken by the government,” sources said.
The conference will find solutions to stop the illegal trafficking from its roots.
These sources said that the government is also preparing to sign bilateral agreements with countries that are major destinations for Ethiopians, especially with Middle Eastern countries. Currently, Ethiopia has a bilateral agreement with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.