Ethiopian Ministers launch a Committee against human trafficking
A national committee comprising of 13 line ministries, chiefs of various administrations, federal institutions, the media, and religious institutions, among others, has decided to launch a grassroot national movement against human trafficking.
At a discussion facilitated by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Haile-Mariam Dessalegn held at the Office of the Prime Minister, the Committee underlined that human trafficking, which has to do with border crossing migration is among facing serious issues and requires the involvement of stakeholders to minimize its impact.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, Ambassador Dina Mufti, told The Ethiopian Herald that the Committee has realized that the issue is serious enough so that all stakeholders should be engaged in order to come across a solution to the problem. He said:”It is not an exclusive responsibility of the Ministry or consulates abroad. It is rather a shared responsibility of the nation. That is why the committee was organized.”
Ambassador Dina further said that though the the Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and other concerned organs, has increased its efforts to prosecute and punish transnational traffickers, the prosecution of domestic trafficking cases remains nonexistent. Human trafficking these days being a precious business for smugglers, thousands are impressed by their false promises and left on the way.’ It requires the cooperation of all including family.
According to Ambassador Dina, though the Ministry is doing its level best,the task of protecting the interests of Ethiopian nationals abroad is not still satisfactory duty of the financial and material limitations of Ethiopian embassies and consulates in those countries. In addition, lack of information on the part of embassies about migrants for may not be registered often.” The embassies hear only when a problems occur and this has become a challenge too,” Ambassador Dina said.
Public Relations Communications Directorate Director Girma Sheleme in an exclusive interview with Herald said that Ethiopia’s efforts to prevent international trafficking increased, while measures to raise awareness of internal trafficking remained negligible. He said that though the Ethiopian government signed a bilateral labor agreement with the Governments of Kuwait, Saudi, and Dubai only which included provisions for increased anti-trafficking law enforcement cooperation; citizens are still migrating to other countries like Lebanon which the government has banned.
Girma said that sending labour migrants is a major task that made Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs busy these days. According to available data, MoSA has send 180,673 citizens to those three countries in the last nine months with only a three-hour per-departure orientation sessions on the risks of labour migration and the conditions in receiving countries.
Yet, many other thousands migrated illegally and exposed for property and life injuries. It is easily recalled that dead bodies of at least 47 Ethiopians found floating after boat carrying scores of migrants capsized in Lake Malawi last week.
Source: Ethiopian Herald – June 27, 2012. Originally titled ‘Nat’l movement against human trafficking’, by reporter Bewket Abebe.