Cablegate: Ethiopia's Submission to the Eighth Annual Trafficking In


DE RUEHDS #0614/01 0641016
P 041016Z MAR 08





E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: (B) 2007 STATE 150188; (C) 2007 STATE 002731

1. (U) Post provides the following input on trafficking in persons
issues in Ethiopia.
2. (U) Embassy point of contact: Pol/Econ Officer Kimberly E.
Wright, office: +251 (11) 517-4112; fax: +251 (11) 124-2405,
3. (U) Number of hours spent in preparation of TIP report cable: FEM
AMB: 2 hour; FS02 Pol/Econ officer: 2 hours; FP04 Pol/Econ officer:
40 hours; LES: 70 hours
4. (U) Responses are keyed to questions in paragraphs 27-30 of
A. Ethiopia is a country of origin for internationally trafficked
women, to a lesser extent men, and a growing number of children.
Trafficking also occurs within the country's borders. Figures vary,
but local non-governmental organizations believe an estimated 30,000
to 35,000 Ethiopians were trafficked internationally in 2007,
slightly more than the previous year. Trafficking reported in 2007
was primarily labor-related. More females than males were victims
of international trafficking, with prostitution comprising a minor
share. Young women, particularly those ages 16-30, were the most
commonly trafficked group, while a small number of children were
also reportedly trafficked internationally. The International
Organization for Migration (IOM) and UNICEF studies reveal that
trafficking issues in Ethiopia are linked with the legacy of the
modern slave trade, widely practiced until the 1930's.
B. Women are trafficked from all parts of Ethiopia primarily to
Lebanon, the Gulf States, Sudan and Djibouti to work as domestic
laborers and less typically as commercial sex workers. Lebanon, the
United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia are the most common
destination countries. According to IOM officials in Addis Ababa,
there are a total of more than 145,000 Ethiopian migrant workers
(both legal and illegal) in the Middle East, predominantly women.
NGOs and Ethiopia's Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MOLSA)
estimate that the majority of illegal Ethiopian workers in Middle
Eastern countries were trafficked rather than smuggled for
employment purposes. According to estimated data from MOLSA and
IOM, 15,450 Ethiopian workers migrated to the Middle East between
September 2006 and August 2007; and 13,322 Ethiopian workers
migrated to the Middle East between September 2007 and December
-- Approximately 17,000 illegal Ethiopian workers remain in Lebanon,
along with over 15,000 legally immigrated Ethiopians, representing a
significant share of Lebanon's estimated 80,000 migrant worker
-- Approximately 13,000 to 15,000 illegal Ethiopian workers are
believed to be in Yemen. Several thousand Ethiopians are believed
to be stranded in Puntland (Somalia), having unsuccessfully sought
transit onward to Yemen. In the fall of 2007, the GoE suspended
Syria as a legal destination point for employment, due to employee
maltreatment and trafficking concerns. News reportage of external
trafficking incidents was increasingly headlined between June and
December of 2007. According to independent news sources, more than
2,500 Ethiopians were identified, rescued, and in some cases
arrested for illegal entry into Tanzania, South Africa, Yemen,
Lebanon, and Somalia.
--Between September 2006 and April 2007, local NGOs identified at
least 54 Ethiopian and Sri Lankan nationals who had been trafficked
via Jordan to Iraq in hopes of securing contracts as houseboys,
house keepers and construction workers. After arranging potential
employee transits from Jordan to Iraq, contract brokers later
attempted to supply the workers with weapons and enlist them in
military-like drills. According to IOM, Ethiopians can be found in
northern areas of Iraq such as Erbil and Sulaimaniyah as well as
-- IOM officials cite Yemen as another significant transit point,
for young Ethiopian girls (average age 14-15) being trafficked to
Djibouti. A 2006 IOM impact assessment concludes that many of these
Ethiopian girls trafficked to Djibouti via Yemen have HIV/AIDS.
-- In 2007, no formal reports emerged regarding Ethiopians
trafficked to the United States. Yemen, Kuwait, Bahrain, Lebanon and
Saudi Arabia continue to be identified as the most popular
destinations for trafficking and smuggling.
-- In Saudi Arabia, there are reportedly close to 90,000 illegal
Ethiopian migrants, the bulk of whom initially travelled to Saudi
Arabia on religious pilgrimages (the Hajj and Umra) and remained
illegal. Some 7,000 to 9,000 illegal Ethiopian workers are believed
to be living in Kuwait and Bahrain; and 5,000 to 7,000 illegal
Ethiopians are believed to be living in the United Arab Emirates,
principally in Dubai.
--According to IOM, the Tanzanian government arrested over 2,000
Ethiopians for illegally entering the country en route to South
Africa to perform labor associated with hosting the 2010 World Cup.
IOM is currently investigating these cases to determine if they are
smuggling or trafficking-related.
--In July 2007, Bahrain and the government of UAE announced amnesty
for illegal migrant workers to either legalize their status or leave
the country without penalty. According to IOM, several Ethiopian
illegal migrants could not take advantage of the amnesty provisions
as some of the children born to them in host countries do not have
(and were not provided with) appropriate travel documents to
accompany their parents home.
-- Men tend to be trafficked to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States
primarily as low-skilled labor. NGOs report popular transit
countries to include Egypt, Yemen, Djibouti, Sudan, Libya, Tanzania,
and Kenya. Some Ethiopian women have been reportedly trafficked
onward from Lebanon to Europe (specifically Turkey, Italy and
Greece). Trafficked Ethiopians transit Egypt, Yemen, Djibouti,
Kenya, and Tanzania, to perform domestic labor in Lebanon and other
Gulf states. They also transit Sudan and Libya as part of irregular
migration to Europe and North America. Ethiopians are trafficked to
Djibouti for domestic labor and the sex industry.
-- Local NGOs also report that internal trafficking of children and
adults continue to be a serious problem. According to Addis Ababa's
police child protection unit (CPU) social work reports, traffic
broker networks have grown increasingly sophisticated and
collaborative. Aware of the police presence in the Merkato and
downtown Addis Ababa bus terminals, traffickers are approaching
vulnerable individuals (i.e. young adults and children from rural
areas) at bus terminals 15 to 20 kilometers outside of Addis Ababa's
city limits. Although NGO and police reports fall short of accusing
traffickers of organizing national crime syndicates or gangs, these
recruitment methods are evolving and notable. Vulnerable individuals
transiting the North Addis Ababa and Addis Ababa bus terminals are
sometimes identified and targeted by agents/brokers (or traffickers)
who approach them offering jobs, food, guidance, and shelter. Some
social workers have reported that people from urban areas recruit
children in their villages for housemaid work or traditional
weaving. NGO representatives report that some traffickers focus on
rural villages to recruit specific types or categories of laborers.
-- IOM and UNICEF officials report some linkages between internal
and international trafficking, specifically noting that children
internally trafficked from Dire Dawa, Bahar Dar, and Dessie are
frequently sent to the Middle East, transiting through Dire Dawa,
Jijiga, Bosasso (in Somalia), and then Djibouti.
-- High unemployment and extreme poverty continued to provide the
"push" behind labor and migration trends, while jobs, opportunities,
and better living standards overseas served to "pull" desperate
Ethiopians overseas, according to IOM officials. NGOs assert that
while the number in-country legal labor migration employment
agencies have risen from 36 to 72 between 2005 and 2007, the GoE has
significantly tightened its implementation of various labor and
employment agency provisions. The net result, according to NGOs, is
that more Ethiopians are trafficked to neighboring countries
(particularly Djibouti, Kenya, Tanzania, and Sudan) or via
intermediate destinations (such as Egypt).
--The GOE has demonstrated political will to address the trafficking
problem, in particular by informing Ethiopians about risks and
realities of seeking employment overseas. The GOE also supervises
the work of the legal international labor migration firms, which
includes counter-trafficking training in their initial screening and
pre-departure counseling programs. MOLSA now directly employs two
full time direct hires as pre-departure orientation counselors.
Counselors provide information and training on the realities of
irregular migration, with specific focus on risks (such as
exploitation, violence and abuse). In previous years MOLSA
subcontracted IOM to provide its clients with such services. MOLSA's
institutionalization of these training modules and staffers may
signal the Ministry's current leanings towards a more pro-active
approach to trafficking prevention efforts.
--A current total of 72 registered employment agencies in Ethiopia
have been licensed by MOLSA to send workers abroad. Two additional
employment agencies are currently under suspension and investigation
for exploitative labor practices. All of the Addis Ababa-based
employment agencies cite their primary destination country business
hubs in the Middle East. MOLSA has recently completed revising
proclamation 104/1998, a tool which until now has lacked
coordination, supervision, and controlling mechanisms. The amended
proclamation, pending early 2008 parliamentary ratification, should
streamline employment agency protections for migrant workers. Local
NGOs have expressed concerns about MOLSA's proposed proclamation
104/1998 revisions, citing employment agency fee structures as
prohibitively expensive for potential employee clients.
-- Many children are trafficked from rural to urban areas for
domestic work, but some are pushed into a variety of employment
streams as prostitutes, beggars, or accessories to crimes. Anecdotal
reports refer to trafficked children made to live and work under
life-threatening conditions, subjected to sexual abuse and
exploitation, and separated from families and familial support.
Trafficked children often report various human rights violations,
including forced labor, debt bondage, forced begging, physical and
sexual assault and exploitation, prostitution, harassment,
confinement, denial of salary, and incarceration. These degredations
further expose them to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs),
including HIV/AIDS, as well as under-aged pregnancies, unsafe
abortions, fistulas and child birth complications.
-- MOLSA's Women's Affairs Department estimated that 90,000 women
were involved in prostitution in 2002, of which approximately 20
percent are young women between 12 - 18 years of age (UNICEF, 2005).
Some of these children and young women have been internally
trafficked. Child domestic labor is a widespread phenomenon in
Ethiopia that traps many children, mostly girls. It is a hidden form
of exploitation, often involving physical, emotional and sexual
abuse, leading to health risks and violence. As a study on child
domestic workers in Addis Ababa indicated domestic workers are
usually "invisible" in their communities, toiling for long hours
with little or no pay, frequently abused, and regularly deprived of
the chance to play or go to school. Some of these working children
are as young as six years old.
--Although there are international, regional and national provisions
that prohibit child trafficking, there is very little reliable
information at the national level on the nature and magnitude of the
problem. Emancipation of trafficked children is rare.
-- Ethiopia is not a destination country for internationally
trafficked victims. Internally trafficked individuals are commonly
targeted on arrival in Addis Ababa or recruited from rural villages
for work as housemaids or for unskilled jobs in shops, factories,
restaurants, or bars. Those without local family contacts or other
recourse return to their villages and are at risk for exploitation,
including prostitution. Coercion is sometimes a factor.
-- Employment-seeking individuals frequently choose to move from
rural to urban areas. It is also common for family members to seek
job opportunities for unemployed kin.
-- IOM's recent Rapid Assessment Report (2006, pp.33-42) cites
trafficking routes overlapping with normal routes for movement and
migration from rural to urban areas.
C. The GoE has the political will to assist and protect trafficking
victims but it is constrained by a lack of funding, personnel,
training and general. The World Bank ranks Ethiopia as one of the
world's poorest countries. Increasingly cognizant of the problem
and the need to do more, the GoE has focused on cross-training
initiatives and media campaigns. GoE activities are largely
organized via its Inter-Ministerial Task Force on Trafficking, with
the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), MOLSA and IOM serving as the task
force's lead actors. Throughout 2007, the government closed illegal
international employment agencies and enforced immigration
requirements for departing labor migrants. However, very low
trafficking conviction rates send a poor message to Ethiopians both
here and abroad. Ethiopia's under-resourced and overwhelmed
judicial system lacks capacity to vigorously prosecute trafficking
cases. The inability of police investigators to properly code,
track and distinguish smuggling, rape, abduction, and unfair child
labor practices cases is parallel to the internal practices of a
judicial system that routinely fails to track trafficking cases
appropriately. Consequently, monitoring and enforcement have
D. The government monitors immigration and emigration patterns for
evidence of trafficking. With IOM and other NGO partner assistance,
immigration officers have been trained to spot and question those
most susceptible (children and young women) to trafficking and
verify the legitimacy of the travel. Beyond application of
proclamation 104, little else has been done.
E. Please refer to 5(C)
A. The Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
clearly prohibits trafficking in human beings for whatever purpose
(article 18(2)). Article 36(1) (d) further prohibits exploitative
child labor. In May 2005, the GoE enacted new legislation further
codifying constitutional anti-trafficking precepts. The May 2005
penal code improved trafficking-related language, outlawed
labor-related trafficking, and replaced the less specific penal code
of 1957.
-- Article 596 (Enslavement) criminalizes any attempt to enslave,
sell, alienate, buy, trade or exploit another person.
-- Article 597 (Trafficking in Women and Children) criminalizes the
recruitment, transportation, harboring, import, or export of women
or minors for the purpose of forced labor.
-- Article 598 (Unlawful Sending of Ethiopians for Work Abroad)
criminalizes sending Ethiopian citizens abroad for work without a
-- Article 599 (Participation of Illegal Associations and Juridical
Persons) criminalizes any group or organization's participation in
slave trade.
-- Article 600 (Default of Supervision or Control) criminalizes any
government official who fails to take all measures to control and
prevent trafficking.
-- Article 635 (Traffic in Women and Minors) specifically
criminalizes the trafficking of men, women and children for
B. Those found in violation of these articles face 5 to 20 years
imprisonment and a fine not to exceed 50,000 birr (approximately USD
4,700). For particularly egregious cases involving bodily harm, the
penalty may be 10 to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment.
Organizations found in violation Article 599 face a 100,000 birr
(approximately USD 9,400) fine and dissolution. Ethiopia has further
ratified most of the general UN conventions as well as several ILO
conventions dealing with trafficking and labor exploitation. These
--UN Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and
the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others, 1949;
--UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural
--UN International Rights, 1966; Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights, 1966;
--UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination
Against Women (CEDAW), 1979;
--UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), 1989;
--The African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, 1986;
--The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, 1999;
--ILO Convention No. 181 on Private Employment Agencies, 1997;
--ILO Convention No. 105 on the Abolition of Forced Labor, 1957;
--ILO Convention No. 182 on the Worst forms of Child Labor.
The GoE signed and ratified ILO convention 182 (2003), ILO
convention 29 (2003), and ILO convention 105 (1999). The GoE has
neither signed nor ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention
on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child
Prostitution, and Child Pornography, nor the Protocol to Prevent,
Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially women and
children. However, in late 2006, both protocols were submitted to
the Council of Ministers for approval.
--The GoE signed and ratified the Optional Protocol to the
Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on the Sale of Children,
Child Prostitution, and Child Pornography.
-- The GoE signed and ratified the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and
Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children,
supplementing the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized
C. Please refer to 6A and 6B
D. Article 589 of the penal code makes rape punishable by
imprisonment not to exceed 10 years. If committed against a child
under age 15, or to anyone under the protective custody or
supervision of the accused person, or by a number of persons acting
in concert, rape is punishable by imprisonment not to exceed 15
years. Forced sexual assault as defined by article 590 of the penal
code is punishable by imprisonment not exceeding 8 years, or with
"simple imprisonment" for not less than 6 months. Depending on
which article is used to prosecute, the penalties for rape and
sexual assault may be more or less severe than the penalties for
E. Prostitution is not legal in Ethiopia. Article 634 (Habitual
Exploitation for Pecuniary Gain) criminalizes the act of
prostitution and those elements in support of it. Prostitutes,
brothel owner/operators, clients, and those who procure customers
for prostitutes (pimps) are subject to a maximum of five years
imprisonment. In practice, however, few people are charged with
prostitution or crimes related to prostitution. Enforcement of
Ethiopia's existing anti-prostitution laws has lagged.
F. According to the lead social worker at Addis Ababa's Merkato
Child Protection Unit, in 2007, 694 cases of trafficked children
were reported to the police. Of these, 50 cases have been referred
to the prosecutor's office. Few statistics are readily available as
to how many of the 50 cases resulted in conviction and sentencing.
Twenty cases are currently pending prosecution, and the remaining 30
have been closed due either to lack of evidence or absconded
defendants. The low conviction rates partly result from an
understaffed and overburdened judiciary, and lack of cooperation
with destination country governments. Traffickers often destroy
evidence, making convictions difficult. Limited hard data was
available as to the 2007 prosecution rates for children or adults.
Reportage of any kind for trafficked adults is anecdotal,
principally supplied by local NGOs known to shelter and service
young women (i.e. Good Samaritans, Organization for the Prevention,
Rehabilitation and Integration of Female Street Children) victimized
by trafficking.
-- According to the Forum for Street Children, a domestic NGO funded
by international donors, 18 child traffickers were put on trial in
2007. All of these cases were transferred to the prosecutor's office
after investigation where the alleged child traffickers were
released on bail by court order. Cases where alleged traffickers
were released on bail by the court: male-O, female-15; cases where
alleged traffickers were not traced: male-0, female-18. One
trafficker was reported in Oromia region and the other 17 in Addis
Ababa (Lideta sub-city).
--From April 2007 through January 2008, the Good Samaritan
Association (GSA) provided services to 12 external and 13 internal
victims of trafficking. Last year, GSA spent over USD $757 per TIP
victim for general rehabilitation services.
-- MOLSA clarified that in both 2006 and 2007, the federal
government's previously compiled trafficking data was coupled with
"fraud" cases. Such "fraud" includes trafficking-related cases, but
also unrelated crimes such as counterfeit checks and other scams.
As noted previously, the May 2005 revised penal code recognizes and
names trafficking as a crime. Citing a total of 100,000 intermixed
and backlogged criminal files in the prosecutor's office, MOLSA
asserts that the GOE lacks the institutional capacity and resources
to separate trafficking from fraud cases. Such cases would have to
be reviewed individually to distinguish between trafficking and
other types of fraud.
--2006: Some 925 cases of trafficked children reported (378 male,
547 female); 8 cases remain under investigation by police; 12 cases
sent to prosecutors later dropped; unknown number of individuals
--Information on who is behind trafficking has proven difficult to
document. According to MOJ, MOLSA and IOM sources, traffic
brokering rings are becoming increasingly sophisticated and
collaborative. There are several well known operators in Addis who
have extensive linkages both throughout Ethiopia and destination
countries. In the past, some worked under the cover of legitimate
travel agencies. NGO representatives do not believe trafficking is
operated or coordinated by international criminal organizations.
-- The 2007 joint MOLSA/UNICEF National Study on Child Trafficking
in Ethiopia (pp.23-25) reports the trafficking process to involve
many different actors, including recruiters, intermediaries/brokers,
and transporters. Cross-country bus and truck drivers are involved
in trafficking of children, while brokers, pimps and brothel owners
finalize the deal at the receiving end. These actors/traffickers are
usually known to the victims or their families.
--In Ethiopia, most children are trafficked by their relatives (such
as uncles, aunts, friends or friends of friends), a member of the
locality who lives in town or regularly moves between urban and
rural areas. A peak time for child trafficking (particularly in the
Gurage, Wolaita, and Gamo Gofa areas) is when traffickers go to the
southern regions for Meskel celebrations.
--Many traffickers in the North dress and act as priests to avoid
being suspected of child trafficking. In some cases, children
themselves take the initiative and approach the recruiters to take
them away. Currently there are brokers in both the southern and
northern regions of the country whose principle livelihood is child
trafficking. Traffickers transiting five to six children each
between Awassa and Shashemene is said to be common.
BROKERS: Local brokers (called 'delalas') operate at the community
level and are usually known to the victim and his or her family.
Delalas often recruit potential victims for trafficking. Typically
the broker is either a returnee from the country of destination or
has relatives there. Reports indicate many women who work in Middle
Eastern countries traffic through their families in Ethiopia.
Community members are more likely to trust traffickers with family
members living and working abroad. This has helped some families to
establish a small business trafficking women and children. To avoid
notoriety and detection by authorities, local brokers do not have
established or official places of work. They work from rented
houses, neighborhood cafes or hotel rooms and do not publicly
advertise their services. To avoid being identified, brokers also
move from place to place in larger towns and work through multiple
facilitators. According to the 2007 MOLSA/UNICEF study, most
victims do not know the real names and addresses of the brokers who
recruit and traffic them.
FACILITATORS: Brokers usually use facilitators for recruitment and
do not directly contact victims and their families. Facilitators are
typically neighbors or other persons known to the victim. This can
also include close relatives and family members. The main tasks of
facilitators in the recruitment process are to seek out potential
victims, convince victims and their families of the benefits of
working abroad, and arrange a meeting with the broker. Though
facilitators present themselves as concerned individuals, they
actually receive commissions from brokers for each successfully
trafficked woman and child.
import-export businesses are in a position to make the business of
trafficking in persons from Ethiopia more efficient, organized and
widespread. Their activities create frequent opportunities for
travel to destination countries and contact with employment agents
and individuals involved in trafficking at the destination side. Not
much is known about the recruitment methods used by owners and
operators of travel agencies and import-export businesses. They do
not advertise their services since they are not licensed to arrange
employment abroad. Presumably, they work with local brokers and
facilitators at the initial stages of recruitment in the manner
discussed above.
THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS: As described above, most brokers recruit
women and children in an informal manner using a facilitator. The
facilitator's first task is to identify a child or woman who could
be convinced to seek the help of the broker. These are often
parents in financial difficulty or with children out of school. The
facilitator befriends the potential victim or her family and
suggests the possibility of employment in a foreign country as a
means of dealing with the family's problems. Once the interest of
the victim or parents has been secured, the facilitator offers to
arrange a meeting with the broker. In many cases, parents finance
their children's migration by borrowing money from illegal loan
sharks at exorbitant interest rates, through facilitators and local
brokers. Once fees are agreed upon and first payment is made, the
potential migrant gives the broker a copy of her passport, one full
body and one passport-size photograph, and a medical examination
report proving that she does not suffer from any major ailment, in
particular HIV/AIDS. Sometimes, brokers keep the original passport,
so that the victim cannot approach other brokers for a cheaper deal.
Copies of the victim's passport and the photographs are then sent to
the broker's contacts in the country of destination for selection by
potential employers. Finding an employer through the foreign
contacts usually takes a few weeks. Upon confirmation of an
interested employer, the broker faxes copies of the relevant
documents to the country of destination to process and secures the
necessary entry visa.
G. SPECIALIZED TRAINING: In partnership with NGOs, the GoE has
provided a limited number of officials with access to information
and training in counter-trafficking. From April through November of
2007, IOM conducted five capacity building trainings for over 156
judges, police, prosecutors, and concerned leaders of NGO
communities. Trainings provided participants with opportunities to
discuss and identify gaps in laws, practices and services. Training
participants included presidents of regional supreme courts, police
commissioners, and heads of regional justice bureaus.
H. GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATION: The government employs surveillance
techniques to monitor trafficking. Each of the 10
counter-trafficking police units (CPU's) in Addis Ababa is assigned
three police officers. Police and immigration security officials
are equipped to conduct electronic surveillance and undercover
I. EXTRADITION: According to Post's lead MFA counter-trafficking
contact, in 2007 there were no requests by any foreign government to
extradite non-Ethiopians charged with trafficking. The GoE does not
extradite its own nationals charged with such offenses.
to 6K.
-- Ethiopia lacks diplomatic representation in several Gulf States.
If funding permits, the GOE intends to open or expand a number of
neighboring country consulates in coming years. Currently, the
GoE's Embassy in Saudi Arabia is accredited to Oman, and its mission
in Kuwait is accredited to Bahrain.
--Police have been successful in thwarting potential trafficking of
those transiting Addis Ababa's Bole International airport. However,
according to MOLSA and the IOM, there is little international
cooperation that occurs. The MFA intends to heighten Ethiopian
diplomats' awareness of the seriousness of trafficking problems
in-country, by highlighting and contextualizing the issue in its
training programs. The MFA reports that neighboring destination
countries have been hesitant to enter into any binding bilateral
agreements with the GOE, despite the GoE's attempts to initiate
--There have been no official reports of involvement of GOE
officials in trafficking, but there are specific if unsubstantiated
reports that this practice exists. No government official has ever
been officially implicated or arrested on any trafficking charge.
--L. 2005 TVPRA: There is no evidence that the GoE has vigorously
investigated, prosecuted, convicted or sentenced nationals of the
country deployed abroad as part of a peace keeping mission who
engage in or facilitate trafficking or who exploit trafficking
victims. As part of the standard ACOTA soldiers skills training,
human rights and rules of engagement are trained and emphasized.
Once the soldier departs for the mission, Post Addis has no further
control or engagement.
M. CHILD SEX TOURISM: Ethiopia is not a high-volume child sex
tourism source or destination. A newly established court (in late
2006) for women and children has led to several convictions of
Ethiopian sexual abusers. While these convictions are not related
to trafficking, NGOs see the court as a potentially useful tool for
this purpose.
A. MOLSA, the MoJ, MFA and NGO sources widely report that the
government does not have the resources to provide any material
assistance to victims of trafficking. Consulates in Beirut and
Dubai dispense limited legal advice to trafficked victims and
provide temporary shelter to them on (infrequent) occasion. The GoE
does not provide temporary loans to trafficked victims who do not
have the financial means to be repatriated. There are neither GoE
designated victim care programs, nor victim-specific health care
facilities in Ethiopia.
Returnee trafficking victims must rely on psychological services
provided by public health institutions and the limited number of
NGOs dedicated to work in this area, such as OPRIFIS, Good
Samaritans, IOM, Project Concern International (PCI), and Forum for
Street Children Ethiopia (FSCE), Ethiopian Women's Lawyers
Association and Project Hope. The Inter-ministerial Task Force is
exploring how to more effectively identify NGOs or community-based
organizations that can and do provide such services, as well as to
improve referral systems.
B. VICTIM CARE: With possible assistance from UNICEF, MOLSA plans to
expand Addis Ababa screening and referral programs for children to
other large cities and rural transport points. Each Addis Ababa
police station is affiliated with a child protection unit, which
collects information regarding victims, and aims to reunify them
with their family. Shelter facilities are limited, especially for
that the government does not provide funding or other forms of
support to foreign or domestic NGOs for treatment services specific
to trafficking victims.
government authorities have not made any concerted effort to
interview returned trafficked victims about their experiences. The
government accords no special protections, shelter, and other
housing or special services benefits to trafficking victims or
witnesses. Many returned victims fear retribution not only from
accused traffickers but also from other trafficked persons trapped
in destination countries. There is no codified legal barrier to
victims pursuing civil suits or seeking legal action against
traffickers. There is no victim restitution program.
E. LEGALIZED PROSTITUTION: Prostitution is not legal in Ethiopia.
F. RESPECT FOR VICTIMS RIGHTS: The GoE asserts that it respects the
rights of returnee victims. In 2007, there have been limited
reports of returned trafficked victims being detained, jailed, or
prosecuted for violations of other laws, such as those governing
immigration or prostitution.
Ethiopian consulates and embassies in employment destination
countries are staffing up with labor attaches. The attache's are
partially dedicated to address trafficking victims' issues. Several
Ethiopian Consulates and Embassies are reportedly providing limited
legal advice and temporary shelters for trafficked victims awaiting
funds from family members or friends to pay off traffickers so that
they can finance their return to Ethiopia.
--The Forum for Street Children (FSCE) is an indigenous NGO
established in 1989. FSCE is committed to creating favorable and
supportive conditions for urban disadvantaged children in general
while working for and towards the respect and protection of the
rights of street children, sexually abused and exploited children,
physically abused children and children in conflict with the law.
--In July 2007, 54 licensed employment agencies formed the Private
Employment Agencies Association with the objective of coordinating
and monitoring external employment activity. The association has
been collaborating with the GoE to report illegal brokers. Members
of the association assert that TIP adversely affects employer income
and the country's image. The association has a lawyer, office
manager and secretary handling its day to day activities.
-- The Good Samaritan Association (GSA) is an indigenous NGO
established in 1998 by a group of Ethiopian health professionals
focused on reproductive health, and community-based development
programs. It has established a shelter to assist victims of internal
and external trafficking. Victim assistance services include
shelter, food, medical triage and referral, vocational training,
small business development/micro-financing and job placement.
-- The International Organization for Migration (IOM) Addis Ababa
founded its Ethiopia program in 2001, with a sustained focus on
anti-trafficking efforts. The main components of IOM services are:
migrant/returnee counseling; GoE and NGO capacity building; and
campaigns to enhance trafficking awareness in schools and among the
general public. Between April and November 2007, IOM implemented
five counter-trafficking capacity building trainings for judges,
magistrates, police officers and concerned members of the NGO
community. In December, IOM launched two documentary films on human
trafficking and smuggling. 'The Martyrs of the Gulf of Eden' by
Daniel Grandclement recounts stories of migrants undertaking the
perilous and desperate journey to cross the Gulf of Eden, while
'Unheard Voices' highlights the survivor tales of child trafficking
in Ethiopia.
-- Established in 2005, Project Concern International (PCI),
partners with local organizations to provide support services to
vulnerable children, improve community health, and promote
sustainable development.
-- The Organization for Prevention, Rehabilitation and Integration
of Female Street Children (OPFRIS) is an indigenous NGO founded in
2000 to provide shelter and vocational training to young women
victims of internal trafficking. Its major activities include
education, health services, recreation, counseling, shelter, meals,
and family reunification. It is also involved in advocacy to
influence policy-making and legislation impacting the rights of
-- In 2007, UNICEF and MOLSA finalized a major study that provides
solid evidence on the magnitude, dynamics and trends of child
trafficking in Ethiopia, with a focus on internal child trafficking.
This study is the first of its kind available in the country. UNICEF
and the Center for Child Psychosocial Support Association is
currently using this very new body of data to promote evidence-based
policy analysis and the design of new mental health care
interventions and support services for trafficking returnee
reporting period, and as part of its scope of its leadership role on
the Inter-Ministerial task force, IOM and ILO provided five
trainings to more than 156 magistrates, judges, police personnel,
and concerned leaders of the NGO community. Some of the highlights
of these trainings (conducted in two regions) are as follows:
--From April 13-14, 2007, 22 judges, prosecutors and police officers
were provided with a forum to discuss prosecution difficulties in
trafficking cases. Participants came from Addis Ababa, Amhara
Region, Tigray Region, Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples
Region (SNNPR) Dire Dawa and Oromia Region. The objectives of the
workshop were to provide a refresher of the basic principles of
trafficking and recent developments in the legal sphere; to review
the implementation of international standards with regard to
screening, identification and protection of trafficking victims; and
to provide an overview of the Inter-Ministerial task force's current
scope of work.
--On April 17-18, 33 members of public and private federal and
regional media participated in a two-day capacity building training
in Addis Ababa.
--In June, IOM hosted three-day para-counselor training for
forty-three participants from various private employment agencies,
NGOs, and government offices. The training raised partner
organization awareness on trafficking and enhanced capacities to
provide counselling services and information to migrants, victim
returnees and their families.
--Also in June, 31 immigration officials attended a half-day
training on border management and fraudulent documents detection.
Participants from partner UN agencies have benefited from four day
training on International Migration Law. This training includes
issues on irregular migration, in particular smuggling and
trafficking of human beings.
refer to 7H.
A. The GOE acknowledges that trafficking is a problem in-country.
B. Established in 2003, an inter-ministerial counter-trafficking
task force comprises officials from the ministries of foreign
affairs, justice, information, and women's affairs, as well as
MOLSA, the Federal Police Commission, the Office of Immigration,
Addis Ababa Police Commission, and the Addis Ababa Prosecutors
Office. In June 2006, MOLSA assumed overall coordination
responsibility, and its annual action plan included a summary of its
work plans for the year with respect to counter trafficking.
According to MOLSA's Employment and Manpower Department Chief, the
task force's major accomplishment in 2007 was the establishment on
paper of a MOLSA mock court to investigate cases illegal
work-related migration. The court is not yet funded or functional.
In March 2007, the task force has divided itself into four
subcommittees which include: research, information, media and legal
C. The GOE supported IOM-sponsored counseling and health services
for trafficking returnees. It also co-sponsored IOM programming for
Ethiopian radio spots in four local languages (Amharic, Oromiffa,
Tigrigna and Somali). Between April and November 2007, and in
conjunction with the Ministerial Task Force, IOM conducted five
awareness raising training and consultative workshops on TIP.
Regional magistrates, judges, prosecutors, police, employment agency
executives, journalists, immigration and other government officials
were in attendance. In a highly specialized two-day consultative
workshop on anti-TIP practices for judges, prosecutors and police
officers (April 13-14, 2007), MOLSA briefed participants on the
Draft Revised Private Employment Agency Proclamation No.104/1998.
The revised Draft Proclamation attempts to do the following; a)
obligates Private Employment Agencies (PEAs) to provide
pre-employment and pre-departure orientation and training to
potential migrant workers; b) limits the number of country of
destination to which PEAs can send migrants; c) allows PEAs to open
branch offices at regional levels; d) allows PEAs to charge job
seekers one month's salary for their services; e) mandates that PEAs
provide life insurance coverage to clients; f) assigns Labor
attaches' and attorneys to Ethiopian Embassies and Consular Offices
in all employment destination countries.
D. The government monitors its borders within the context of its
limited capacity. There are large swaths of territory along
Ethiopia's borders with Sudan, Kenya and Somalia that are not
currently monitored by Ethiopian border officials. Current
post-electoral events in Kenya have thwarted some of the enforcement
and anti-trafficking efforts at the Kenyan/Ethiopian border. The GOE
Immigration Authority has set up a number of checkpoints to verify
legal entries and exits. Border control points have been set up in
Metema, Dewele, Galafi, Dire Dawa (at the center of town), and
Moyale. Border guards check whether necessary documents (passports)
are in order and that visas are appropriately and legitimately
stamped. Border guards also seek to verify that migrant workers
have proper employment contracts and have completed MOLSA's parallel
authorizing process. Guards are also authorized to prevent
unaccompanied minors from crossing borders without a legal adult
E. In 2007, the government showed slightly more effective partnering
with NGOs, particularly Project Concern International, IOM, and the
Forum for Street Children in Ethiopia (FSCE). MOLSA works closely
with IOM on anti-trafficking activities but partners with very few
indigenous NGOs (apart from making some data available to them upon
request). As part of its capacity enhancement plans, IOM developed
a database for MOLSA, a soon to be fully functional software tool to
track Ethiopian labor trends abroad and at home. MOLSA counselors
are fully hosting pre-departure orientation sessions to streamline
labor migration and enhance migration management activities. In an
effort to streamline its effectiveness several months ago, the
Inter-Ministerial Task Force on Trafficking developed four
subcommittees on research, media, legal affairs and information. The
Ministry of Education (MOE) continued to work with UNICEF and IOM on
a campaign to boost the enrollment of girls in schools in Ethiopia's
poorest regions. The MOE and IOM regularly organize workshops aimed
at helping girls overcome the hurdles that prevent them from
attending school (i.e. domestic chores, early marriages). In
partnership with MOE, IOM continued to distribute age-appropriate,
illustrated exercise books depicting counter-trafficking activities
to secondary school students throughout the country. In 2007 MOLSA
and UNICEF successfully partnered to produce a National Study on
Child Trafficking in Ethiopia 2007.
F. Please refer to 8E.
G. The GOE has not taken additional measures during the reporting
period to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts.
H. N/A
I. Please refer to 6L
--One of the objectives of this cable is to identify replicable best
practices in the areas of prevention, protection and prosecution of
trafficking. The Forum for Street Children Ethiopia (FSCE) presents
such practices.
--Child Protection Programs: FSCE carried out a series of awareness
raising activities on the rights of the child to the police force.
FSCE, in collaboration with the Addis Ababa police commission and
Save the Children Sweden initiated Child Protection Units (CPUs) in
five Police Stations in 1996. This was followed by the opening of
the Coordinating Office in 1997 and the extension of Child
Protection program which has covered all the Police Stations in
Addis Ababa since 1999. This program was also replicated in nine
other towns in collaboration with the respective regional and zonal
police commissions and departments.
--Preventive and Support Program for Sexually Abused Children: FSCE
is also a pioneer organization in the area of sexual abuse and
exploitation, undertaking Addis Ababa's first initiative to open a
Drop-in-Center (DIC) for distressed children, later replicating that
program in Adama/Nazereth, Dire Dawa, Bahir Dar and Dessie. These
Centers provide information for sexually abused and exploited
children on STDs, HIV/AIDS and pregnancy.
--Preventive and Support Program against Child Trafficking: From
2000 to 2001, FSCE reunified more than 1,000 trafficked and
otherwise exploited street children with their parents. FSCE has
collaborated with the administration and owners of Addis Ababa's
Central Bus Terminal and buses to organize awareness programs on
child trafficking. This was done during three year period
(2000-2002) and resulted in the following changes: the staff of the
Central Bus Terminal now report possible acts of child trafficking
to the CPUs; many owners of public transport vehicles are freely
transporting children to reunify them with their families in rural
--Awareness raising through the media: Messages regarding the
problem of child trafficking are transmitted to both radio and
television audiences through the National Radio, FM, Radio Fana and
Ethiopian TV (ETV) stations. Other media outlets include government
and private news papers that run articles on the problems of

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