A hotspot was launched in partnership with the Ethiopian government in July 2015. The program complements existing efforts to reduce the vulnerability of potential migrants and returnee women and girls to trafficking to the Middle East for domestic work. The hotspot strategy focuses on improving livelihoods and enabling a better understanding and practice of safe migration.
Ethiopia is experiencing unprecedented and increasing levels of migration of women and girls to the Middle East for domestic work. In transit and on arrival, these women are at high risk of abuse, exploitation and of falling into situations of slavery. At the same time, high numbers of women are returning from situations of servitude in the Middle East in dire need of mental and other support.
The hotspot interventions will enable a measurable reduction in risky migration through replicable and scalable interventions. It also provides support to returnees through projects that aim to increase wellbeing and economic prosperity leading to reduced vulnerability to further risky migration.
The hotspot has been launched in Addis Ababa and will be launched in the Amhara region in mid-2016. In Addis, interventions focus on Addis Ketema, one of the capital’s ten sub-cities. It is home to the largest open market in Africa as well as the main bus station in Ethiopia, making it a central transit point for women and girls migrating to the Middle East. The Amhara region has amongst the highest prevalence of trafficking in Ethiopia and is one of the main source areas for women and girls going to the Middle East.
The hotspot follows a two-pronged strategy that:
Creates alternative livelihood options amongst women and girls who are most likely to migrate, as well as returnees;
Through self-help groups, community-based savings and loan mechanisms and vocational training we aim to equip some of the most impoverished women and girls in Addis Ketema to overcome economic, personal, and social barriers and open new employment opportunities.
Generates improved understanding and practice of safer migration amongst source communities.
With awareness raising, community-level and one-on-one engagement, we seek to develop replicable and scalable models that will lead to safer migration outcomes for women and girls who are considering migrating to the Middle East for domestic work.
The 2016 impact report for the Ethiopia hotspot can be viewed here.