A new report by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine titled “But now I know how to migrate properly, safely and legally: Final Report for the Process Evaluation of Freedom Fund’s Ethiopia Hotspot Program” presents findings from the final round of data collection for the Ethiopia hotspot process evaluation conducted in Amhara and Addis Ababa.
The report reviews safe labour migration attitudes, knowledge and practices among local implementors, authorities, community leaders, participants and their communities following two years of the Freedom Fund’s Ethiopia hotspot program implementation. It examines changes in how the program was delivered by Implementing Partners and perceived by stakeholders following the Government of Ethiopia’s early 2018 lifting of the five-year national ban on migration for domestic workers. This policy change occurred at the national level with implications for the Freedom Fund’s ongoing and future operations in the country. Although specific legal restrictions and conditions are yet to be finalised, the new policy effectively re-introduced lawful means for women to migration for domestic work, creating new opportunities to promote “safe” migration within a formal policy framework.
The report finds strong evidence that the hotspot’s activities led to increased and better quality awareness of unsafe migration, including what makes it unsafe and what consequences might have been avoided. The results of expanding knowledge and awareness do appear to be more informed decision-making and a social environment more conducive to both safe migration and the choice to remain in Ethiopia. The report concludes that the Ethiopia hotspot is in a good position to continue to influence prevailing social norms so that meeting the new legal criteria becomes more highly valued than seeking to circumvent them.
Read the report author’s personal account of interviewing community members about their experiences with safer migration.
The Freedom Fund’s Ethiopia hotspot supports efforts to reduce the vulnerability of migrants and returnee women and girls to trafficking to the Middle East for domestic work. Read more about our hotspot here.