Children The United States State Department 2008 Human Rights Report on Ethiopia stated:
”The constitution (Article 36) provides a comprehensive list of rights for children. The government supported efforts by domestic and international NGOs that focused on children's social, health, and legal issues, despite its limited ability to provide improved health care, basic education, or child protection.
“As a policy, primary education was universal and tuition-free, but not compulsory; however, there were not enough schools to accommodate the country's youth, particularly in rural areas, and the cost of school supplies was prohibitive for many families. In 2005, primary school attendance rates were 81.7 percent for male children and 73.2 percent for female children; in Addis Ababa, girls' attendance was significantly higher. Government reports indicated that 20.6 percent of the children who attended school left the system before they reached the second grade, and only 41.7 percent who began first grade completed eighth grade.
“Child abuse was widespread. Members of an NGO staffed 10 child protection units in Addis Ababa's police stations to protect the rights of juvenile delinquents and juvenile victims of crime. Some police officers received training during the year on procedures for handling cases of child abuse.
“Societal abuse of young girls continued to be a problem. HTPs included FGM, early marriage, marriage by abduction, and food and work prohibitions…although illegal, the abduction of women and girls as a form of marriage continued to be widespread in several regions, including the Amhara, Oromiya, and SNNP regions, despite the government's attempts to combat the practice. Forced sexual relationships accompanied most marriages by abduction, and women often experienced physical abuse during the abduction. Abductions led to conflicts among families, communities, and ethnic groups. In cases of marriage by abduction, the perpetrator did not face punishment if the victim agreed to marry the perpetrator. Authorities often commuted the sentence of the convicted perpetor [sic: perpetrator] if the victim married the perpetrator.
“Child marriage was also a problem, particularly in the Amhara and Tigray regions, where girls were routinely married as early as age seven, despite the legal minimum age of 18 for marriage. There were some signs of growing public awareness in communities of the problem of abuse of women and girls, including early marriage.
The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) estimated there were between 150,000 and 200,000 street children nationally, with a further one million vulnerable or at risk of ending up on the streets. UNICEF stated the problem was exacerbated because of families' inability to support children due to parental illness and decreased household income. These children begged, sometimes as part of a gang, or worked in the informal sector. Government- and privately run orphanages were unable to handle the number of street children, and older children often abused younger ones. Due to severe resource constraints, hospitals and orphanages often overlooked or neglected abandoned infants. ‘Handlers’ sometimes maimed or blinded children to raise their earnings from begging.” [2a] (section 5)
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The United States State Dept 2008 Human Rights Report on Ethiopia stated:
“The law prohibits trafficking in persons; however, there were reports that persons were trafficked from and within the country. The law prescribes five to 20 years imprisonment for such crimes. The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MOLSA), in collaboration with the police, is responsible for monitoring trafficking in persons, while the MOJ [Ministry of Justice] is responsible for enforcing laws related to trafficking…the country is a source country for men, women, and children trafficked primarily for the purpose of forced labor and, to a lesser extent, for commercial sexual exploitation. High unemployment, extreme poverty, and the chance at better opportunities abroad drive migration. Local NGOs estimated 30,000 to 35,000 persons were trafficked internationally between March 2007 and March 2008. More females than males were trafficked. Young women, particularly those ages 16-30, were the most commonly trafficked group, while a small number of children were also reportedly trafficked internationally.
“Rural children and adults are trafficked to urban areas for domestic servitude and, less frequently, commercial sexual exploitation and other forced labor, such as street vending, begging, traditional weaving, or agriculture; situations of debt bondage were reported. Women are trafficked transnationally for domestic servitude, primarily to Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, but also to Bahrain, Djibouti, Kuwait, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Some of these women are trafficked into the sex trade after arriving at their destinations, while others have been trafficked onward from Lebanon to Turkey, Italy, and Greece. Small numbers of men are trafficked to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States for low-skilled forced labor.
“Addis Ababa's police Child Protection Unit (CPU) reported that traffic broker networks grew increasingly sophisticated and collaborative. Traffickers now approached vulnerable individuals at bus terminals seven to nine miles outside of Addis Ababa to avoid police presence. Traffickers sometimes used agents and brokers to lure victims with jobs, food, guidance, or shelter. Crosscountry bus and truck drivers are involved in trafficking of children, while brokers, pimps, and brothel owners finalize the deal at the receiving end.
“Local brokers operate and recruit at the community level, and many knew the victim or victim's family. To avoid police detection and identification, local brokers did not advertise, often worked from rented houses, cafes, or hotel rooms, and changed places often. Some brokers used commission-based facilitators who were trusted by a potential victim's family to recruit victims.
”The government helped address trafficking through awareness raising about risks of seeking employment overseas. It employed two predeparture counselors to brief persons intending to work overseas, worked with NGOs and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to monitor immigration and emigration patterns for evidence of trafficking, and supervised and trained international labor migration firms.
“The government and its embassies and consulates provided little assistance to victims of trafficking: limited legal advice, infrequent temporary shelter, and no repatriation loans. Returning victims relied on psychological services provided by public health institutions and NGOs.
“The government accords no special protections, restitution, and has very limited shelter provisions or other special services benefits for victim returnees. In 2007 there were anecdotal reports of returned trafficking victims being detained, jailed, or prosecuted for violations of laws, such as those governing prostitution or immigration.” [2a] (section 5) The United States State Department 2009 Trafficking in Persons Report, published in June 2009, stated:
“The Government of Ethiopia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. While the Ethiopian government’s ongoing efforts to provide pre-departure orientation to Ethiopian migrant workers and partner with a local NGO to detect cases of child trafficking within the country are notable, its limited capacity to prosecute these crimes is a continued cause for concern. Police investigators remain unable to properly distinguish trafficking cases from those of other crimes or to conduct solid, well-documented investigations, and the judicial system routinely fails to appropriately track the status of trafficking cases moving through the courts.
“…while the government sustained its efforts to prosecute and punish international trafficking offenders and initiated investigations of internal child trafficking during the reporting period, prosecution of internal trafficking cases remained nonexistent. In addition, law enforcement entities continued to exhibit an inability to distinguish human trafficking from smuggling, rape, abduction, and unfair labor practices. Articles 596 through 600 and 635 of Ethiopia’s Penal Code prohibit all forms of trafficking for labor and sexual exploitation.
“…although the government lacks the resources to provide direct assistance to trafficking victims or to fund NGOs that provide victim care, police employ victim identification and referral procedures in the capital, regularly referring identified internal trafficking victims to NGOs for care. During the year, the Child Protection Units (CPUs) – joint police-NGO identification and referral units operating in each Addis Ababa police station – rescued and referred children to the CPU in the central bus terminal, which is dedicated exclusively to identifying and obtaining care for trafficked children. In 2008, this unit identified 899 trafficked children, 75 percent of whom were girls. It referred 93 trafficked children to NGO shelters for care and family tracing and reunified 720 children with parents or relatives in Addis Ababa and in outlying regions. Local police and officials in the regional administrations assisted in the return of the children to their home areas. The Addis Ababa city government’s Social and Civil Affairs Department reunified an additional 46 children with their families in the capital and placed 40 children in foster care in 2008. During the year, police in Dessie Town, Amhara region replicated the CPU’s social programs without international assistance. In July 2008, the government assisted IOM with the repatriation of Ethiopian trafficking victims from Dar es Salaam to their home regions. Ethiopian missions in Jeddah, Riyadh, and Beirut have offices that provide general services to the local Ethiopian community, including limited referrals for labor-related assistance. The Ethiopian government showed no sign of engaging the governments of these destination countries in an effort to improve protections for Ethiopian workers and obtain protective services for those who are trafficked. The government made no effort to interview returned victims about their experiences in the Middle East. Returned women rely heavily on the few NGOs that work with adult victims and psychological services provided by the government’s Emmanuel Mental Health Hospital. In 2008, there were no reports of trafficking victims being detained, jailed, or prosecuted for violations of laws, such as those governing immigration.
“…Ethiopia's efforts to prevent international trafficking increased, while measures to heighten awareness of internal trafficking remained limited…during the reporting period, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MOLSA), employing two full-time counselors, provided 18,259 migrating workers with three-hour pre-departure orientation sessions on the risks of labor migration and the conditions in receiving countries…in January 2008, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs established a Women’s and Children’s Trafficking Controlling Department to collect data from Ethiopian diplomatic missions, NGOs, and police sub-stations on the status of migrant workers. Though this office has not yet issued its first report, in December it hosted an inter-ministerial discussion on child trafficking and labor abuse for mid-level government officials from the Ministries of Labor, Justice, and Women and Children’s Affairs…Ethiopia has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.” [2b]
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Freedom of movement The United States State Dept 2008 Human Rights Report on Ethiopia stated:
“Although the law provides for freedom of movement within the country, foreign travel, emigration, and repatriation, the government restricted some of these rights in practice.
“Throughout the year  the government severely restricted the movement of persons into and within the Ogaden areas of Somali Region, arguing that the counterinsurgency operation against the ONLF posed a security threat.
“The law prohibits forced exile; and the government did not employ it. A steadily increasing number of citizens sought political asylum or remained abroad in self imposed exile, including more than 55 journalists.
“During the year  the ICRC repatriated 1,023 citizens from Eritrea and repatriated 27 Eritreans. Most Eritreans and Ethiopians of Eritrean origin registered with the government and received identity cards and six month renewable residence permits that allowed them to gain access to hospitals and other public services.” [2a] (section 2d) Return to Contents
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3. Index to key source documents
Key facts and geography
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), The World Factbook: Ethiopia, last updated 16 June 2009
Date accessed 17 June 2009 Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board Research Directorate- Response to Information Request: Legislation and legal protection available to homosexuals and their treatment by society and government authorities ETH102155.E - 20 February 2007