The Ruthless Side of Human Trafficking in Ethiopia: Returnees Recounting Their Experience of Abuse and Exlpoitation in the Arab Countries

Mulugeta Berihun Asfaw


Human trafficking remains a prime global concern due to its multifaceted causes and horrible consequences continue to be experienced by thousands of people including men, women and children ensnared in its web. Many lost their lives and others are living with post traumatic experiences associated with abuse and sufferings they experienced at the hand of their trafficker not only in the place of destination but also all along with illegal border crossings. The main focus of this study was to explore the dark side of human trafficking by examining experience of abuse faced by Ethiopian migrants returned from Arab countries. A cross sectional study design was employed. Survey, in-depth interview, key informant interview and FGDs were data collection tools. The finding of the study reveals that human trafficking from the study area is undertaken within the broader frame work of labor migration. The fact that trafficking is disguised with Voluntary labor migration enables traffickers to trap those individuals who are already motivated to migrate abroad for better paying job. Majority of the respondents (74%) in this study are women and 59 % of victim were between the ages of 19 and 25. The study also uncovers the harrowing effect of human trafficking on the mental, emotional and physical wellbeing of men, women and children ensnared in its web. Victims suffer from a range of physical and psychological health issues stemming from inhumane living conditions, abusive working condition, brutal physical and emotional attacks at the hands of traffickers and general lack of quality health care.

Keywords: human trafficking, abuse, returnees, Ethiopian migrants, Arab countries

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