“Improved coordination between public agencies and service providers is crucial for the protection of trafficked persons and vulnerable migrants in Amhara Regional State. This Memorandum of Understanding is the right starting point for a continued endeavour”, Mulunesh Abebe Alebachew, Head of the Amhara Bureau of Labour and Social Affairs (BoLSA), said. The “Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the Referral of Victims of Human Trafficking and Vulnerable Migrants in Amhara Regional State” was signed by representatives of the relevant government and non-governmental agencies, agreeing to strengthen their cooperation towards the identification and protection of victims and to enhance the quality of services provided. The MoU also aims to improve support for the participation of victims of trafficking in legal proceedings, thereby enhancing the effectiveness of anti-trafficking measures.
Amhara regional state is one of the main source and transit areas of human trafficking and irregular migration in Ethiopia. While South Wollo, North Wollo, Oromia Special Zone, and North Shewa are the main sources of irregular migration, North and Central Gondar are among the main transit corridors for smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons to the north. Smugglers and traffickers are therefore able to develop their networks in the region, increasing the vulnerability of migrants. As a result, migrants face economic exploitation, physical abuse, and gender-based violence during their journey, among other hazards. Vulnerable people need to be supported and empowered so that they can make life choices and achieve social inclusion.
Emanuela Parisciani, Programme Manager Migration in the Delegation of the European Union to Ethiopia, stated that “providing support to victims of trafficking and vulnerable migrants needs a multi-agency, holistic, integrated and rights-based approach. The MoU – and the groundwork underpinning it, done by Expertise France through the Better Migration Management (BMM) Programme, and all the stakeholders involved – represents a good starting point. This MoU is not only a signed paper agreement; it is much more. It is a life-changing opportunity for many people who have gone through abuse and suffering.”
About the Better Migration Management (BMM) programme:
BMM is a regional, multi-year, multi-partner programme co-funded by the EU Trust Fund for Africa and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The BMM aims to provide capacity building to improve migration management, in particular to prevent and address irregular migration, including smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons.