[ Human Trafficking, Country-by-Country ]

ETHIOPIA (Tier 2) Extracted from the U.S. State Dept 2020 TIP Report

The Government of Ethiopia does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so. The government demonstrated overall increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period; therefore Ethiopia remained on Tier 2. Officials investigated and convicted more transnational traffickers and, for the first time in 20 years, reported holding accountable traffickers who exploited victims in forced labor or sex trafficking within the country. Officials reported identifying a large number of potential victims of transnational trafficking as well as a number of victims exploited within Ethiopia, providing services to many of them. Additionally, the government signed bilateral agreements with the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Oman to strengthen labor agreements, and the Anti-Trafficking and Smuggling Task Force continued its sensitization campaign in rural communities. However, the government did not meet the minimum standards in several key areas. Officials did not report taking actions to address non-transnational forms of trafficking within Ethiopia commensurate with the scale of the issue, and ineffective coordination between the regions and the federal government continued to hinder overall law enforcement efforts. Authorities did not report fully disseminating or implementing the government’s standard operating procedures (SOPs) for identifying victims of transnational and internal trafficking and did not provide or refer to services all potential victims.

Prioritized Recommendations

Using Proclamation 1178/2020, increase efforts to investigate and prosecute traffickers who exploit victims within Ethiopia in sex trafficking or domestic servitude, as well as illicit labor recruiters who facilitate the transport of Ethiopians to the Middle East for exploitative labor. • Disseminate and implement the national referral mechanism’s SOPs to officials nationwide for the proactive identification of vulnerable groups, including Ethiopian migrant workers, unaccompanied children, and North Korean workers. • Increase training for law enforcement and judicial officials to improve their ability to differentiate between trafficking and smuggling. • Extend protective services to male victims of trafficking and provide in-kind or monetary support to ensure adequate care for all victims, where feasible. • Fully implement the overseas employment proclamation by continuing to strengthen oversight of overseas recruitment agencies, deploying labor attachés, and investigating and prosecuting illicit recruiters. • Improve screening procedures in the distribution of national identification cards and passports to prevent their fraudulent issuance to children. • Incorporate information on human trafficking and labor rights in Middle Eastern and other countries in pre-departure training provided to all migrant workers. • Ensure awareness campaigns reach all parts of the country, including rural Ethiopia. • Increase efforts through the Attorney General’s Office to accurately report the government’s anti-trafficking statistics, including authorities’ efforts to hold accountable non-transnational traffickers. • Research the extent of human trafficking within Ethiopia in coordination with civil society and NGOs, as well as international organizations, and produce a publicly available annual report.