Raising awareness of risks of irregular migration in Ethiopia

A Community Conversation (CC) outreach programme in Butajira, Ethiopia. Photo: IOM 2017

TMP – 06/07/2017

A community-based pilot to raise awareness of the risks of irregular migration has spoken to half a million people in Ethiopia on the topic in  just three years.

The Community Conversation (CC) outreach programme, launched in 2014 by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Government of Ethiopia, targets people in areas prone to irregular migration and challenges some of the misinformation that exists on the topic.

According to IOM, the programme has helped to decrease school drop-out rates in the target areas and has led to an increased prosecution of human traffickers and smugglers as community members have started to see the negative impact of human trafficking.

Lured by false promises of jobs abroad, many Ethiopian migrants use smugglers for a trip that often sees them financially, physically, sexually and psychologically abused.

To address the issue Ethiopia has passed comprehensive legislation to combat human trafficking and smuggling. The law, introduced last year, toughened the penalties for those involved in trafficking and migrant smuggling and focuses more on prevention and cross-border cooperation.