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Ethiopia bans export of workers to Arab countries

(Press TV) A crackdown on illegal immigrants in Saudi Arabia in 2013 led to the death of at least three Ethiopians and the deportation of over 150,000 Ethiopians. Many of the workers have returned to Ethiopia with psychotic related issues mainly because of the suffering they are subjected to and refusal by Arab employers to pay them as promised.

The government of Ethiopia is blaming the employment agencies in the country for engaging in illegal human trafficking of Ethiopian to Arab countries. The agencies make the domestic workers sign contracts which are not legally binding. There are over 430 registered employment agencies in Ethiopia. According to government analysis these agencies make illegal deals with their counterparts in the Arab countries where they are paid a commission of as much as 200 dollars per person once they deliver them. This amount is then deducted from the salary of the Ethiopian domestic workers without their consent. After the recent massive deportation from Saudi Arabia, a special task force has been constituted to push for an amendment of the labor law. The new laws will ensure that employment agencies if necessary will only export labor that has basic skills which can be proven by a certificate from government vocational institutions. The laws will campaign for better pay and working conditions in Arab states. In addition they will also strive to create awareness that Arab countries are not the destination for job seekers. However, despite Ethiopia efforts, routes through Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania and South Africa remain porous for human trafficking of its unskilled labor by brokers.

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