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US launches $7m project to tackle human trafficking amid sanctions

Avatar: Dawit Araya
Dawit ArayaJune 1, 2021
NewsCurrent Affairs
US launches $7m project to tackle human trafficking amid sanctions

The US government is launching a $7 million project aimed at tackling the growth of human trafficking in Ethiopia. The support was announced days after the US government announced it had put visa restrictions and economic sanctions on Ethiopia over the ongoing conflict in Tigray.

Dubbed "Reducing the Prevalence of Domestic Servitude in Ethiopia,” the project is targeted at reducing child domestic workers being trafficked in Addis Ababa as well to reduce the number of migrants to the Middle East as domestic workers from Addis Ababa and Amhara region.

The project is funded by the US Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP Office). The Ethiopian-focused project is part of the TIP Office's global program to end modern slavery (PEMS).

Implemented through the US Freedom Fund, the project was first launched in Ethiopia in 2019. It focuses on “influencing” the behaviours of those involved in trafficking, improving the government of Ethiopia's ability to monitor domestic worker conditions and building the capacity of civil society organization (CSOS). 

It also seeks to increase the services available to child domestic workers, improve community understanding of safe migration and assist the government of Ethiopia to overhaul its legal migration system.

"We hope this partnership leads to tangible process on this important issue in Ethiopia," said TIP Office acting director Kari Johnstone, who urged the government to continue strengthening its efforts to combat human trafficking.

Voicing concerns over human right abuses in the Tigray region, the US government last week announced sanctions on the Ethiopian government. The sanctions cover visa and funding restrictions.

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A PIECE BYDawit Araya

Dawit has been the Amharic assignment editor at Addis Zeybe for the past five years. He has worked in printing, electronics, and online news platforms such as Fitih, Taza, and Ye Erik Ma'ed.