Ethiopian children intercepted entering South Africa
from ADANE BIKILA in Addis Ababa
ADDIS ABABA, (CAJ News) – SOME 14 Ethiopian teenagers Zambian police intercepted illegally crossing to South Africa are back home after their release from detention in Zambia.
Aged between 12 and 17, the children were lured to leave Ethiopia by smugglers promising attractive work opportunities in South Africa.
These promises turned out to be little more than a scam to extort money from their families.
The children were stopped by Zambian police while attempting to cross into South Africa and were detained for several months.
After their release, they remained stranded in Zambia, unable to return home due to lack of money.
The International Office of Migration (IOM) has facilitated their return to Ethiopia.
They were said to have been kept in squalid and overcrowded conditions with insufficient food.
The 14 child returnees are currently staying at the IOM Transit Centre in Addis Ababa, awaiting family tracing and reunification, carried out by IOM in collaboration with United Nations Children’s Fund and the Ministry of Women and Children.
In addition to assisting returnees, IOM is also supporting Ethiopia to address the challenges posed by irregular migration and human trafficking, as well as their root causes through various behavioral change communication and capacity building activities.
Despite these efforts, many young Ethiopians continue to be lured abroad by the dubious promises of unscrupulous people smugglers.
In 2016 alone, IOM has helped a total of 1 657 Ethiopian migrants stranded in ten countries to safely and voluntarily return home.
“This figure only represents a small proportion of the large number of Ethiopian migrants stranded in dire conditions along major irregular migratory routes,” said an IOM spokesperson.
– CAJ News
Short URL: http://cajnewsafrica.com/?p=13527