Cause and Trends of Youth and Women’s Vulnerability to Illegal Local & International Migration

An impactful one-day workshop centered on examining the root causes and emerging patterns of vulnerability among youth and women to unlawful domestic and international migration was effectively executed. The workshop drew the active involvement of over 80 young women and youths. Commencing with the presenter’s presentation of the theoretical framework, the discourse was then enriched by the introduction of global and domestic experiences and realities to stimulate discussions. Among the attendees were returnees, migrants hailing from both rural and specific urban and semi-urban regions within the country, unemployed graduates, and high school alumni.

A spectrum of inducements that pull individuals toward migration was articulated by the participants. These factors encompassed the pursuit of enhanced educational opportunities, better employment prospects, increased income, greater personal freedom, and a sense of safety and stability. Simultaneously, cultural influences fostering migration, economic adversity, rampant joblessness and underemployment, political instability, conflict, and war were highlighted as elements driving individuals away from their origins.

While the prerogative to relocate is a fundamental human right, the pivotal concern lies in shielding illegal migrants, particularly young women and youths, from unnecessary harm, the erosion of their identity, and the waste of their potential. The testimonies of workshop participants echoed this sentiment:

“It stole away my precious years; the chance to learn and develop was forfeited, and my ties with my family were strained. I felt as though my life had been rendered purposeless.”

Children, young girls, and youths become prey for human traffickers, manipulated by brokers and even family members who promise improved education and living standards. Yet, their reality unfolds as domestic labor, forced weaving, exposure to exploitative child labor practices, sexual abuse culminating in unwanted pregnancies, and life on the streets.”

The discourse yielded a consensus on the importance of fostering awareness alongside generating employment opportunities for the youth, as a means to combat the scourge of child and human trafficking. Furthermore, the imperative of involving youth in any initiative aimed at their betterment was underscored as pivotal for achieving sustainable change.

The active engagement and contributions of the workshop participants were deeply valued and appreciated. Gratitude is extended to the Women, Children, and Youth Affairs bureau of Gulele sub-city Woreda 02 & 03 for their notable collaboration.


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