Illicit Cross-border Migration in Ethiopia: Causes, Patterns and Policy Responses

  • Messay Mulugeta
  • Teferee Makonnen
Keywords: Askaris, Mercenaries, Resistances, Libyans, Italians


The overriding objective of this research was to assess the status, major origins and contributing factors of cross-border migration and human trafficking in Ethiopia with the intention of identifying key policy lessons to address the problem. To meet the intended objectives, desk review and key informant interview data gathering techniques were employed. The results of the assessment disclosed that Ethiopia is one of the largest origins (transit and destination as well) of trafficked persons from Africa. The most common drivers are found to be an amalgam of socioeconomic, political and environmental factors. It was also found that the journey is often dangerous leading to physical assault, sexual abuse, abduction, robbery and even death. In most destination areas, illegal migrants face restricted mobility, exploitative working conditions and harassment of different kinds. The ultimate mechanism to address the problem was found to be adequate job creation and poverty reduction through intensified development efforts involving governmental and non-governmental organizations and the private sector. Furthermore, enhanced democratization of the government system, political tolerance, improved access to legal travel authorization (visa) for safe migration, awareness creation campaigns, improved monitoring of private employment agencies, bilateral agreements with major destination countries and increased co-operation among stakeholders were found to be vital solutions to minimize illicit cross-border migration and human trafficking from Ethiopia. Keywords: Human trafficking, illegal migration, cross-border migration, informal activity, policy response, Ethiopia

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2520-582X
print ISSN: 1810-4487