Amended labor law to protect citizens from smugglers.

Amended labor law to protect citizens from smugglers. The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MoLSA) said

It was in 2013 that Ethiopia imposed prohibition on immigration so as to keep its citizens from physical and psychological injuries while they travel for overseas employments.

The prohibition was lifted starting from January 30, 2018.

The major reason to the prohibition was related to the loopholes in the former Immigration.

Proclamation which did not properly identify the requirements, procedures and other formalities for overseas employment. 
It also did not provide favorable environment for cooperative work among stakeholders.

These shortcomings have been opening doors for smugglers to take advantage of citizens who were seeking overseas employment.

It also exposed the immigrants for unexpected physical and psychological injuries and they are also deported from destination countries barehanded.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MoLSA) has been mandated to prepare and implement policies for the protection of the rights of Ethiopians who travel legally to foreign countries.

According to him, three years ago, the nation has amended the overseas employment proclamation though its execution somehow delayed.

Since recently, the ministry has been finalizing preparation to implement the new proclamation.

The ministry has given three months training to the citizens, who fulfill the criteria for overseas employment, on various disciplines including care giving, household services and domestic help.

Improving their language skills and cultural knowledge's of the hosting countries was also part of the program and it is expected to protect the immigrants from culture shock.

More than 40 TVET centers identified to strengthen the training and ensure its sustainability, said Ambassador Misganaw Admasu, MoLSA State Minister.

A national committee is also established to fight the crime of human trafficking as well as enhance the legal migration.

The committee incorporates the Ministry of Education, Women and Children, Youths and Sport, and Foreign Affairs, Immigration and General Attorney, among others.

In addition, 66 health institutions would work closely with the ministry so as to enhance medical diagnosis and prompt the legal overseas employment process.

On the other hand, the country has been working to strengthen its diplomatic relation with countries where many Ethiopians travel for overseas employment.

Bilateral agreements were signed with Kuwait, Qatar and Jordan.

Additional agreements with United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Lebanon are also in pipeline.

The agreements mainly focused on protecting the rights and occupational safety and health of Ethiopians working overseas in line with International Labor Laws.

The ministry also considered sending Labor Attachés to hosting countries and is working closely with stakeholders to tackle illegal immigration.

Since the implementation of the new proclamation started, the ministry has given licenses to 20 agencies while 80 are late for the reason that they have not fulfilled the criteria.

"When they fulfill the criteria, the ministry will give licenses them", said the State Minister.

The citizens are also obliged take the necessary training and meet the academic standards and age limit before traveling abroad.

The ministry is also working in awareness creation about the negative impacts of illegal migration for citizen who seek overseas employments by any means, according to Ambassador Misganaw.

Creating conducive environment for legal migration would help the country to keep the wellbeing of its citizens. 
This would bring significant change in the lives of the immigrants and help the nation to collect the needed remittance in response.

On the other hand, the situation would enable the country to produce numerous of professionals who could cop up with the international working atmosphere and bring new experiences to the growing economy.

This is also a key measure to prevent human trafficking.

Feb 15 ,2018 (Ethiopian Herald)