13 January 2016

Ethiopia: Effective, Efficient Implementation for New Overseas Employment Proclamation


The Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia has clearly stated that freedom of movement as one of the inalienable human rights. Based on his/her choice, a fellow countryman or woman could move from place to place for earning a living or various personal reasons within the country and abroad. The Constitution has also stipulated some conditions that prevent the application of this right. For instance, a person, who is proven guilty of some sort of crime by court, will be denied of the right to live or work in the place where she/he wants until the imposed legal punishments comes to an end.

Hence, for over two decades, millions of fellow citizens have been exercising their inviolable constitutional right of freedom of movement without limitations. However, when terrible stories and the sufferings of a huge number of Ethiopians particularly women living and working in Middle East countries had become common phenomena, the government had banned the travel for Middle East countries with a view to protecting its citizens from harsh treatments and sufferings in the hands of illegal Foreign Employment agencies and irresponsible employers as well.

Following series of consultations with stakeholders, pertinent bodies and citizenry, members of the House of Peoples' Representatives had unanimously passed new Overseas Employment Proclamation No. 909 /2015.

The proclamation contains a number of articles that will safeguard the fundamental rights and dignity of workers under any circumstances. Fore example, any Foreign Employment Agency needs to have one million birr capital in order to operate such business in this country. Completing grade eight or successfully passing a two-year technical and vocational training course is a minimum educational qualification for overseas contract workers.

Moreover, the obligations and responsibilities of employers as well as workers are explicitly stated in the proclamation.

Notably issuing such proclamation will help the efforts to fight human trafficking that has become theses days serious human crime and lucrative business than ever before.

Hopefully the new overseas employment proclamation is a great relief for a number of citizens who opt to go abroad in a legal manner and making a living there. This is because they won't risk their lives and pass through hard times as well as miseries in order to live and work in the country of their choice.

During previous times, brokers used to lure a great number of youth via telling false stories of becoming rich within the shortest time possible in some Middle East countries. While the reality on the ground is totally the opposite one.

Therefore, apart from working for the effective implementation of the proclamation, the government needs to take appropriate measures against illegitimate brokers who amass wealth out of the sufferings of their brothers and sisters.

Indeed, the government of Ethiopia has been opposing and fighting illegal migration taking accounts the economic and social burdens of such migration for a given country. That is why with a view to discouraging illegal migration, it has been creating hundreds and thousands of job opportunities for fellow citizens every year.

In today's Ethiopia, youths have bright future than ever before as the economy is remarkably growing fast for over one decade. Therefore, illegal migration won't be an option for any hard-working and proud Ethiopian. For those who opt to go abroad for time-tested job opportunities, effective and efficient implementation of the new Overseas Employment Proclamation is a must task of today.

Through issuing directives for implementing the proclamation, all states of the nation are highly expected to strictly observe the content and the subject matter of the proclamation with a view to achieving the set goals in this regard.


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