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IOM urges governments to end human trafficking

Author: Charles Wote | Published: Wednesday, July 26, 2023

The International Organization for Migration is calling on governments and policymakers to coordinate efforts to end trafficking in persons from East and Horn of Africa.

Human trafficking, or trafficking in persons, is a form of modern-day slavery involving the illegal transport of individuals by force or deception for labor, sexual exploitation, or activities in which others benefit financially.

The UN agency urges governments, law enforcement, public services, and civil society to strengthen trafficking prevention, identify and support victims and survivors, and end impunity.

According to IOM, thousands of migrants are departing the Horn of Africa mainly Ethiopia and Somalia and trekking along the Eastern route towards the Gulf region to find job opportunities.

It says many migrants make a dangerous crossing from Djibouti’s coastal town of Obock to Yemen and further by land to Yemen’s borders with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates.

In a statement extended to Eye Radio, the IOM Regional Office in East and Horn of Africa said on Wednesday many are driven from their homes due to the devastating effects of climate change.

It adds that an estimated 36.6 million people across Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, and Djibouti have been affected.

“Many migrants fall victim and prey to traffickers. Whilst in the hands of traffickers they are subjected to forced labor, sexual exploitation, and other forms of exploitation such as forced marriage,” said the statement.

July 30, marks the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons and shall be marked under the theme, “Reach every victim of trafficking, leave no one behind.”

The phenomenon is said to be a global problem affecting people of all ages.

According to a 2016 Trafficking in Persons report, South Sudan ranked the lowest, among countries that do not have substantive government efforts to combat trafficking and child soldiering.

Meanwhile, IOM further said Women and girls continue to be the most vulnerable group, making up 70% of trafficking victims.

It added that of all identified trafficked persons in the East and Horn of Africa, 78 percent were female, and 22 percent were male.

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