Ethiopia to Restart Overseas Employment Services Tomorrow

By Staff Reporter

Ethiopian-workers-abroadOctober 9, 2018 - The government of Ethiopia will officially restart overseas employment services mainly to the Middle East as of Wednesday, October 10, 2018, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of Ethiopia disclosed.

Ethiopia lifted a ban on domestic workers moving overseas last February after passing a new law meant to avoid ill-treatment of Ethiopians in Middle East countries.

The government instituted the ban five years ago following reports of abuse, and complaints that employment agencies lured Ethiopians into working abroad in illegal and appalling conditions.

The new law regulates employment agencies that connect jobless Ethiopians with work in foreign countries, Assefa Yirgalem, communication affairs director at the Ministry said

He said all the necessary preparations have been finalized permitting Ethiopian domestic workers to travel to the Middle East as of tomorrow.

“The government has also opened training centres for low-skilled workers heading abroad for domestic works” he added

"Taking these preparations into account, this ban has been lifted, so we're now ready to start the overseas employment services to three countries in the middle east," Assefa Yirgalem told a press conference.

Accordingly, Ethiopians can travel to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan for domestic works.

According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), there were around 460 000 Ethiopian workers in 2013 when the ban came into force.

At the time reports of worker abuse were rampant, including a video that emerged online showing an Ethiopian maid in Lebanon being dragged by her hair in public by her employers. She later killed herself in hospital.

While some Ethiopians work legally in the Middle East, others travel without visas despite having to cross through war-torn Yemen and risk a perilous boat trip across the Gulf of Aden.


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