“Human trafficking”, or sometimes called “Modern-day slavery” is proven to be a continuing issue across the globe. There are an estimated 20.9 million people trapped in some form of slavery today. Ethiopia is a prime example of human trafficking and can sometimes even be considered a destination country for men, women, and children who are subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Girls from Ethiopia’s rural areas, are often forced into domestic servitude, and less frequently, prostitution within the country. The central market in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, is home to the largest collection of brothels in Africa. In these establishments, there are girls as young as 8-years-old forced into prostitution. However, it is not just girls who are considered to be victims of sex slavery in the region. Boys are exploited in traditional weaving, herding, guarding, and street vending.
The Middle East, South Sudan, and Djibouti are primarily common places for Ethiopians to be transported to for human trafficking. In Djibouti, another country located on the Horn of Africa, Ethiopian girls are forced into domestic servitude and prostitution; Ethiopian boys are subjected to forced labor as shopping assistants, errand boys, domestic workers, thieves, and street beggars. Many of the Ethiopians working throughout the Middle East face severe abuses. The women are abused by physical and sexual assault, denial of salary, sleep deprivation, withholding of passports, confinement, and even murder. Ethiopian women are sometimes exploited in the sex trade after migrating for labor purposes or after escaping cruel employers in the Middle East. Low-skilled Ethiopian men and boys, journey to other counties abroad Ethiopia as well, in order to perform enforced labor. These young Ethiopians are aggressively recruited due to the misconception that they will be granted a better life.
Although marginal efforts have been made to halt this sexual abuse across the world, more needs to be done. The article Born Free (How to Prevent Human Trafficking), by Sarah E. Mendelson, talks about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also referred to as post-2015 or post-MDGs. The article states, “The Open Working Group’s heavily negotiated Outcome Document explicitly and implicitly addresses what U.S. President Barack Obama has labeled “one of the great human rights causes of our time” — that is, combating human trafficking and ending modern slavery.” This article emphasizes the fact that if the international community agrees to what is laid out in the Outcome Document, more donors, more funding, more organizations, and more people will flow to the movement to end trafficking.
Human Trafficking is addressed by a few particular goals. According to the article, “The Outcome Document explicitly calls for eliminating “trafficking” in several places. Under proposed goal five — “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls” — the drafters call for the end of trafficking of women and girls. Under proposed goal eight — “Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all” — the document urges the end of the trafficking of children, including child soldiers, by 2025. Finally, under proposed goal 16 — “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels” — the Outcome Document references bringing the trafficking of children to an end.”
There are also subgoals that the article addresses. Although they appear to have nothing to do with trafficking, they could have some significant knock-on effects. One primary example encompasses “providing legal identity for all including birth registration.” With this, there is hope to lower vulnerable victims from being trafficked specifically. Another subgoal is promoting “sustainable tourism,” and “sustainable transport systems . . . with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities . . .” Due to the tourism and transportation industries being important partners in combating trafficking, this is an essential measure to consider. The article displays a few specific examples of industries taking initiative. Carlson and Hilton have been first movers in their industry, training staff to recognize trafficked victims. Also, nonprofits such as Airline Ambassadors International have partnered with U.S. airlines for the same purpose: to educate personnel to recognize human trafficking.
When using more money and engaging in the focus, such efforts may eventually help to combat human trafficking. It is necessary to focus on these goals and subgoals when considering the issue of human trafficking. If more people become aware of the problem and then implement the goals needed to combat it, human trafficking can be minimized, if not fully stopped.