Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, H.E. Demeke Mekonnen, called on Ethiopians to tackle the challenges of human trafficking by addressing its root causes.
He said many Ethiopians became victims of human traffickers, drawn by the success stories of a few individuals that could not represent the whole picture of migration and its perils.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister was addressing a forum that is being held in Hosanna City under the theme, “Let’s prevent human trafficking together through strong community participation.”
According to Mr. Demeke, human trafficking and illegal migration have been the challenges of the country, in addition to the conflict in the north.
The recent tragedies that befall our citizens in Malawi and Zambia demonstrate how serious the problem is, he said.
In just one year, Mr. Demeke said, more than 100,000 illegal migrants were repatriated, while more than 5,000 prisoners still remain in Tanzania.
Furthermore, he stated that the forum is being held in Hosanna because, according to studies, it is one of the areas that is highly affected by human trafficking in the country.
Awareness campaigns will be strengthened in the northeastern parts of the country, where the problem is also prominent, he added.
President of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples regional state, H.E. Mr. Ristu Yerdaw, Minister of Women and Social Affairs, H.E. Ergoge Tesfaye, and Minister of Justice, Mr. Gedion Timothewos, also gave opening remarks. Other ministers and ambassadors were also present at the forum.