What is Trafficking in Persons?

The issue of trafficking in persons from and within Ethiopia has become a critical issue of concern for the country. The level of concern is clearly reflected in the increased media coverage of the situation of victims of trafficking as well as the measures taken by the government to address the problem through legislative, policy and programmatic mechanisms. While the current attention to the issue is to be commended, there also appears to be some level of confusion as to what trafficking in persons is. The current brief article is an attempt to help clarify the problem.


The UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Person, Especially Women and Children that supplements the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (2000), known as the Palermo Protocol, defines trafficking in human beings as: ‘the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation’. Where children are concerned, the Protocol stipulates that ‘recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation shall be considered ‘trafficking in persons’ even if this does not involve any of the means set forth in the definition.’ Trafficking in persons consists of three essential components: 1st) Recruitment – by force or deception; 2nd) Transportation – within a country or across borders, legally or illegally; and, 3rd) Exploitation – traffickers financially benefit through the use or sale of the victim.

The complex phenomenon of trafficking is often confused with other forms of people movement, such as irregular migration and smuggling. As a result, people who have been trafficked are treated as criminals rather than victims. Migration is the movement of people from one place to another within a country, or from one country to another prompted by the need for work, a better life, the fear of persecution, work, the horrors of war or disaster, or just because they want to live somewhere else.

A study conducted by IOM and other institutions indicated that 76.7% of all Ethiopian migrant workers living in the Middle Eastern countries engaged in different sectors of employment are victims of trafficking. Other studies have indicated that 7.5% of all Ethiopian migrants who have left their country for employment and other purposes were between the ages of 13 – 17 years at the time of their migration. The Study also showed that 87.1% of these migrants were trafficked.The Ethiopian Embassy in South Africa estimated that approximately 45,000 to 50,000 Ethiopians live in South Africa. It is estimated that 95% or more of these Ethiopian arrivals enter South Africa through irregular means.

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የበጎ አድራጎት ድርጅቶችና ማህበራትን ፈቃድ ከማደስ ጋር የተያያዙ አንዳንድ ጉዳዮች

የበጎ አድራጎት ድርጅቶችና ማህበራት አዋጅ ከበጎ አድራጎት ኮሚቴ በቀር ለሁሉም የበጎ አድራጎት ድርጅቶችና ማህበራት ሦስት የህልውና ደረጃዎችን ያስቀምጣል፡፡ እነዚህም ምስረታ፣ ምዝገባ እና ፈቃድ ናቸው፡፡ ምስረታ የምንለው የበጎ አድራጎት ድርጅቱን ወይም ማህበሩን ለመፍጠር አስፈላጊ የሚሆኑበት የመጀመሪያ ደረጃ ነው፡፡ የዚህ ደረጃ ዋነኛ መለያው ሶስት ወር ገደማ በሚሆነው በዚህ ጊዜ ውስጥ ድርጅቱ ወይም ማህበሩ ሕጋዊ ሰውነት የሌለውና በሕግ ፊት ውጤት ያላቸውን ተግባራት ለማከናወን ያለው ብቃትም ውሱን መሆኑ ነው፡፡ በተለይም በድርጅቱ ወይም በማህበሩ ስም ገንዘብ የማሰባሰብ ብቃቱ ውሱን ወይም በሕግ የተገደበ ይሆናል፡፡ ይህ የመጀመሪያ ደረጃ ድርጅቱ ወይም ማህበሩ ሲመዘገብ ወይም ባለመመዝገቡ ምክንያት ህልውናውን ሲያጣ የሚጠናቀቅ ይሆናል፡፡

የበጎ አድራጎት ድርጅቶችና ማህበራት ህልውና ቀጣዩ ደረጃ ምዝገባ ሲሆን ድርጅቱ ወይም ማህበሩ በህግ ፊት እውቅና የሚያገኝበት በመሆኑ ከሶስቱ ደረጃዎች ውስጥ ወሳኝ ተደርጎ ሊወሰድ ይችላል፡፡ አንድ ድርጅት ወይም ማህበር በተመዘገበ ጊዜ ሕጋዊ ሰውነት አግኝቶ በሕግ ፊት ውጤት ያላቸውን ተግባራት ለማከናወን ብቁ ይሆናል፡፡ በሌላ አባባል አንድ በመመስረት ላይ የነበረ ድርጅት ወይም ማህበር ሲመዘገብ ውል መዋዋልን የመሰሉ የሕግ ትርጉም ያላቸውን ተግባራት ማከናወን ይችላል፡፡ ለአንድ የበጎ አድራጎት ድርጅት ወይም ማህበር ይህ ማለት ሰራተኞችን በመቅጠር እና ክንውኖችን በመተግበር የተቋቋመበትን ዓላማ ለማስፈፀም የሚያስችል ብቃት በሕግ ፊት ያስገኝለታል ማለት ነው፡፡ የበጎ አድራጎት ድርጅቱ ወይም ማህበሩ በሕግ በተቀመጡ ምክንያቶች ካልፈረሰ በቀር ሕጋዊ ሰውነቱን ይዞ ላልተወሰነ ጊዜ ይቆያል፡፡

ይሁን እንጂ ምዝገባ እና ተያይዞ የሚመጣው ሕጋዊ ሰውነት ማግኘት የበጎ አድራጎት ደርጅቱ በሕግ ፊት ውጤት ያላቸውን ተግባራት ለማከናወን ያገኘውን ብቃት እውን ለማድረግ አያበቁትም፡፡ ለዚህ የግድ ፈቃድ ማግኘት አለበት፡፡ ፈቃድ መስጠት ማለት አንድ ደርጅት ወይም ማህበር ባስቀመጠው አካባቢ የተቋቋመበትን ዓላማ ለማስፈጸም ክነውኖችን ወይም ፕሮጀክቶቸን ለመተግበር የሚፈቅድለት ሰርትፍኬት የሚያገኝበት ሂደት ነው፡፡ አንድ ደርጅት ወይም ማህበር በሕግ የተቀመጡ መስፈርቶችን አሟልቶ በተቋቋመ ጊዜ ወዲያውኑ ፈቃድ የሚያገኝ ሲሆን ፈቃዱ በየጊዜው (በየሦስት ዓመት) መታደስ አለበት፡፡

ይህ አጭር ፅሁፍ በሁለት ተዛማጅ ጉዳዮች ላይ ያተኩራል፤ እነዚህም የበጎ አድራጎት ደርጅቶችና ማህበራት ፈቃድ ለማሳደስ ሊሟሉ የሚገባቸው ቅድመ-ሁኔታዎች እና እነዚህ ቅድመ-ሁኔታዎች በዘርፍ አስተዳዳሪዎች የፕሮጀክት ስምምነት ለመፈፀም ከሚጠየቁት መመዘኛዎችና ለጋሾች የገንዘብ ድጋፍ ለመስጠት ከሚያስቀምጧቸው ቅድመ-ሁኔታዎች ጋር ያላቸው ትስስር ናቸው፡፡

ፈቃድ ለማሳደስ ሊሟሉ የሚገባቸው ቅድመ-ሁኔታዎች

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Exploring Issues in the Renewal of Licenses for Charities and Societies

The Charities and Societies Proclamation refers to three stages in the coming into operation of charities and societies except charitable committees. These are: formation, registration and licensing. Formation refers to the early stage where the situations necessary for the coming into being of the charity or society as an entity are put into place. The most distinct feature of this stage is that the charity or society does not have legal personality during this stage, which usually takes a period of three months. As such, its capacity to engage in acts with legal consequences (juridical acts) is limited. Most notably, it is limited in its capacity to raise funds. This stage reaches its end either upon registration or when the charity or society ceases to exist for failure to apply for registration.

The next stage in the life of a charity or society is registration which may be considered the most important stage since the very existence of the organization commences with registration. Upon registration, the charity or society acquires legal personality thereby becoming a subject of rights and duties. In other words, the merely formed entity acquires the capacity to engage in acts that have legal consequences such as entering into contracts. For a charity or society this translates into the capacity to start working towards its objectives by engaging staff and implementing activities. Unless the charity is dissolved reasons stipulated by law, it maintains its legal personality for an indefinite period of time.

However, the act of registration and consequent acquisition of legal personality does not enable the charity or society to start realizing its capacity to engage in juridical acts. For that it requires a license. Licensing is the process through which the charity or society gets a certificate permitting it to operate in its identified area of operation and engage in activities/projects designed to achieve its establishment objectives. While the initial license is normally acquired upon fulfillment of legally stipulated conditions, the license certificate has to be renewed periodically.

The subject matter for the current short article is two-fold: the requirements for the renewal of licenses for charities and societies; and, the interplay between these conditions and the conditions set by sector administrators for the signing of project agreements and by donors for funding.

Requirements for Renewal of License

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በሰዎች መነገድ/ሕገወጥ የሰዎች ዝውውር ምንድነው?

በአገር ውስጥ እና በተለይም ወደ ሌሎች አገራት የሚካሄድ ሕገወጥ የሰዎች ዝውውር በኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ የላቀ ትኩረት እያገኘ መጥቷል፡፡ ይህም ትኩረት በቅርቡ ጉዳዩ እያገኘ ካለው ሰፊ የሚድያ ሽፋን ባሻገር ችግሩን ለመፍታት በተከታታይ በመንግስት እየተወሰዱ ያሉ የሕግ፣ የፖሊሲና የፕሮግራም እርምጃዎች ላይ ይንፀባረቃል፡፡ ለዚህ ጉዳይ የተሰጠው ትኩረት ይበል የሚያሰኝ ቢሆንም አልፎ አልፎ ሕገወጥ የሰዎች ዝውውር ምንነት ጋር በተያያዘ የተወሰነ ግራ መጋባት ይታያል፡፡ ይሕ አጭር ጽሁፍ ይህንን ክፍተት ለመሙላት ለሚደረው ጥረት አስተዋጽኦ ያደርጋል በሚል እምነት የተዘጋጀ ነው፡፡


የተ.መ.ድ. እ.ኤ.ኤ. በ2000 ዓ.ም. ያወጣውና የፓሌርሞ ስምምነት በመባል የሚታወቀው ስምምነት በሰዎች መነገድ ወይም ሕገ-ወጥ የሰዎች ዝውውር ለብዝበዛ ዓላማ ሰዎችን (በተለይም ሴቶችና ሕፃናትን) በኃይል፣ በዛቻ፣ በተንኮል፣ በማታለል፣ በመጥለፍ ወይም በተበዳይ ላይ ኃላፊነት ላለው ሰው ገንዘብ ወይም ሌላ ጥቅም በመስጠት መመልመል፣ ማጓጓዝ፣ ማስተላለፍ፣ መደበቅ ወይም መቀበል ማለት እንደሆነ ይገልፃል፡፡ ሕፃናትን በተመለከተ ለብዝበዛ ዓላማ እስከሆነ ድረስ ሕፃናቱን መመልመል፣ ማጓጓዝ፣ ማስተላለፍ፣ መደበቅ ወይም መቀበል በራሱ በሰዎች መነገድ ተደርጎ ይወሰዳል፡፡ በሴቶችና በልጆች መነገድን የሚከለክለው የኢትዮጵያ የወንጀል ሕግ አንቀጽ 597 እና 635 ላይም ይኸው ትርጉም ተሰጥቶታል፡፡ ከዚህ ትርጓሜ መረዳት እንደምንችለው በሰዎች መነገድ በዋነኛነት ሦስት ነገሮችን ያጠቃልላል፡፡ እነዚህም፡ - (1ኛ) በኃይል ወይም በማታለል መመልመል (ምልመላ)፣ (2ኛ) በአገር ውስጥ ወይም ወደ ሌላ አገር በህጋዊ ወይም ህገ-ወጥ መንገድ ማዘዋወር (ዝውውር)፣ እና (3ኛ) አዘዋዋሪዎች ተበዳዮችን የገንዘብ ጥቅም ማግኛ ማድረጋቸው (ብዝበዛ) ናቸው፡፡

በሰዎች መነገድ ከሌሎች የሰዎች ዝውውር ክስተቶች ጋር በተለይም ከኢ-መደበኛ የሰዎች ዝውውር እና ከሕገወጥ የድንበር ዝውውር ጋር የሚምታታበት ሁኔታ ይከሰታል፡፡ ይህም የሰዎች ንግድ ተጎጂዎች እንደ ወንጀለኛ የሚታዩበትን ሁኔታ ይፈጥራል፡፡ በአጠቃላይ ሰዎች በአገር ውስጥ ወይም ወደ ውጭ አገር ከቦታ ወደ ቦታ የሚያደርጉት እንቅስቃሴ ወይም ስደት ስራ ፍለጋ፣ ለተሻለ ህይወት፣ መሳደድን በመፍራት፣ ከጭቆና ወይም የተፈጥሮ አደጋ ለመሸሽ ብሎም የመኖሪያ ቦታን ለመቀየር ሲባል ሊካሄድ ይችላል፡፡ በአንፃሩ በሰዎች መነገድ ዓላማው ብዝበዛ ሲሆን ስደተኞች ለዚህ ሁኔታ ተጋላጭ ናቸው፡፡

ከሁለት ዓመታት በፊት በአለም አቀፉ የስደተኞች ድርጅት የተደረገው ጥናት እንደሚያመለክተው በመካከለኛው ምስራቅ አገራት ከሚገኙ ኢትዮጵያውያን መካከል 76.7 በመቶ የሚሆኑት የሕገወጥ የሰዎች ዝውውር ሰለባዎች ናቸው፡፡ በተለይም እድሜያቸው ከ18 አመት በታች ከሆኑት እና ወደተለያዩ የሰሜን አፍሪካና የመካከለኛው ምስራቅ አገራት ስራ ፍለጋና ሌሎች ምክንያቶች ከተጓዙት ኢትዮጵያውያን መካከል 7.5 በመቶ የሚሆኑት እድሜያቸው ከ13 እስከ 17 አመት መሆኑን እና ከነዚህም ውስጥ 87.1 በመቶ የሚሆኑት የሕገወጥ ዝውውር ሰለባዎች እንደነበሩ ሌሎች ጥናቶች አመልክተዋል፡፡ በደቡብ አፍሪካ የኢትዮጵያ ኤምባሲ መረጃዎች እንደሚያመለክቱት በአገሪቱ እስከ 50 ሺህ ኢትዮጵያውያን የሚገኙ ሲሆን እስከ 95 በመቶ የሚሆኑት እዚያ የሚደርሱት በሕገወጥ ደላሎችና አዘዋዋሪዎች በኩል ነው፡፡

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Analyzing the 'Reform' core feature of Ethiopian Civil Code

1  Introduction

The Millennium Development Goals form an ambitious agenda for reducing poverty and improving lives formulated by world leaders at the United Nations Millennium Summit in September 2000. The idea of identifying and setting international development goals for implementation across nations did not start with the MDGs. The UN had been doing it since the first “Development Decade” in the 1960s. However, no comprehensive process and mechanism had been put in place to monitoring progress in achieving these goals at the country level. Instead, the mechanisms of accountability were weak and scattered into different commissions and bodies that do not communicate with each other.

During the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) session on the Integrated Follow-up of Major UN Conferences and Summits held in May 1998, the President of the Council, Ambassador Juan Somavía, reported that

“… in order to effectively monitor progress in the implementation of conferences at the country level, there is an urgent need for the multilateral system to develop a coherent set of basic indicators, as well as the need to strengthen the capacity of the UN system and of countries to collect and analyze statistics.”

During the Millennium Summit held in New York in September 2000, all 189 UN Member States adopted the Millennium Declaration, which contained a core group of goals and targets. The Millennium Declaration updates many of the development goals originally set (and not met) for the year 2000 and reformulates them for the year 2015. It also gives UN endorsement to the goal of “halving extreme poverty,” originally formulated by the OECD,” by the same date.

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Civil Society under the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP)

The GTP has recognized the contributions of the Ethiopian civil society sector to date and provided for their role in the development planning period covered by the document. Generally, such recognition relates to resource mobilization, implementation of social sector programmes, capacity building and good governance, and cross-cutting sectors (especially women’s and children’s affairs, youth development and social welfare).

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Access to Justice under the International Human Rights Framework

This is a follow up on the post ‘Conceptions of Access to Justice’. It seeks to outline the international human rights framework on ‘the right to access to justice’ and briefly set out a monitoring framework capable of measuring the extent to which the right has been realized in a given national jurisdiction. Hopefully, this would lay the basis for consideration of the state of access to justice in the Ethiopian context in upcoming posts.

1 Introduction

Access to justice is a right recognized under the major international and regional human rights instruments including: the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC). The core instruments on the issue, the UDHR and the ICCPR, state that everyone has ‘the right to effective remedy against violations of fundamental rights’.

2 Recognition of the Right

The UDHR states that:

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የፍርድ ቤት ወይስ የችሎት ስልጣን? (Jurisdiction of Courts or Divisions)

This ‘Briefing Notes’ have been prepared to serve as an introductory orientation and awareness raising material targeting members of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission as well as sections of the general public. It is intended to introduce the conception and recognition of human rights education in the international and national human rights systems and the activities of the Commission in this important area forming part of its core mandate. Alas, it was never used (the fault being totally and wholly mine). Hopefully, someone could make some use of it.

Human Rights Education under the International Human Rights System

Human rights education has been recognized as an essential component of the international human rights system. The first such recognition in what has come to be called the modern international human rights system in the post WWII era is to be found in the Charter of the United Nations [1945] which called for cooperation "in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms." This provision of the Charter is widely recognized as creating state responsibilities for educating and teaching human rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the General Assembly in 1948, which proclaimed human rights as "a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations," also directed states as well as "every individual and every organ of society...."to "strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms....". The UDHR further stressed "strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms...." as one of the goals of education (Article 26, Section 2).

The dual aspects of human rights education were formalized into the international human rights framework through the provisions of the international covenants developed by the U.N. and coming into effect in 1976 to formalize the basis in international law of the rights declared in 1948. The Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights placed the educational objective of strengthening respect for human rights in a cluster of related learning objectives. For example, Article 13 of the Covenant says that "education shall be directed to the "full development of the human personality" and to the person's own "sense of dignity...."(Section 1). The Covenant also says the State Parties:

further agree that education shall enable all persons to participate effectively in a free society, promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations and all racial, ethnic or religious groups, and further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace." (Article 13, Section 1)

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Conceptual and Methodological Framework for Human Rights Monitoring

This material was initially prepared in 2010 as part of a background document for the development of a national human rights report for Ethiopia. Its publication here is intended to serve as an input for individuals and groups interested in preparing a human rights monitoring report as well as informing discussion on the assessment of existing or future human rights monitoring reports. God willing, I hope to follow it up with a brief assessment on the implementation of access to justice in Ethiopia as per this framework.


The conceptual and methodological framework for human rights monitoring should be informed by:

– best experience among international, regional and national human rights organizations with particular attention to treaty monitoring bodies, and National Human Rights Institutions;

– the international and regional human rights normative framework;

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Conceptions of Access to Justice

The development of this concept paper/article has been informed by a facebook posting on the meaning of access to justice in the Ethiopian context. In commenting on that post, I have mentioned the various meanings that can be attributed to ‘access to justice’. Here is what I meant. Access to justice could be understood in various ways among which the three major conceptions are: as a right recognized under the international human rights framework, as an approach to public sector institutional reform, and a comprehensive rights-based development framework.

2 Access to Justice as a Right

Access to justice and fair trial are rights recognized under the major international and regional human rights instruments including: the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC). The core instruments on the issue, the UDHR and the ICCPR, state that everyone is equal before the law and has the right to effective remedy against violations of fundamental rights. Thus, access to justice is a fundamental right that generally guarantees every person access to an independent and impartial process and the opportunity to receive a fair and just trial when that individual’s liberty or property is at stake. However, access to justice does not always involve judicial recourse but the availability of accessible, affordable, timely and effective means of redress or remedies.

3 Access to Justice Approach

The ‘access-to-justice approach’ has brought important implications on the conceptual understanding of access to justice. The approach has a broader scope covering “the full panoply of institutions and devices, personnel and procedures, used to process, and even prevent, disputes in modern societies” rather than the focus on access to legal institutions and their services. In the access to justice approach, access to legal services has become part of wider strategies aimed at legal and institutional reform, and achieving equal and equally effective access to law.

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