By Zewditu Fesseha esac founder
I would like to thank you for supporting ESAC in our efforts to bring awareness to the Rights, Equality and Better Standards of Living for young girls and women of Ethiopian decent, living in The Gulf States and other predominant Muslim countries. For several decades the treatment of women around the world, from Africa to Asia and from Europe to the Americas has been short of Sinful! Young girls from poor countries and neighborhoods around the world have been bought and sold, continuously for the sick pleasures of the rich in upper class societies. Child Trafficking, Sex Trafficking, Slave Trafficking are all a part of a normal society for many in Africa and Most Middle Eastern Countries and The Gulf States.
Ethiopia is a country full of Rich history and Accomplishments that still affect today’s global society. So, it is truly hard for me as an Ethiopian Native, to sit back and watch silently as Such a Rich History becomes tarnished by present standards of living toward my fellow Countrymen. This is my reason for standing before you today.
Domestic worker safety in the Gulf came under international attention this year when the body of Joanna Demafelis, 29, from The Philippines; was found in a freezer at a home in Kuwait. Local media reported that there was evidence she had been tortured by her Lebanese and Syrian employers who were eventually found in Syria by Interpol.
Agency France-Presse reported, The Philippines subsequently announced a ban on women working as domestic workers in Kuwait, to which the government announced, that it would recruit more domestic staff from Ethiopia!
Last year, an employer in Kuwait filmed her Ethiopian maid falling from a seven-story building!
Ethiopia has only recently lifted a five-year ban on its citizens working in the Gulf state. The Ethiopian government had banned its citizens from employment as domestic workers in the UAE in July 2012 to protect them from abusive employers. At that time, according to Ethiopian Ambassador, Mesganu Arga Moach, “About 250 to 300 people are coming daily to work as domestic workers and security worker.” As migration continued, the ban was lifted and negotiations for a formal agreement began.
According to a 2017 study published in the journal Globalizations and Health, many domestic workers were not only unfamiliar with the Arabic language and culture of the Gulf; but also the safe use of household appliances and cleaning products. Under the new arrangement, domestic staff will be required to undergo training in Ethiopia before travelling to the UAE.
The proposed UAE-Ethiopia agreement is one of several under negotiation this year. Negotiations are being made not only for safety, but also for salary and More Importantly Women’s Rights in Employment.
The Saudi media reported, that Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labor and Social Development and the Ethiopian government agreed on a unified contract for domestic workers in April. It stipulates compulsory training before travel and evidence of a bank account for salary deposit. A similar draft agreement is under review in Kuwait.
However, as progressive as this may be with the UAE; Illegal recruiters are also trafficking young girls and women across the Al Ain border to Oman, where Ethiopia has no diplomatic Mission and No labor agreements. So, as you can see, even though, there is acknowledgment by the Ethiopian government that there is a problem, the exploitation of its citizens is still very prominent and very real; This, is why we need as much help as possible from the general public.
In consideration of the Mothers, daughters and sisters of Every country in the world that, at some point in it’s history, until now, had to deal with the Degradation, Selling, Stealing, Raping and Shameless Killing of their Women…I implore you to do all you can to honor this time of year for International Women’s Month. As we Unify ourselves to become aware of the continued crimes around the world against Women…Let us Unify ourselves to do Something About it.
Please Help ESAC to continue the work we are doing to build a source of support, in Ethiopia, for young girls and women; to help with Personal care, Advocacy outsourcing and Education. With these basic resources, we are hoping to be able to build a foundation for those who have none of their own with which to start. We are involved in the building of a community center in a Rural portion of Ethiopia for this purpose.
If you would like to find out more about the efforts of ESAC and would like to join, in doing your part to make a difference to your sisters around the world…Please feel free to see me after this segment and I will gladly provide to you all the information you need. You can also send an email to ….to join our mailing list and get involved in future events.
Thank you again for your time and for all future support to our Ethiopian Sisters being trafficked and killed all for the sake of making an honest living for their families.