IOM calls for joint efforts to end trafficking in persons from Horn of Africa-Xinhua

IOM calls for joint efforts to end trafficking in persons from Horn of Africa

Source: Xinhua| 2023-07-26 22:21:15|Editor: huaxia

NAIROBI, July 26 (Xinhua) -- The International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN migration agency, on Wednesday called for coordinated efforts to end trafficking in persons from the Horn of Africa to Yemen and the Gulf states.

The IOM called on governments, law enforcement, public services and civil society to enhance efforts to strengthen prevention, identify and support victims and survivors, and end impunity.

"An estimated 36.6 million people across Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, and Djibouti have been affected. Many migrants fall victim and prey to traffickers," it said in a statement issued in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, ahead of the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons to be marked on July 30.

According to the IOM, women and girls continue to be the most vulnerable group, making up 70 percent of trafficking victims, adding that of all identified trafficked persons in the East and Horn of Africa, 78 percent were female and 22 percent were male.

The UN migration agency is also calling for increased funding to provide life-saving assistance and protection for victims of trafficking from the Horn of Africa.

Every year, thousands of migrants leave countries in the Horn of Africa -- mainly Ethiopia and Somalia -- and move along the eastern route toward the Gulf states to find work and job opportunities. Many migrants make the dangerous crossing from Djibouti's coastal town of Obock to Yemen and further by land to Yemen's borders with Saudi Arabia, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates, according to the IOM.

Increasingly many are driven from their homes due to the devastating effects of climate change. "Whilst in the hands of traffickers, they are subjected to forced labor, sexual exploitation, and other forms of exploitation such as forced marriage," the IOM said.

The UN migration agency has supported approximately 300,000 vulnerable migrants with humanitarian assistance in Yemen, Somalia, and Djibouti in 2023. It has helped more than 3,895 stranded migrants and victims of trafficking to safely return to their home countries from Yemen. Resources, however, are needed to further assist and protect migrants from traffickers and exploitation.

In February, the IOM launched an appeal for 84 million U.S. dollars to respond to the needs of 1 million migrants and the communities hosting them on the eastern route, including trafficked persons, but only 15.4 million dollars of the appeal needs have so far been met.