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Pressure from family members and friends is the main social condition contributing to human trafficking in Ethiopia. In societies where migrating to host countries become a culture, pushing and motivating girls to go to those countries is becoming common practice for many family members in our country. According to the informants of this study, this kind of pressure from families is making many individuals vulnerable to trafficking. According to participant informants of this study’s perception, the families who send their children to host countries are accorded with high social status in the community.
The parents themselves want to send their children abroad; in most cases, they don’t say it openly though. What they do is they tell to their children success stories and good deeds of other children from their neighbors. Rarely though, there are parents who directly tell their children to go to host countries like the Middle East / European countries. Let me share with you the experience of a 25-year-old female migrant returnee in Setit Humera. This participant was born and grow up in Kafta Humera Wereda Tabia Maykadra, still her migration to abroad. Up to now, her parents have been living in Tabia Maykadra Wereda Kafta Humera. Since her return from migration currently, she has been living in Humera town. Hence, her compelling for migration situation history is presented as follows;
My family nags me always, every night and day, in every situation where we gather to have a meal or to talk with each other. They say the neighbor’s daughter went to Germany, Dubai, Saudi Arabia…, she started sending money to her parents, she helped her brother to go to Dubai or Saudi, ohh… she built a house for her parents and other related things. As time goes, I started to feel the pressure from inside; still, I didn’t decide to migrate. Eventually, after all these indirect sayings to tell me to go to Dubai or Saudi didn’t work, my family made up their mind that they had to send me to Dubai or Saudi. My father went to market to sale an ox to fund my migration. They did all these things without me knowing. I was told that I had to go to Saudi. I didn’t agree, I wouldn’t think of migrating till they bring me the news. I cried and begged them not to let me go. Finally, my mother came closer to me, guess what she told me. You would expect her to hag me and say ‘it’s okay daughter, leave it, and stop crying’. No! She didn’t do that. To the opposite, she tried to convince me to accept their plan as my father went this much. She told me ‘your father sold his ox, don’t let him down, my daughter. I have trust in you! I didn’t have a choice other than going to abroad.
The above girl’s experience indicates that what extent parents want to send their children with the intention of the children would send them money back. The finding is corresponding with other previous studies, “in some instances, parents tell their children to migrate”. This was also proved to be true by the evidence from FGDs with parents of the victim participants. A woman in a focus group discussion that was conducted in the town rose how family pressure is important in migration decision making. Her story word by word continued as follows;
The problem is not solely with the youth. It is also with us, with parents. For one thing, we talk about other children’s good doings in front of our children. This puts them in pressure because it shows that we want them to migrate. The second thing is that if we, parents try to convince our children to stay and workaround rather than migrate, they will listen to us. But we fail to do so. This also shows how much we want them abroad to send us money.
Moreover, evidence that supported the idea that families want to send their children abroad was also produced from key informant interviews. A 58-year-old woman from the study area town shared her experience that she wanted her daughter to go to abroad. She said that she told her daughter that it would be better if she went to abroad just like her friends do. Strangely, her daughter rejected to accept her mother’s plan and chose to work around it.
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