Monash University

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Vulnerability to Exploitation: Ethiopia's Response to Trafficking in Persons as a Source County

posted on 2018-09-03, 04:47 authored by Aderajew Teshome
This thesis examines the vulnerability of Ethiopians to being trafficked, and the Ethiopian government’s legislative and policy response to combat the trafficking crime. From a source country perspective, it considers the vulnerability of Ethiopian women migrant domestic workers into various forms of exploitation that arises primarily from economic factors that cause people to move for work. In particular, vulnerability to trafficking emanates largely from the victims’ ‘precariousness’ that is: a congruence of ‘poverty, underdevelopment and lack of equal opportunity’. Such factors of vulnerability create conducive environments for traffickers who can easily abuse the persons’ vulnerable positions, and use deceptive means to control them for the purpose of exploitation. For many Ethiopians that exploitation begins with their recruitment in the name of overseas employment. The thesis shows the manner in which recent law reforms have improved Ethiopia's anti-trafficking legal framework. Despite this, an opportunity has been missed as abuse of a position of vulnerability, which is a key aspect of the crime, is not sufficiently addressed. Further, the legislation focuses on criminal justice measures, but has failed to incorporate victim-centered measures. As a source country, the emphasis should have been on measures that address the root causes of trafficking, using appropriate prevention strategies, and provision of protection of vulnerable persons and support to trafficked persons. Lack of effective enforcement of law continues to be a concern in Ethiopia's fight against trafficking, and the government should strengthen this effort. While most of the anti- trafficking measures are needed within Ethiopia, in this thesis the obligations and responsibility of Ethiopia to protect and support its citizens in destination countries is also considered.


Campus location


Principal supervisor

Jean Allain

Additional supervisor 1

Douglas Guilfoyle

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre



Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Law

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