Addis Abeba: A National Conference on the topic of “STOP HUMAN TRAFFICKING” was organised by the PDO at the Salesianum in Addis Abeba on 13 December 2017.  The conference was conducted with all the stakeholders working in this area of Human Trafficking like the Ethiopian Catholic Church, VIDES, Conferenza Episcopale Italiana (CEI).   The project entitled "Humans, not slaves" was entirely sponsored by the Italian Bishops' Conference. The Salesian province of AET had been actively present in the campaign against the human trafficking for the past two years.


The main objective of the Conference was to make a final evaluation of the campaign that was launched two years ago in collaboration with four major dioceses in Ethiopia, namely the Diocese of Addis Ababa, Diocese of Meki, Diocese of Adigrat and Diocese of Gambella.  The project now had reached its second phase, which had its first stage, focused fully on the awareness campaign and the second stage which saw the awareness creation and the need assessment. The Conference was moderated and brought ahead by Dr. Antonio Raimondi the consultant and Ms. Meaza Tesfagiorgis who was the general coordinator of the project. 


Despite the high risk of irregular migration, people, especially the youth are still irregularly migrating, where many of them end up in the hands of human traffickers. These people still choose to migrate and risk death rather than stay at home and try to look the opportunities that they have in their own country.  Salesians of Don Bosco in addition to showing the dangers and consequences of irregular migration and human trafficking has been also sensitising the target groups, in a way which is possible to help them to bring behavioral changes on their work habits in their own country. 


The Cardinal Brehane Yesus Surafiel, Bishop Abraham Desta, Mons Hrvoje Skrlec, the secretary to the the Apostolic Nuncio to Ethiopia, Don Leonardo di Mauro (CEI), Dr. Beppe Magri etc. were present at the national conference.  After a brief welcome by Rev. Fr. Estifanos, the provincial of AET and an Introduction by brother Cesare Bullo the Executive Director of PDO, there were the presentations of the project implementation results and outcomes of the various vicariates.  After their brief presentations there was the input of Dr. Abebaw from the Addis Abeba University on the topic of “Way Forward Comments and Implementation on Human Trafficking” which gave a concise summary of the reasons leading to illegal migration, the factors favouring it and challenges in mitigating the phenomenon. 


The afternoon session mainly focused on the question and answers from the participants and stakeholders on the way forward.  As a result of this campaign the outcome was greatly consoling.   It was noted that more than 5 million had been reached the awareness, a great human capital had been created to do the work of campaign against human trafficking, a set of tools like leaflets, booklets, pamphlets audio visual aids etc has been made to realize the campaign, the need assessment has been made in the various regions.  Certainly the conference will be a great help in answering the urgent needs of the young people of Ethiopia especially in the context of Human Trafficking and illegal migration.


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