Ethiopians living abroad were regarded as development partners in the 2011-2015 Growth and Transformation Plan, which referred to them as an opportunity to attain development goals. Hostilities must cease and humanitarian access must be provided so that we can be there and help the people who have urgent needs., On the last day of afive-daytrip to Ethiopia, theDeputy Secretary-Generalsaid theEast African nationis in a much better place to resolve the conflict thaterupted15 months agoin Tigray., UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, and partners are rushing life-saving aid to more than 20,000 refugees after they fled clashes in Ethiopias Benishangul Gumuz region, bordering Sudan and South Sudan. Nearly all of the registered refugees and asylum seekers in Ethiopia originate from neighboring states including South Sudan (48 percent), Somalia (27 percent), Eritrea (19 percent), and Sudan (6 percent). A chain of smugglers facilitates movements often from Hosanna, the capital of southern Ethiopias Hadiya Zone, and Nairobi. Having never been colonized, Ethiopia does not share these ties with either African or European countries, and so migration patterns do not follow a well-defined route. In 2020, the top destinations for Ethiopian migrants were the United States, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Sudan, and South Africa (see Table 1). Deep concern for thousands of Eritrean refugees scattered in Ethiopias Tigray, Tigray: Eritrean refugees scared and struggling to eat amid aid obstacles, Two children killed in airstrike on Tigray refugee camp, Ethiopia in 'much better place' to resolve Tigray conflict: Mohammed, Ethiopia: UNHCR rushing aid to 20,000 refugees fleeing clashes. Youths from southern Ethiopia often take this route, particularly young men from the Hadiya and Kembaata ethnic groups with little or no education. Bariagaber, Assefaw. Available online. In 2018, the ministry also established an Ethiopian Diaspora Agency. However, there have continued to be major crises leading to new outflows of refugees, including political repression and ethnic violence in the early 1990s and 2000s, the border dispute with Eritrea from 1998 to 2000, and post-election violence in 2005. Available online. It intensified due to poverty in Ethiopia, migrants expanded social networks, the growth of recruitment agencies both legal and illegal, the relative fall of migration costs, and high demand for domestic work in destination countries such as Saudi Arabia. At the peak in 1980, well more than 2.5 million Ethiopians were living as refugees or other forcibly displaced migrants (see Figure 1). Usd From Remittance. The country is known for its historical resistance to colonialism, including to Western powers in the 19th century, and was only briefly occupied by Italian forces before World War II. Geneva: International Organization for Migration. Many Ethiopian emigrants have sought economic opportunities in the Middle East, North America, Europe, and elsewhere in Africa, and this diaspora has had a growing effect on the countrys politics and development. For instance, Ethiopia has in recent years experienced a significant migration of health-care professionals, and there were more Ethiopian doctors working in Chicago in 2012 than in all of Ethiopia, according to the health minister at the time. These successive waves contributed to the emergence and development of the Ethiopian diaspora mostly in North America, Europe, and the Middle East. There have been at least three distinct waves: before the 1974 revolution, when small numbers of elites migrated to Western countries to obtain training and higher education; under the military government and during the Qey Shibir (Red Terror) from 1974 to 1991; and in the post-Derg period, during which large numbers of refugees returned to Ethiopia and yet intermittent ethnic violence, political repression, and the lure of economic opportunity prompted more departures. Are the Characteristics and Scope of African Migration Outside of the Continent Changing? In recent years, emigration has risen dramatically from Ethiopia, and the country is also a central hub for migrants traveling across the Horn of Africa. Updated August 31, 2021. Available online. Most of these refugees went to neighboring states, mainly Sudan and Kenya, and many were eventually resettled in Western countries, notably the United States, Europe, and Australia. The bulk of labor migration from Ethiopia is for low-skilled work, however the departure of skilled migrants to Western countries and other emerging economies in Africa is on the rise. Ezra, Markos. Available online. Migrations Role in Ethiopian Development Policy. Tilahun, Tsegaye. Due to increasing arrivals, the number of refugee camps in Ethiopia grew from eight in 2009 to 26 by 2014. Many refugees living in Ethiopia have expressed interest in onward movement, such as towards Israel or Europe. While the number of people forcibly displaced has been much lower than in previous years, some scholars have argued that the overthrow of the Derg regime did not bring more equality and less repression. The government has also added labor attachs to many diplomatic missions. Understanding Ethiopian Diaspora Engagement Policy. Available online. 2021. While it may have halted legal labor migration to countries without bilateral agreements in place, this ban likely spurred some migrants to move illegally. International labor migration has also significantly increased in this period, as citizens have been able to obtain passports and move abroad more easily. Chan School of Public Health, August 29, 2012. Migration and remittances have had significant positive impacts, but they can also foster dependency, family disputes, and corruption. In recent decades, economic factors have been the most common drivers of migration from Ethiopia, followed by political reasons including oppression, insecurity, and ethnic tensions. Ethiopia is one of the 15 pilot countries to implement the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF), a global shared commitment to improving the lives of refugees and host communities in a coordinated way. For Eritreans, the factors affecting their departure from Ethiopian refugee camps are complex and can include safety, familial responsibilities, general satisfaction with life in Ethiopia, as well as the existence of connections abroad that could support them on the journey to a third country. Available online. This migration began in the early 1990s, partly in response to the end of apartheid as well as turbulence in Ethiopia and migrants growing social networks, and it has increased since. Eritrean refugees in the Afar region of Ethiopia receive emergency assistance.
The route chosen by migrants will depend on their income, social status, migration history, and international connections; those with the least alternatives generally choose the most dangerous journeys. In 2021, members of the diaspora contributed tens of millions more for the military, to support rehabilitation efforts in Tigray, and other projects, according to Selamawit Dawit, the director-general of the Ethiopian Diaspora Agency. Ethiopias strategic location in the Horn of Africa, its long history, and large ethnic and linguistic diversity make it a melting pot of dynamic cultures and customs. Reintegration Strategies. More than 60,000 refugees fled the conflict, mainly from Tigray, in what has been the largest refugee outflow from Ethiopia in decades, with most heading to Sudan. Since the early 2000s, the Ethiopian government has shown renewed interest in engaging the diaspora. Brussels: International Organization for Migration (IOM) Regional Office for the EEA, the EU, and NATO. In Pursuit of the Southern Dream: Victims of Necessity: Assessment of the Irregular Movement of Men from East Africa and the Horn to South Africa. Partly for this reason, migration outside the region has been a recent relatively phenomenon, with emigration growing in the 20th century amid domestic repression, humanitarian crises, and attractive labor opportunities abroad. This movement is increasingly characterized by its irregularity, as migrating through regular channels is often challenging and beyond the reach of the poor. Refugees Deeply, April 24, 2017. Accessed September 24, 2021. Political Violence and the Uprooted in the Horn of Africa: A Study of Refugee Flows from Ethiopia. Ethiopia has over the last decade signed bilateral labor agreements with Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates to increase legal migration, which benefitted legally present Ethiopian migrants but also sped up returns for those who were unauthorized. Available online. Available online.
While the Middle East has become a prominent destination for labor migrants, Ethiopias diaspora is scattered over a range of continents. Available online. According to their testimonies, at least five refugees were killed. Smith, Lahra. Its objectives are easing pressure on host countries, improving refugee self-reliance, expanding access to resettlement in third countries, and creating conditions in countries of origin for voluntary return. Health Aspects of Resettlement in Ethiopia. Often, returnees may migrate again, even if their first experience was not a positive one. This is in contrast to earlier eras, when wealthy members of the diaspora campaigned against sending remittances through the banking system, avoided the state-owned Ethiopian Airlines, and lobbied in support of economic sanctions on Ethiopia. As of this writing, these reforms had not been implemented, however, suggesting the need for fundamental reform in governance, including overcoming distrust between the government and the diaspora. Ethiopia and Somalia are major source countries, with Ethiopians accounting for an estimated two-thirds of travelers. Geneva: UNHCR and Danish Refugee Council. Still, at times there have been rivalries between Ethiopian natives and new arrivals, including in the Gambella region, which has a large population of refugees from South Sudan. N.d. The card entitles holders to enjoy all privileges offered to Ethiopians abroad, including the right to enter the country without a visa. In 1977 and 1978 Ethiopia was also engaged in a border dispute with neighboring Somalia known as the Ogaden War. After the Dergs collapse in May 1991, the regime was replaced by the Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition, of which the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) was the dominant faction. This concern heightened following the massive forced repatriation of irregular Ethiopian migrants from Saudi Arabia in 2013 and 2014, during which approximately 170,000 Ethiopians were deported. UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Restrictions remained in place for five years, at which point the ban was lifted and the government imposed new regulations on recruitment agencies, among other reforms.
Members of the diaspora tended to support opposition parties, most clearly during and after the contested 2005 election which led to large-scale unrest and crackdowns by police. Jonathan Baker and Tade Akin Aina. Migration is increasingly perceived as the only way out of poverty in Ethiopia, especially for the rural youth. Socioeconomic, environmental, and political crises in Ethiopia over the last 50 years have led to a major migration of people, both internally and across borders. Many migrants have remained unaware of the ongoing conflict. 2007. Migration in Africa: An Overview. ---. Ethiopia has witnessed major droughts and famines since the mid-1960s, which were often met by compulsory internal resettlement and so-called villagization land reform programs that relocated rural communities into villages. Available online. Understanding the Forced Repatriation of Ethiopian Migrant Workers from the Middle East. 1275 K St. NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20005 | ph. 2017. Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East have been top destinations for Ethiopians looking for economic opportunity. 202-266-1900.
Indeed, the diaspora played an important role in bringing about political reform in Ethiopia by mobilizing activity online and working with reformist leaders. Active Projects. In 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic, the number of arrivals in Yemen declined to 37,500. 2018. Irregular Migration: Causes and Consequences of Young Adult Migration from Southern Ethiopia to South Africa. Available online. 202-266-1940 | fax. Beyond Regional Circularity: The Emergence of an Ethiopian Diaspora. The government has incentivized investment by the diaspora through tax and custom measures allowing emigrants and foreign nationals of Ethiopian descent to open foreign-currency bank accounts in Ethiopian banks, and at one point even provided them with free plots of land in the country. Ethiopia Secures 3.6 Bln. 2021. A large portion of those settling in the country are from neighbors in the Horn of Africa. Available online. Repatriation can also dramatically impact the families who rely on migrants remittances. Uppsala, Sweden: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet. Deported Before Experiencing the Good Sides of Migration: Ethiopians Returning from Saudi Arabia.
Still, the country is deeply divided along ethnic and religious lines, and so is the diaspora. Providing necessary reintegration support has become an area of concern for the Ethiopian government, public, and development partners. 1990. Government efforts led to the development of a comprehensive diaspora policy in 2013 which for the first time promised voting rights for nationals living abroad and roles as election observers.
Transforming Ethiopias Health Care System from the Ground Up. Notably, large-scale international emigration from Ethiopia has tended to occur during periods of political repression and changes of government. Another 10,000 refugees are also reported to be living in Afdera town, some 225 kilometres from Semera, added the UN official. The country still also faces serious security challenges that could propel future displacement, as the conflict in the Tigray region underscores. Chacko, Elizabeth and Peter H. Gebre. According to Ethiopias Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, approximately 1.5 million Ethiopians traveled to the Middle East via irregular channels between the years 2008 and 2014; more than 480,000 Ethiopians moved to Arab countries legally during these years.