Addis Ababa ENA August 4/2019 Over 112,600 Ethiopians have repatriated from 12 countries during the past fiscal year while the government is working on implementing New Labor Agreements, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).
More than 24, 700 prisoners who were set free from detention in 19 foreign countries also repatriated during the stated period after the government of Ethiopia came to terms with respective countries.
In an exclusive interview with ENA, Yohannes Shode, Consular Affairs Director General at MoFA said the government in collaboration with various stakeholders has been exerting utmost efforts to repatriate Ethiopians residing abroad under various circumstances.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the consular offices in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have been playing a decisive role in repatriating the citizens, he stated.
The Director General indicated that the government of Saudi Arabia in particular has played a critical role including allocating transport costs and other facilitations for the returnees.
“The first target regarding returnees is saving lives and rehabilitate their lives in their homeland,” Yohannes said.
Apart from repatriation, the ministry has been actively working on securing properties of Ethiopians who they have been unfairly denied including their unpaid salaries, he noted.
According to the Director General, the government has secured confiscated properties of over 1,000 Ethiopians in South Africa, as part of the move to protect citizens.
Cognizant of the solemnity of the situation, the government is working with various countries to implement the legal labor agreements in order to protect its citizens from mistreatment.
“We have already entered into a labor agreement with the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which includes soliciting jobs for skilled applicants. We have also inked an agreement with Qatar which targeted legible Ethiopians to work in that country and protect their rights,” he added.
Agreements with Jordan and UAE is also stated among the measures being undertaken by the government to reduce the burden of citizens in addition to repatriating those who are suffering due to illegal entry to the respective countries, he pointed out.
The agreements signed with various countries, contain article that provide protections for workers, which will confidently benefit Ethiopians who still travel to the Middle East in search for work each week.
The new legislation aims to protect citizens from ill-treatment through institutionalize regulations for recruitment agencies, minimum age and level of education, and training for migrant workers before departure.