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The Nexus between Migration and Human Security: The Case of Ethiopian Female Migration to Sudan

Authors: Anwar Hassen Tsega


International labor migration is an integral part of the modern globalized world. However, the phenomenon has its roots in some earlier periods in human history. This paper discusses the relatively new phenomenon of female migration in Africa. In the past, African women migrants were only spouses or dependent family members. But as modernity swept most African societies, with rising unemployment rates, there is evidence everywhere in Africa that women labor migration is a growing phenomenon that deserves to be understood in the context of human security research. This work explores these issues further, focusing on the experience of Ethiopian women labor migrants to Sudan. The migration of Ethiopian people to Sudan is historical; nevertheless, labor migration mainly started since the discovery and subsequent exploration of oil in the Sudan. While the paper is concerned with the human security aspect of the migrant workers, we need to be certain that the migration process will provide with a decent wage, good working conditions, the necessary social security coverage, and labor protection as a whole. However, migration to Sudan is not always safe and female migrants become subject to violence at the hands of brokers, employers and migration officials. For this matter, the paper argued that identifying the vulnerable stages and major problem facing female migrant workers at various stages of migration is a prerequisite to combat the problem and secure the lives of the migrant workers. The major problems female migrants face include extra degrees of gender-based violence, underpayment, various forms of abuse like verbal, physical and sexual and other forms of torture which include beating and slaps. This peculiar situation could be attributed to the fact that most of these women are irregular migrants and fall under the category of unskilled and/or illiterate migrants.

Keywords: Labor migration, human security, trafficking, smuggling, Ethiopia, Sudan.

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