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USA Trafficking in Persons Report 2010, Yemen, Somalia, Ethiopia

The 10th annual Trafficking in Persons Report was released in June by the US State Department. It outlines the continuing challenges in this field across the globe, including the Yemen and Horn of Africa region:

YEMEN – Yemen is a transit and destination country for women and children from the Horn of Africa; Ethiopian and Somali women and children travel willingly to Yemen with the hope of working in other Gulf countries, but once they reach Yemen are forced into prostitution or domestic servitude. Others migrate willingly with false promises of comfortable employment as domestic servants in Yemen, but upon arrival are forced into prostitution or domestic servitude. Female Somali refugees are forced into prostitution in Aden and Lahj governorates and Yemeni and Saudi gangs traffic African children to Saudi Arabia. Somali pirates capitalize on the instability in the Horn of Africa to subject Africans to forced labor and prostitution in Yemen, in addition to their piracy and human smuggling crimes.

SOMALIA – Human smuggling is widespread in Somalia and evidence suggests that traffickers utilize the same networks and methods as those used by smugglers. There were reports of trafficking offenders preying on young women and children, mostly internally displaced persons from South/ Central Somalia, at marketplaces and in the streets, falsely promising them lucrative jobs outside Somalia. Dubious employment agencies are involved with or serve as fronts for traffickers, targeting individuals desiring to reach the Gulf States. Somali women are smuggled, sometimes via Djibouti, to destinations in the Middle East, including Yemen and Syria, as well as to Sudan and South Africa, where they are subjected to conditions of involuntary domestic servitude and, to a lesser extent, forced prostitution. Members of the Somali diaspora use fake offers of marriage to lure unsuspecting victims, many of whom are relatives, to Europe, where they are forced into commercial sexual exploitation.

ETHIOPIA – Small numbers of Ethiopian girls are forced into domestic servitude outside of Ethiopia, primarily in Djibouti and Sudan, while Ethiopian boys are subjected to forced labor in Djibouti as shop assistants and errand boys. Women from all parts of Ethiopia are subjected to involuntary domestic servitude throughout the Middle East and in Sudan, and many transit Djibouti, Egypt, Libya, Somalia, or Yemen as they migrate to labor destinations. Ethiopian women in the Middle East face severe abuses, including physical and sexual assault, denial of salary, sleep deprivation, confinement, incarceration, and murder.

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