Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Another Ethiopian maid is found hanged

Source: Gulf Daily News

Bahrain - AN Ethiopian maid hanged herself at her Bahraini sponsor's house in Barbar at around 1pm yesterday.  The victim, who was in her 20s, was found hanging from a shower curtain rail by her sponsor, Chief Public Prosecutor Ahmed Bucheeri said yesterday. "The sponsor suspected that something was wrong with the housemaid so he broke into the bathroom to find her hanging from the rail," said Mr Bucheeri.

"She had hung herself using her scarf."

Mr Bucheeri went down to the scene and examined the body, along with a medical examiner, who found no signs of foul play.  The sponsor tried to save her by cutting down the scarf but it was too late, said Mr Bucheeri.  "Apparently the housemaid suffered from emotional problems and wanted to go back to her country, but her family insisted she stay in Bahrain," he said.  The sponsor said they had tried to get her medical help before.  "We took her to see a psychiatrist several times to help her get through her problems, but it was no use," he said.  Investigations are continuing.

*Note the abovementioned excerpts are direct quotes from the article and thus all credit and references should be afforded to the authors/sources.

Ethiopian maid jumped from the second floor of a flat

Source: Gulf Daily News
By: Begena George 

An Ethiopian woman is recovering in a hospital after she jumped from the second floor of a building in an attempt to escape alleged physical abuse by a manpower agency. Serawit Gebre Medhen, 29, is being treated for head and leg injuries at the Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC). She has worked in Bahrain for over a year as a housemaid, but had asked the Maliki Manpower Agency in Isa Town to be sent back to her country, saying that dust and heavy work were bad for her health.

"I first worked with an Iraqi family but they did not treat me well, so I told my agency, which sent me to work with a Bahraini family," said Ms Medhen.

"They were very good to me and treated me well - gave me the same good food that they ate. "But the house had too many dusty carpets and I am allergic to it so I requested to be sent back to my country as my health had failed me and I knew I wouldn't be any good to them. "My 'madam' took me to the agency and the manager got very angry with me when he heard my request and slapped me right across my face.

"This came as a shock to me but my madam too did not protest, maybe because she was scared. "When I tried to explain myself, he ordered me to shut my mouth and if I didn't he would burn my face with a lit cigarette that he was holding." She also claims that a female staff member at the agency hit her many times, once with a hardbound book on her head. "My madam went home and I was asked to stay the night at the office at Jid Ali, where I was locked in.

Click here to read the full article!

*Note the abovementioned excerpts are direct quotes from the article and thus all credit and references should be afforded to the authors/sources.

Ethiopian maid in UAE commits suicide

Source: Gulf News
By: Nasouh Nazzal

(Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates) - An Ethiopian maid committed suicide on Tuesday in Al Rams area leaving a note addressed to her mother asking for her prayers. The 26-year-old Ethiopian maid identified as A.S. hanged herself to death with a rope fixed to the ceiling of a toilet at the house of her Emirati sponsor. Police have started an investigation into the case. Captain Ahmad Abdullah, Acting Head of Al Rams Police Station said they received a report from the sponsor who was shocked to find her maid hanging.

Police found a letter written by the maid herself. She did not mention a reason for committing suicide.

*Note the abovementioned excerpts are direct quotes from the article and thus all credit and references should be afforded to the authors/sources.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

ALIF-One Woman's Story

This is one woman's account of the poverty-induced decision to engaged in commercial sex work.

Together we can create viable alternatives to commercial sex work!

Join ALIF in this mission:

Monday, January 21, 2008

Ethiopia is a Source Country for Human Trafficking and Sex Exploitation

Source: Department of State
Report: State Department Trafficking in Persons Report June 2006

*The following are excerpts from the aforementioned article: 

Ethiopia is a source country for men, women, and children trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Children and adults are trafficked within the country for domestic servitude and, to a lesser extent, for commercial sexual exploitation and labor, such as street vending. Small numbers of men are trafficked to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States for low-skilled forced labor. Ethiopian women are trafficked to the Middle East, particularly Lebanon, for domestic servitude; other destinations include Egypt, South Africa, Sudan, and Djibouti. Small percentages of these women are trafficked for sexual exploitation. Transit countries for trafficked Ethiopians reportedly include Djibouti, Egypt, Kenya, Libya, Somalia, and Sudan. The Government of Ethiopia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. While Ethiopia's ongoing efforts to educate migrating workers about the dangers of trafficking and detect cases of child trafficking within the country are notable, its small number of prosecutions compared to the large number of investigations is a continued cause for concern. To further its anti-trafficking efforts, the government should improve the investigative capacity of police and enhance judicial understanding of trafficking to enable a greater number of successful prosecutions, and launch a broad anti-trafficking public awareness and education campaign.

The Ethiopian Government's law enforcement response to trafficking improved in 2005. In May, the government enacted a new penal code with improved anti-trafficking language that criminalizes most forms of human trafficking. Working with a local NGO, police monitored five key towns for possible trafficking. At security checkpoints throughout the country, the Immigration Authority verified the legality of migrants' travel documents. Border guards on the Bossasso route reported mass movements toward Somalia; the guards stopped travelers without proper documentation and issued warnings about the dangers of irregular migration. In 2005, 520 cases of child trafficking were reported, eight of which remained under investigation at year's end. Police referred 38 cases to the prosecutor's office: by the close of the reporting period, two resulted in conviction, 18 were pending prosecution, and 18 were closed for lack of evidence or because the defendant absconded. The low conviction rate for trafficking cases serves as a poor deterrent to traffickers, who can operate with relative impunity. In late 2005, police officers assigned to anti-child trafficking units in Addis Ababa were transferred from those duties to deal with recurring street disturbances. The Ministry of Labor (MOLSA), in cooperation with the Airport Immigration Authority, prevented an unspecified number of labor migrants without valid employment contracts from departing for the Middle East.

The government provided limited assistance to trafficking victims over the last year. The child protection unit in each Addis Ababa police station collected information on rescued trafficked children to facilitate their return to their families; it also referred 262 girls to an NGO for care pending transport home. The Ethiopian consulates in Beirut and Dubai dispensed limited legal advice to trafficking victims and provided temporary shelter for victims awaiting funds to pay off abusive employers for their freedom. In 2005, MOSLA investigated 52 complaints filed by returnees and families of aggrieved employees by verifying employment agencies' reporting through the Ethiopian missions abroad: 45 complaints were determined to be unfounded, four were amicably resolved, and legal proceedings for contract violations began against labor migration agencies in three cases. Government authorities made no effort to interview returned victims about their experiences in the Middle East.

Ethiopia's efforts to prevent international trafficking increased, but measures to increase awareness of internal trafficking were lacking. During the past year, the government tightened its implementation of foreign employment regulations, resulting in a trafficking route shift; more Ethiopian victims are reportedly transiting neighboring countries rather than flying directly out of the main airport. The Immigration Authority continued to provide printed information on trafficking to those applying for passports and required applicants to view a video on the dangers of human trafficking. MOLSA supervised the work of legal labor migration agencies through surprise inspections and required biweekly reports. In 2005, the number of registered agencies rose from five to 17, facilitating the travel of 6,200 workers to six countries. MOSLA, in conjunction with Ethiopian consulates in the Middle East, approved foreign labor contracts for an additional 1,345 workers; many Ethiopians still continue to seek international employment through black market channels. The inter-ministerial anti-trafficking committee convened regularly, but its activities were not disclosed. The counter-trafficking task force, chaired by the

Click here to read the full report!

*Note the abovementioned excerpts are direct quotes from the article and thus all credit and references should be afforded to the authors/sources.

Understanding Sex Work in Ethiopia{Part 1}

This brief clip is one of a 6 part series entitled, "Understanding Sex Work in Ethiopia," which is a part of a larger documentary ALIF is working on about the plight of orphans and commercial sex workers in Ethiopia.

For more information about the documentary contact Nasir at

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The small hands of slavery: modern day child slavery

Source: Eldis
Authors: Save the Children UK
Publisher: Child Rights Information Network , 2007

Article: The small hands of slavery: modern day child slavery

*The following are excerpts from the aforementioned article:

Across the world, millions of children are currently being subjected to slavery. This report provides an introduction to the circumstances and abuses of children in the eight most prevalent forms of child slavery:
~child trafficking
~child prostitution
~bonded labour
~mining work
~agricultural labour
~child soldiers
~forced child marriage
~domestic slavery

Photographs, case study examples and direct quotes illustrate the experiences of enslaved children.
The report presents recommendations for governments and international organisations on actions to combat child slavery through:
~interventions to rescue and protect enslaved children
~legislation to criminalize child slavery
~the reduction of the supply of children for slavery, through measures such as working with communities and families to ~address poverty, provide them with access to credit, and offer education

Click here to read the full article!

*Note the abovementioned excerpts are direct quotes from the article and thus all credit and references should be afforded to the authors/sources.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Maid Abuse Under Scrutiny in Lebanon

Source: ABC News
By: Zeina Karam (Associated Press Writer)
Photo: AP Photo/Grace Kassab

"An Ethiopian maid hangs washed clothes as she stands on a balcony in Beirut, Lebanon Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2007. Thousands of foreign domestic workers in Lebanon and the Arab world face abuse at the hands of their employers. Some of these workers-estimated at up to 150,000 in Lebanon-come from as far as Madagascar and Nepal, but the majority are from Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Ethiopia and Eritrea."

Click here to read this article!

*Note the abovementioned excerpts are direct quotes from the article and thus all credit and references should be afforded to the authors/sources.

Ethiopian girl on death row in Bahrain

Source: BBC News

Article: Ethiopian girl on death row in Bahrain

*The following are excerpts from the aforementioned article:

The Ethiopian authorities are appealing to Bahrain to lift a death sentence against a 20-year-old Ethiopian maid accused of murdering her employer. Yeshiwork Zewdu is accused of killing her employer using a meat cleaver. 

The housemaid's case has heightened existing concern about the predicament of nearly 25,000 Ethiopian women working as maids throughout the Middle East.

"It's a total shock for us. For a young woman to reach such a position, there must be something wrong going on," said Haile Mikael. The minister said Yeshiwork's colleagues had spoken of how the girl had been subjected to physical and psychological torture for the past two years.

"She was badly treated for about two years. She was not paid a single coin," said Haile Mikael.

Click here to read the full article!

*Note the abovementioned excerpts are direct quotes from the article and thus all credit and references should be afforded to the authors/sources.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Ethiopia - Maid 'found hanging' in sponsor's villa

Source: Khaleej Times
By: Afkar Abdullah

SHARJAH — A 19-year-old Ethiopian maid was found hanging from a tree in the compound of her UAE national sponsor’s villa in Al Turrfa area here. R. A. the maid, had been working in the house of her sponsor, M.S, for nearly three months now.

Her residency visa is valid and she was working with the family legally, the police said. The police have questioned the members of the family in the suspected suicide case. The police have sent the body of the maid to the forensic laboratory for further investigations.

*Note the abovementioned excerpts are direct quotes from the article and thus all credit and references should be afforded to the authors/sources.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Jailed Ethiopian woman found six mths pregnant

Source: Arab Times
By: Mezyed Al-Saeedi

Kuwait Crime News

Kuwait: A police officer assigned in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh Police Station has discovered that an Ethiopian woman detained in the station is six months pregnant. She was referred to Ghloum Habib, the Security Department Head in the area, reports Alam Al-Yawm.

Security sources said the woman left her sponsor in Khaitan in search of a better job. She then met an Egyptian woman who immediately hired her as a domestic helper. However, her new sponsor's husband threatened to inform her former sponsor of her whereabouts if she did not agree to have sex with him. After having sex with her for several times, the man fired her. Later the securitymen from the Absconding Committee arrested her. She was referred to the Offenses Department in Dasma.

Police later summoned the man, who allegedly impregnated the Ethiopian woman, for questioning.

Eating well: a guide for children affected by AIDS

Source: Eldis
Authors: Children in Distress Network
Publisher: Children in Distress Network, 2004

Article: Eating well: a guide for children affected by AIDS

*The following are excerpts from the aforementioned article:

A healthy diet helps children affected by HIV and AIDS. This illustrated and accessible manual addresses several nutritional concerns that may affect children infected with AIDS. These include:

~the effects of eating badly
~what happens to your body when you get sick
~how can we eat well to live well
~advice on eating well when you are sick
~good foods to keep you healthy
~eating well for energy, gain weight and increased appetite
~foods that prevent infections, improve digestion and ease mouth problems

Click here to read the full article!

*Note the abovementioned excerpts are direct quotes from the article and thus all credit and references should be afforded to the authors/sources.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Thank You!

ALIF and the children we serve are grateful to all of you that have supported our efforts with vulnerable women and children in Ethiopia.


Nasir Al-Amin