Saturday, August 01, 2009

Ethiopia's orphans face life of hardship

Source: Timesonline (Jonathan Clayton)

The following are direct quotes from the article:

A few miles away, dozens of children sleep in drains at night and beg by day at the sprawling central bus station. They face constant dangers. “Some are forced into prostitution, some are sold by relatives after their parents die, they are kept as maids and often abused,” said Dagmawi Alemayeau who runs an organisation, Forum on Street Children, which tries to fight trafficking. Most of an estimated 50,000 children on the streets of the capital, Addis Ababa, at some stage pass through the bus station where he has his office.

“Traffickers go to the rural areas ... there are places where you can even buy a baby for as little as $1, he told The Times. He always keeps an eye open at the international airport where so-calleduncles” can often be spotted boarded planes to Gulf states with teenage girls.

Across the rest of Africa, a combination of soaring populations, growing poverty and the HIV-Aids epidemic has led to a huge increase in orphans. A UNICEF report estimates that in sub-Saharan Africa alone there will be more than 20 million by 2010.

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