Gamo Gofa Zone, Ethiopia

Direct beneficiaries
33,000 direct beneficiaries, 50% of whom are children

Child trafficking is a growing phenomenon in Ethiopia. The International Office of Migration estimates that at least 1.2 million children are involved every year.
The Gamo Gofa Zone, the area targeted by the project, is considered to be among the most vulnerable regions. The mountains, with peaks as high as 4,200 metres, make it a region that is isolated from the rest of the country and particularly difficult to reach.
Families are extremely poor and cultivate small patches of land to support 8 – or sometimes even 10 – people. Children don’t seem to have a future.
Many choose to escape to the capital. It is often the parents who encourage them to leave or entrust them to so-called “friends” who promise the following: “Entrust your children to me, I will take them to the capital where they’ll study, get fed every day and receive new clothes”. Instead, children end up becoming little slaves who work in spinning mills and plantations for up to12 hours a day.

The project “Protect” is CIAI’s concrete action to contrast poverty and lack of future. Breaking down barriers that prevent children from enjoying their rights, starting from access to education, is the first step towards inclusion.

What we want to achieve
Children who are safe from the risk of trafficking.
Children with access to education.
Families and communities aware of the risks of trafficking and of the alternatives to contrast it.
Institutions that are active in removing barriers that deny children the full enjoyment of their rights.

What we do
We strengthen the school system by improving schools’ infrastructure, providing school materials, creating school clubs and training teachers and headteachers.
We sensitise parents and communities (including children) to the danger of moving to the capital and the reality of this migration through the organisation of awareness-raising meetings.
We consolidate the protection system by training police forces and authorities in charge of contrasting the phenomenon.
We support the work of a temporary reception centre for young victims of trafficking who are waiting to be reunited with their families.

GGDA – Gamo Gofa Development Association