Child Trafficking from the Gurage Zone to Addis Ababa: The Case Gumer Woreda

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The SNNP is considered to be the most vulnerable region in terms of the hi gh prevalence of trafficked children from the region to different towns of the country. The Gurage Zone is located in the SNNP region which takes the lion's share of the high magnitude of child trafficking. It is a place where trafficking children is considered as a workable traditional shortcut for the survival or success of a family. Nevertheless, very few researches have been conducted on the issue in spite of the fact that some researches pointed out the set back involving the causes and consequences of child trafficking in some parts of the Gurage Zone. The Gumer Woreda is part of the Gurage Zone which is the major focus area of this study. In this district of the Gurage Zone children are highly vulnerable to trafficking which in most cases puts their lives at risk. A comprehensive study of the problem in Gumer Woreda is not yet carried out. This study aims at bridging the perception gap on child trafficking issues involving the Gumer Woreda. To collect the necessary data a small town, Arekit and a PA named Zizencho and Teredo were selected from the Gumer Woreda. On the other hand Addis Ketema and Kolfe Keranyo sub-cities in Addis Ababa were purposely chose to physica lly observe the on go ings concerning tra fficked children in the city. Combined qualitative methods of data gathering have been employed including key informants interview, observation, focus group discussions, case studi es and photography. Various secondary sources have been consulted including fi gures, facts, maps and published and unpublished reports. The study reveals that several factors contribute to the vulnerability of children to traffick ing. These factors are majorly viewed in two categories as push and pull factors. The ones identified as push factors include: poverty, shortage of social services and infrastructure, lack of vocational and economic opportunities, societal and cultural violence on girls, family dysfunctions such as child maltreatment, parental divorce and death. The pull factors are high demand for cheap labor, socio-cultural factors associated with pull factors include: perception of a life better elsewhere and poor information about risks, migratory mentality of children, extended social networks and family ties and 'MeskeI' and' Arefa' holidays. The research has concluded that the push fac tors mostly fuel child trafficking. This study also focuses on presenting facts related to the forms and process of child trafficking, especially in Gumer Woreda. These include recruitment of children, actors in vo lved , transportation, cost and the purposes of trafficking in children, gender issues etc. The research also integrated various fonns of effects posed on children and the local community. Some of the impacts on children identified in this research are psychological, emotional, physical, health and soc ial.