Mekelle University Institute of Population Studies in collaboration with Tilburg University, HULP/HOOP/HERSTEL (ZOA) and Netherlands organization for scientific research (NOW) organized one-day high level meeting on dynamics of human trafficking and mixed migration in Sub-Saharan Africa on 29 January 2018 at Planet Hotel, Mekelle, Tigray Region, Ethiopia.

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After Prof Dr. Kinfe Abreha, Director of Institute of Population Studies, warmly welcomed the participants, the organizers mentioned the aim of the conference is to back up the efforts that is being exerted by Ethiopia government to address irregular migration complications and to mitigate the problem through establishing humanitarian activities and creating employment opportunities for potential migrants especially for women and youth. 

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Prof. Kindeya Gebrehiwot, President of Mekelle University, in his opening speech remarks that this high level meeting is timely and relevant that human trafficking become an increasing problem both internally and internationally; and the youth, women and children are the main victims. Some of the problems of trafficking in the country are being addressed by different governmental and non-governmental organizations (partners), which seek to assist victims and provide education but, without addressing the root causes of vulnerability it appears that trafficking will continue. He further noted that migration flows from Ethiopia has been continued to increase due to limited employment opportunities, poverty, food scarcity, and other problems. And he added that “this special event can play pivotal role in addressing the root causes and possible remedies of human trafficking and Migration issues in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the conference is expected to come up with innovative ideas on how to manage migration in general and control irregular migration in particular and would serve as input to designing appropriate legal frame works, guiding principles and polices at national level and international levels”. Finally, he extended his gratitude to the NOW, Tilburg University, ZOA, ARRA, organizer institute and special thanks goes to Prof. Dr. Mirjam Van Reisen for her incentives.        

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 Prof. Dr. Mirjam Van Reisen, from Tilburg University, in her part indicates the aim of the conference on the human trafficking and the issue of migration in sub Saharan Africa, thereby from the meeting she expects clear understanding of the cause and consequences of mixed migration and also how to enhance the level of awareness about the vulnerability Human Trafficking in the digital area. And also she passed her appreciation the organizers, guests from federal government and regional government of Tigray, professionals and researchers from different institution across Africa and abroad.

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Ato Ybeltal Walelign from the Federal General Attorney, Secretariat for the anti-Human Trafficking taskforce, addressed that the root causes of human trafficking and smuggling and also highlighted about the legal migration policy in Ethiopia. Also, W/ro Genet Arefe from Tigray Women affairs noted that the impact and the negative consequences of woman migration in the region.

The one day conference entertained more than 11 research papers focused on the “Dynamics of human trafficking and Mixed Migration in Sub-Saharan Africa” practices, challenges, and future perspectives.

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At the end of the meeting Prof. Dr. Mirjam Van Reisen and Dr. Abdulkadir kidr, Vice President of MU launched a joint journal on “Dialogue on migration dynamics”.