Potential Migrants: the Overlap between Migration and Human Rights in Ethiopia


  • Belesti Mihret Felegebirhan


Potential Migrants


The multilayered causes and trends of migration in Ethiopia vary
from time to time. Despite the awareness on human rights
violations faced in destination countries, and the challenges related
to irregular migration; migration remains an ongoing phenomenon
in Ethiopia. There is a movement of people from rural to urban,
urban to rural and to international. The social, economic, political,
situations of the country, and the desire for better opportunities
contributes to the migration of people from and within Ethiopia.
The migration trend in Ethiopia especially to the Middle East, and
people’s decision to leave their places of origin despite the human
rights violations perpetuated in the process of migration is
explained through the economic opportunity rational choice model.
The paper highlights the overlap between migration and human
rights violations faced by migrants. Hence, argue migration from
Ethiopia takes place at the cost of violation of individual human
rights. The paper discusses the connection between development
and migration and deconstruct the human rights violations at the
various stages of the migration process.
The paper argues the process and journey towards migration makes
migrants susceptible to various human rights violations. It attempts
to show the overlap using primary data from a research conducted
in 2013 and 2017 that focuses on the consequence of irregular
migration and the human rights violations faced by migrants.
Secondary data resources are used to explain existing gaps and
challenges in addressing the human rights violations in Ethiopia.
Stories from thirteen migrants is used to explain the challenges and
human rights violations. Migrants have to overcome the challenges
faced at the different stages of the migration process. One is the
violation of rights perpetuated by different actors such as brokers,