Family pressure borne of poverty, combined with limited employment opportunities for young people that are reasonably remunerated, leaves an increasing number of girls feeling as if they have few options other than migration. Their reliance on illegal brokers – who provide at best partial information about the employment girls are entering into – combined with the overwhelming exploitation that most young girls face upon their arrival, means the line which separates Ethiopian girls’ voluntary migrationfrom traffickingall but fades into invisibility.
This report investigates the relationships between poverty, migration and children’s well-being in Ethiopia. It is one of three country case studies undertaken as part of a two-year research programme funded by the Oak Foundation to explore the potential for greater linkages between child protection and anti-poverty work in low- and middle-income countries. The research draws on qualitative and participatory methodologies to explore the drivers of migration, to assess the key threats girls face in destination countries, and to consider improvements in programming that could afford better protection, reflecting the views of the girls and families involved in the research.