In Ethiopia child migration is quite common

Child migration is quite common in Ethiopia - sometimes forced, sometimes 'voluntarily' (seduced by false promises), children migrate from the poor rural areas to the urban centres, in search for a better life. Migrating children are extremely vulnerable to child trafficking and other forms of child exploitation, such as (forced) child labour and child prostitution. Moreover, during their trip children on the move are exposed to many dangers, against which they are barely protected.

Child trafficking and prostitution

Commercial sexual exploitation of children is prevalent in most urban areas of Ethiopia. Young girls, some as young as age 11, are recruited to work as commercial sex workers at brothels, hotels, bars, rural truck stops and in resort towns. Rural Ethiopian children are often trafficked for domestic servitude to urban areas. Domestic child trafficking is predisposing girls into commercial sex work.

Children on the Move programme

Terre des Hommes Netherlands’ integrated Children on the Move programme is aimed at addressing child trafficking and migration along the North Western corridor of Amhara Region, one of the main migration routes in Ethiopia. Along this whole corridor we cooperate with local partners who have the best insight in the situation on the ground. That way, we can intercept, protect and assist migrating children along the entire route and make best use of our partnerships through referral linkages; for instance, to reunify children with their families, even if they hail from elsewhere in the Region. Since sexual exploitation is closely linked to child migration and trafficking, we pay specific attention to child prostitution in the region’s capital Bahir Dar and in stopovers along the main transport route.

Education and poverty reduction

Our programme not only focuses on migrating children and child prostitutes, but also on the main source areas where these children come from. Through improved access to quality education and through poverty reduction we work towards the prevention of child migration and trafficking.



"I know that the work is dangerous"

One of the push factors for children to migrate, is the experience of abuse at home. Runaway children are particularly vulnerable to child trafficking and other forms of child exploitation. Mastewal (15 years) from Ethiopia ended up in child prostitution. Read the story.


Kinderhandel in Oost-Afrika Terre des Hommes
Naar schatting 25.000 tot 30.000 mensen in Sub-Sahara Afrika waren tussen 2000 en 2013 het slachtoffer van mensenhandel. Iets meer dan een kwart van hen was kind. Kinderhandel vindt plaats binnen...
Seksuele uitbuiting van kinderen Oost-Afrika Terre des Hommes
In Oost-Afrika zijn steeds meer kinderen het slachtoffer van commerciële seksuele uitbuiting. Ze werken in de seksindustrie, moeten meewerken aan kinderporno, of worden gedwongen tot webcamseks. In...
Girl's Advocacy Alliance Terre des Hommes
De Girls Advocacy Alliance zet zich in voor de bestrijding van geweld tegen meisjes en jonge vrouwen en het vergroten van hun economische participatie in ontwikkelingslanden. Geweld en economische...