CATHERINE W GICHUKI
THE Embassy of Ethiopia is working hand-in-hand with Qatar's government to fight illegal human traffickers resulting in rights abuse for Ethiopian expatriates, according to Ethiopia's Ambassador to Qatar HE Mesganu Arga Moach.
The ambassador told Qatar Tribune that some Ethiopian expatriates do seek help at the embassy after they have been abused.
Speaking on the sidelines of a reception recently, Ambassador Moach said the embassy was making more efforts to curb activities of unscrupulous people who dupe Ethiopians on the pretext of getting them better jobs.
"We are working with the Qatari authorities in identifying illegal traffickers and the Qatari government is very cooperative with us in addressing these issues," he said.
The ambassador reiterated that many Ethiopian house-helps go to the embassy to seek assistance when they have issues with their employers."We have cases of abuse being reported at the embassy which are not the Qatar government's fault but individuals who violate the law at a personal level," he said, adding that whenever the cases come up, the embassy usually receives the government support and a great deal of cooperation in managing and getting it resolved.
Talking about how the community assists people who go through abuse, the ambassador said:"Our community is very strong. The community and the embassy work together to provide the distressed people with shelter, medical care and tickets to send them home."
According to Ambassador Moach, the embassy has a help desk to receive complaints and tackle the issues as well as a dedicated team which visits Ethiopian expatriates in hospitals, police stations and deportation centres.
"The team closely follows each case from police stations to courts and eventual repatriation of the affected persons as the case may warrant," he said.
The ambassador further said that a dedicated contact number has been made available to the community members to enable the affected persons reach out to the embassy.
The ambassador added that there are over 22,000 Ethiopians living and working in different organisations in Qatar such as Qatar Airways, Qatar Petroleum, Qatargas, among others, and sectors such as construction.
"Our community is disciplined and peaceful. We have signed a labour agreement with Qatar and we are hoping that the number of Ethiopians in Qatar will increase. Ethiopians are participating in the ongoing development in Qatar as well as contributing to development of their home country," Moach said.
He thanked the Qatari government for providing the Doha Sports Stadium to celebrate the Ethiopia Day recently, where over 4,000 Ethiopians from all walks of life participated in various sporting and cultural activities."We organise these kinds of activities to help in beating home sickness among Ethiopians while at the same time showcasing our culture," he concluded.