Ethiopians get new legal path for Mideast work

By Addis Getachew

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AA) – In a bid to protect its workers from mistreatment and give them a legitimate path to work abroad, the Ethiopian government will officially kick off overseas employment services as of Wednesday.

According to Assefa Yirgalem, spokesman for the Labor and Social Affairs Ministry, preparations have been finalized to allow Ethiopian domestic workers to travel to countries of the Middle East starting tomorrow.

Five years ago, Ethiopia had banned its citizens from traveling to the region to protect them from mistreatment.

The new program will start with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan – the three Gulf countries whose governments Ethiopia signed agreements with to enable migrants to work legally, according to the Ethiopian News Agency.

On a visit to Saudi Arabia this June, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed scored a diplomatic victory by winning the release of hundreds of Ethiopian prisoners jailed for a variety of offenses in the Gulf state.

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