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Economic Migration isn't Just an Eritrean Issue; It's a Global One

Dozens of Tigrayan Refugees entering Eritrea

Economic Migration isn't Just an Eritrean Issue; It's a Global One

By Abdella Mohamed,

Human trafficking is a growing phenomenon affecting almost the entire world. It has become a lucrative industry that generates billions of dollars annually. No region of the world has been untouched by trafficking. While human smuggling is a global issue, this article will attempt to present a balanced report concerning migration of Eritreans. The main reasons for this article is to better combat human trafficking.

As the map below indicates, migrants from the East and West Africa have to use different routes to reach Europe.

Due to Spain's proximity to Africa, it has become one of the popular gateways into Europe for migrants. From there, migrants often make their way to other European countries. Similarly, migrants from the Horn of Africa move to Sudan through Libya and then to Italy. Once they arrive in Italy, they head for wealthy Northern European countries that provide generous welfare benefits such as Norway, Sweden, Holland, Denmark, UK, Switzerland and Germany. This act of leaving Italy for wealthier European countries clearly indicates they are economic migrants and not refugees.

Furthermore, according to Spanish border authorities in Tenerife (2006), around 6000 people died or ended up missing since 1988. This is largely due to the deplorable conditions of the transportations the migrants are forced to use. Traffickers use boats or makeshift rafts to cross oceans and seas without sufficient preparation. Most of those migrants who enter Spain are from western parts of Africa.

When it comes to illegal migration of people, politics seems to play a key role on what the media tends to focus on. Although Eritrea is often presented as having the worst migrant issues in Africa, the biggest producer of refugees in Africa is, in fact, Ethiopia. Both per capita and in sheer numbers, more people flee Ethiopia annually than any country in Africa. Yet, the focus seems to be mainly on Eritrea because of its political situation with the United States.

The followings are some factors that I believe are accelerating migration:

•Lack of Information: 

Many Eritreans just don't have information about the realities of the West. They seem to have an exaggerated and often Disney-like perception of the West in their minds. They think it's all money and play, when in reality, because of their poor education, most of them will be struggling to make an honest living for the rest of their lives. 

• Peer Pressure:

Most Eritrean youths fall victim of human trafficking because of peer pressure. They are often encouraged by friends and siblings to come along on a journey to the West. Since most of them are ignorant of the harsh realities that awaits them, they go along thinking it's an easy trip to make.

•The way forward:

 Link up local law enforcement agencies with Interpol when dealing with human trafficking.

Involve NUEW (Nationa Union of Eritrean Women), National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students (NUEYS),  and religious leaders in the fight against trafficking. 

The writer is Abdella Mohamed and can be reached

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Economic Migration isn't Just an Eritrean Issue; It's a Global One Reviewed by Admin on 1:22 AM Rating: 5


  1. I really appreciate you! The following remarks have very true message

    ..because of their poor education, most of them will be struggling to make an honest living for the rest of their lives..

    and 'Peer pressure'. Education is free in Eritrea now a days the opportunity is very wide but the education level of most of the refugees are very low and embarrassing.

    So lobbying thru mass media and thru the agencies like NUEW and NUEY is very crucial! Education is the most important factor to compete in the world before money. Young brain can catch easily the bad and the good but our upbringing and the support of the mass media bring a lot of change.

  2. You know deep inside your heart if it is not for the endless Sawa slavery we would not have so many of our young risking their lives to get out of the country. Sure you made a point when you say economic migration is a global phenomenon. However, you failed to mention as in our country case the when you take per capital case it is astounding figure. Put it this way currently in Eritrea there is no young to bury the dead except women and children.

  3. What does Sawa's slavery means? If one serves his/her country, is that not worthwhile? So what is then the crime here? There are opportunities in the country. The brilliants one join the university. The others take other vocational training. At the moment job opportunity is scarce and the payment might be meager. Comparing to risking lives I think patience is better. On the other hand passing thru Sawa has so many advantages.

  4. As your "mad dog" said, what is your evidence that we don't have political migration?
    Are G-15, journalists, poets, religious personals. .....held up in hell because of economic problems.?
    Aye nisikatkum kulu seb kemakum "DONKORO" iyu zimeslekum.

  5. Ruhus Awudamet brother...

    What university are you talking about? In order for the youth to practice Patience they have to see some type of brighter future. In the case of Eritrea, everything is doomed. One party system that doesn't tolerate others opinion. A system that is not governed by transparency.

    Even in the circumstance we are in (no war no peace) what is wrong with Eritrean nationalists asking what the budget of the country is? What is wrong for asking the constitution to be implemented?

    Peace and prosperity to the Eritrean people!

  6. Then why accuse one as Eritrean that doesnt come from Eritrea? At the same time if the service ended for you what think its a never ending one?

  7. Kolo tituko?Is this Greek

  8. Very True.
    Thank you 'gasha' for the good analysis. I recommend all Eri-lovers not to get caught up in the hotch-botches thrown by enemy quarters and to focus on the subject matter. Their mission is to keep people away from real issues that need our solution oriented comments by using all kinds of derogatory words.

  9. I read always yr negativity. Sometimes it is good to think back and see the reality. Don't blame blindly. Most youngsters fleeing their country have no clue of politics. It is just a fashion! Deserting their country and family, avoiding responsibility and are exposed to so many crisis. Let The Almighty help the Eritreans who have good faith in particular and the country at large.

  10. Are you saying kirkos?

  11. Peace comes when you try to narrow the gap. If there is no university, why did other country study the standard of the universities in Eritrea and give credit to the refugees who completed university studies. Before judging see the pros and cos of the situation of your country. Who are you to ask the budget? First and foremost have a good sense of what is going on and when one comes to his/her sense can ask.

  12. I'm not sure while you fail to see the current conditions of our country.Not sure why you want to allow fellow Eritreans to be in slavery(you call it serving) for their entire live with mere 500 Nakfa? Im not sure why you choose to be quite when thousands of our fellow Eritreans are languishing in Eritrean prisons with out due process.Im not sure why you choose to be quite when we have a leader who never takes any personal responsibilities exct blaming others for his own failures like CIA or not sure why you choose silence when we have many of our youth scaping Eritrea in a record numbers in every direction even to Ethiopia ,the country we fought no so long ago.Why silence when we have a leader who divided our country based on religion,and Awraja(making Akeleguzay as a second class).The list goes on and on.Where is the evidence just like you leader?

  13. kabakhi nisayas yQerbuwo usurat, ati weCHmad LOL

  14. Who I may to ask for the budget of the country? Didn't I tell you an eritrean nationality?

    You not in touch with reality dud. We had one university and it's shut down. The other so calleges, non of them are accredited institutions. Don't you know they are ran by the army?

  15. "Dozens of Tigrayan Refugees entering Eritrea"??????????? Really??????? ኪር ኪር ኪር ኪር ኪር ኪር ኪር ኪር ኪር ኪር ......You made my day! Just to put facts strait, there are 100,000 Eritrean refugees in Tigray as we speak right now. This figure excludes another tens of thousands in refugee camps in the Afar region. And this is only after risking their lives against shoot-to-kill orders of the mentally unstable dictator. Imagine the two countries are at peace and anyone can cross to either side, I can see Tigray inundated by millions of ጥሙያት፣ ደናቑር፣ ረሳሓት፣ ሸራሙጥ በዓል ዓብደላ መሐመድን ከምኡ ዝኣመሰሉን!!!

  16. Who said so? Try to be fair and criticize constructively. Are you interested of building? The lecturers are the same and the standard is equal to the previous university. For the sake of the refugees graduates, Norwegian professionals have studied and accredited their credentials. Ask or google. I myself found out the reality after I read it.

  17. I don't think y r an Eritrean. The previous leaders of Ethiopia were using this phenomena. No more this kind of a game. Unless one is moron this shouldn't be mentioned. Eritrea is the nine ethnic nationalities! Period..

  18. ሃለቃ, ስራህካ ስራህ..ዘምጽ ኣካ ግበር..ሃለቃ ከምዚ ነስኻ ተብሎ ኣይዛረብን ኢዩ..ሃሳዊ

  19. Why force it? Let it come out, do not fight it! You are a refugee in no man's land; can you even try to make it your own? Aiga mae ishohk!
    Now go and die!

  20. Have you been to any meetings Eritrean officials conduct abroad? Have you wandered why there is no single Person in top leadership from Akeleguzay around Esaias circles? Have you wandered why Mendefera would be the capital city of Zoba Debub while Adekeyeh is larger and more beautiful,Have you wandered who made the choice and why?Have you wandered where the majority of Eplf leaders from Akeleguzay like Durue,Mesfin Hagos and others are ?Either dead,in jail or exiled.Should I say more? Where is the evidence baba Esu?

  21. Your problem is, you do not realize the gap there can be a wide gap between a project and reality. Why am I saying that?
    Because, although it is the right procedure to have a detailed project/plan of whatever you intend to do in the future, it is also possible that con artists and impostors, in the like of isaias afewerqi, can put out grandiose projects, like Sawa, to hoodwink the people into trusting them, and with the trust thus gained, perpetrate their evil machinations .
    But how do we discriminate between the con artists and the genuine ones?
    Before I answer my question, let me paraphrase what Sawa project was supposed to accomplish. Actually there were many , among which was the reinforcement of our Defense Forces in view of the constant threat from our eternal enemies to the South of our borders.
    But the question is, Has Sawa met its destiny with respect of our Defense capability?
    During the 1998 war, the Sawa Lions withstood and crushed the futile military attack which was hatched and launched by the tegaru conspirators, woyane and isaias. When the impostor isaias ordered them to hand over our believed Port of Assab to woyane, they rebuffed him and saved it. Of course, he carried out his vindication over them under the guise that they threw their outdated guns, which they did to grab more potent ones from the piggy woyane soldiers .
    Soon after the war was over, the con artist isaias and woyane, came out with a new plot to kill our country in a drawn out of No War no Peace situation, the result of which the economy of the country hit bottom; the Sawa Lions, systematically subjected to horrendous brutalities like the rest of their people, were led to despair and frustration as to lose their Eritrean National Pride and to leave their beloved country in droves. Consequently, our Defense capability is worse off than ever been.
    To answer my previous question, how we discriminate between the con artist and the genuine, who both put out project. We know them by the fruits of their product, which, that of the genuine is real and wholesome, whereas that of the con artist is cancerous.
    To tell you the truth, I am disgusted with your servile behavior towards the con artist isaias afewerqi who is spreading cancerous destruction in our country; you must be a gutless and spineless enemy foot-soldier.

  22. From the long statement, the hatred y ve to Isayas is more reflected. I found you to be subjective. Y fabricated lies to make others believe your wrong attitude. Common my fellow brother think twice before you reach to a decision. According to your statement y believe Isayas is the enemy of Eritrea. All the evils were calculated by him and weyane to make us down. OK let us say this is true. Do you think the other Eritrean around him accept all these? Eritreans by nature understand politics. These days most of the youngsters are out of this. They are only interested in materials. There is a big difference between sacrificing your life for yr country and loving yr self for yr own benefit. I didn't forget the youngsters who sacrificed during 1998 war. Those who fought the 30 years war were also young at their time. Having saying this our problem is poverty. To defend this hard work is needed. Our country's major capital is human. This was where patience is needed. The hard work plus patience would have brought us to the intended prjoect and weyane shouldn't be playing this game and others would have changed their mind. We ourselves opened the room to our enemies like it was 30 years ago and now we are pointing our fingers to one person HIM. SAWA has make many to be bold, brave and strong. I see a generation gap now but you will see our grand children(at least to me) would make a change! The innocence blood and the handicapped in kagewe would pay a price!!!!

  23. Idiot! I am 100% sure y r not from Eritrea. It is not only yr place myself place is changed to Gash Barka. My people go long way to Barentu. Y r making a foolish statement. The people in jail are not only from yr area. They are from every where.

  24. Baire, just read all African News.According to the East African nation's police, acting regional police
    commander SSP Athumani Mwambalaswa, on Saturday said that the Ethiopians
    were deserted by agents who had promised to take them to their
    destination but failed to keep to their promise, leaving the immigrants
    wandering in the forest for 15 days, without food or water.
    It might help you to laugh better.

  25. Since when did Athumani Mwambalaswa became an Eritrean? Am not saying no Tigrean is leaving his land and going somewhere for a better standard of life, but NOT to Eritrea!!!!!!!!!! To the contrary 100,000 Eritreans are in Tigray alone searching for a respite from the brutal man-eater regime in Asmara. Perhaps you are one of them, or surely have some relatives in Tigray or in a third country after a brief stay in Tigray.

  26. ደሓን ኩኒ ኤርትራ! ኤርትራውያን ስደተኛታት ንትግራይ ገፆም ክስደዱ ከለው! The author of this 'article' deliberately altered the true source of the photo!!

  27. Praise be to the selfless and dedicated! In deed.Eritrea is blessed in many ways and one major blessing we are gracious of is the love and care we have vis-a-vis the love of Eritrea and Eritreans.
    DM the imposter will be exposed soon.

  28. By Durame,

    A record-breaking 4,634
    Ethiopian refugees and asylum seekers have crossed into neighboring
    Eritrea for the month of June, opposition sources in Asmara have

    Eritrea, which is currently housing tens of thousands of Ethiopian refugees, has declined to comment about the alarming number of Ethiopian youth entering their borders.

    Severe government oppression
    and lack of economic opportunities are the leading causes of youth
    fleeing Ethiopia, according to refugees inside the country.

    On average, over 7,100 Ethiopian refugees have been fleeing towards Yemen each month, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

    Over the past few years, reports indicate a quarter of a million Ethiopian refugees have crossed into Yemen, making the country of 85 million as the biggest exporter of refugees on the continent.

    Despite the growing figures of Ethiopian youth fleeing their
    homeland, little attention is given in the media due to Addis Ababa’s
    close relation with Washington.

  29. You asked, " According to your statement y believe Isayas is the enemy of Eritrea. All the evils were calculated by him and weyane to make us down. OK let us say this is true. Do you think the other Eritrean around him accept all these?"
    Before I answer your good question, let me make some short background remark: You are aware that even though this con artist, isaias afewerqi, has been calling himself " president" for more than twenty years, he was never elected by Eritreans, including you and me.
    Eritrean people had drawn and ratified a Unitary Constitution more than fifteen years ago, but this con artist, willfully trashing it, has been subjugating our people by brute force, being responsible to no one but to himself.
    The 1998 war he launched was unnecessary and illegal. The right path was to inform UNSC about the border instigations the villain woyane was undertaking. The reason he took the illegal path was obvious; it was long hatched between the two, the con artist and woyane, and therefore, it had to happen. The fact that he left the country just before his order to launch the war was consummated amply reflects his con artistry to avoid responsibility.
    Let me stop the background remarks and answer your question: His cabals, Hagos Kisha, the de facto economy minister; Abraha Kasa, the Security Chief; Yemane Monkey, the de facto Foreign and Local Minister etc. are all tegaru like himself. The true Eritreans, in the cabinet of ministers , PFDJ, are all decoys. They are kept there not to work but to afford his Secret All tegaru Party a veil.

  30. Age factor matters. If you are under 40 you might be very emotional. Mutual understanding leads to maturity. I hate war, insults, blaming. Attitudinal change has a big impact. I gave my opinion because I worked very closely on the achievements of the MDG goal and I was very much impressed of the working system and the people catch easily towards development. You seem very sure of your statements where I have no proof that Isayas has started the war. What I know is they are working their best to make Eritrea to a better place.

    It doesn't matter the names y mentioned are from Tigray. At the same token those we say our enemies mostly are claimed to be Eritreans. In this case as long as they have their own principle, it is not the blood that matters it is the principle that matters. In being neighbors there are intermarriage. It is normal man is identified by birth and nationality. It is a matter of choice. I think this shouldn't make a difference between us. Both of us are concerned about our people and country. So if you really think 360 degree it is better to struggle for the betterment instead of making a wide gap. I believe at the moment until the level of poverty and awareness of the people in health, education etc improved self-reliance is better rather than being dependent on others tax payers money. Yes you and me did not elect Isayas but it was EPLF and the people of Eritrea who brought the independence. Yes of course many are detained, the constitution is not yet on place. If we are strong enough no body will play a game. Those which worries us would be improved if we have tolerance.

  31. A record-breaking 4,634 Eritrea refugees and asylum seekers have crossed into neighboring Ethiopia for the month of June, opposition sources in Addis Ababa have disclosed.

    Ethiopia, which is currently housing tens of thousands of Eritrean refugees, has declined to comment about the alarming number of Eritrean youth
    entering their borders.

    Severe government oppression and lack of economic opportunities and indefinite military conscription are the leading causes of youth fleeing Eritrea, according to refugees inside the country.

    On average, over 7,100 Eritrean refugees have been fleeing towards Yemen each month, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for

    Over the past few years, reports indicate a quarter of a million Eritrean refugees have crossed into Yemen, making the country of 5 million as the biggest exporter of refugees on the continent.

  32. As many as 750 migrants feared dead in five Mediterranean shipwrecks

    Syrians and Eritreans make up the largest number of people arriving in Italy...........

  33. I am not a fanatic Christian. Today I was just reading a bible. I came across statements which surprise me. I wanted to share it with you if you don't mind. It is stated about obeying a leadership. Please read it. It is in a New Testament. A message to Romanians by St. Peter Article 13 versus 1 to 8.

  34. 'Worst shipwreck in years' leaves 500 boat migrants feared dead

  35. Abdela,
    Yes, there is no question about economic migration isn’t just an Eritrean issue; it is a global one. However, our Eritrean case is different to the fact that the mafia group called PFDJ has no economic or political policy in which our people can be ruled. The mafia leadership has closed all private companies such as construction companies, clinics and almost all small scale factories and as a result our youths are leaving their beloved country and people. And as one of the leaders of the mafia group called PFDJ told me such acts are being done knowingly just to make our people hopeless and systematically deport them out of their country just to let the mafia group including the self-appointed president Esseyas on power.
    As you have outlined in your article, it is not because of lack of information or peer pressure. Simply, there is no hope inside the country and the only way is dying to try for a better life.
    Let’s not fool ourselves, truth is always truth. It has been over 23 years and still the mafia group is nable to provide electricity and water let alone employment opportunities.

  36. Analysis of top 15 nationalities nationalities migrating to Italy in 2014

  37. For obvious reason Syrians are the second. What about in Eritrea? Is there a war other than poor standard of living? How many % is this comparing to those who are living inside Eritrea? Bear in mind! This should also be compared to the population who are still living in the country.

    Secondly, don't you think the sanctions have lead to such situations? If one believes this is to embarrass the present government of Eritrea, at this economic crisis all over the world, it doesn't bring any good to any one.

    Let us lobby to get reed of the sanction. Let us make them believe self-reliance is not a crime. The German people have eaten trash to make the present German.

    In conclusion, as to the government of Eritrea it has worked hard to aware and alert the grass root people, with the belief unless one keep its health and take precaution many will die, unless educate itself will not compete with the advanced world, unless try to drink clean water and catch, control the scarce water vis a vis usage of latrine 'quota' exercise the 8 MDG goals there is no development.

    I left my country with the above mentality i.e when my government was working hard to reach this goal. The iMDG Goal is initiated by UN. Why forget to advocate for Eritrea, young Eritreans so on and so forth?


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