“I came to Wajir, Kenya in search of a better life, but I ended up in a prison cell. I am originally from Duguna Fango, Wolaita Zone in Southern Ethiopia. I was living and working in Moyale, when the broker/smuggler contacted me. He told me I would make good money working on a farmland in Wajir. The intensification of the inter-ethnic clash in Moyale coupled with the dream for better employment opportunities I heard about, motivated me to migrate to Wajir. It has been two years since I migrated to Wajir County, but I have not made enough money. In the course of these two years, this is the fifth time that I am detained and repatriated to Moyale. The owner of the farm refused to pay me part of my salary, with the excuse that he paid the broker who facilitated my transport to Wajir. I came here with a big dream to change my life and that of my family. But, now I feel like my dream has been crashed. I don’t want to go back empty-handed. That would be embarrassing“, the story of Asfaw -Ethiopian migrant detained in Wajir County’s Police Station.
A team from the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) visited the police detention center at Wajir, Kenya and talked to 9 irregular migrants under the age of 18, four of them female with an account of a vicious circle of irregular migration where their human rights are put at risk as they continuous fall prey to smugglers and corrupt authorities. The team was informed that there were additional 18 irregular migrants currently serving a prison sentence for breaking national immigration regulations. In collaboration with national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in neighboring countries and other stakeholders, EHRC aims at promoting a human rights-based approach to migration governance to achieve SDG 10.7 of safe, orderly and regular migration.