Geneva (Caasimada Online) – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has expressed concerns over the increased numbers of women and children migrating from the Horn of Africa to Gulf countries through Yemen.
The Director General of IOM, Antonio Vitorino, stated that the Eastern Migration Route, the treacherous journey taken by people from Ethiopia, Somalia, and Djibouti, has seen a 64% increase in the past year.
Most of those seeking a better livelihood are women with children and children traveling alone. Climate change has been identified as one of the main drivers of this increased migration.
Increase in vulnerability
In the past, women and children often opted out of this dangerous journey through the desert, mostly made on foot. Men would usually leave their families behind and make the trek in the hope of finding jobs and sending money back home.
However, the number of migrants is rising, placing pressure on the vulnerable migrants who are now more susceptible to criminal gangs along the route. They require protection against rape, violence, traffickers, and smugglers.
The United Nations’ migration organization needs to improve awareness of the dangers of this journey and provide assistance to the migrants.
Primary healthcare and other services should be offered to the migrants. In some cases, they should be returned to their countries of origin.
Last year, IOM returned 2,700 migrants voluntarily to Ethiopia and provided post-arrival assistance to support them in moving back to their regions of origin.
Challenges in Libya
The migration of people from West Africa through Libya to Europe is also a concern, particularly those detained in Libya.
The IOM strives to get more migrants into voluntary return programs to reduce the number of people in detention. However, this is difficult because the number of migrants who want to return is much higher than the available flights from Libya.
The factors that lead to increased migration, such as climate change and conflict, need to be addressed to reduce the number of people moving away from their homes.
Migrants should pursue legal migration routes. Although the process is complicated and cumbersome, it is much safer than the life-threatening conditions along illegal routes.
The increased migration of women and children from the Horn of Africa to Gulf countries through Yemen is a significant concern.
The vulnerability of these migrants must be addressed by providing them with awareness and assistance. Additionally, the factors that lead to increased migration must be addressed to reduce the number of people moving away from their homes.
Migrants should pursue legal migration routes, and the international community must work together to ensure the safety of those seeking a better livelihood.