According to the participant informants of the study area’s respondents, there is a chronic lack of paid work, specifically for unskilled labour in their settings. Youth unemployment is high in many places. The labour market for young women is often very restricted – invariably more so than for young men. Women are not as highly valued in terms of their labour as men in sectors such as productive business activities such as marketable business activities, investment in mechanized agricultural activities, competitive import – export and are therefore restricted to household work, and sales and service jobs in the informal sector. What jobs are available usually involve working for long hours and low pay under poor conditions. Domestic work and the service sector are often poorly regulated and workers are not unionized. Many young women start out as domestics in slavery-like conditions in the hope of finding something better. Poor people have great difficulty obtaining credit on reasonable terms and there is still no access to micro-credits, in particular for young women without assets of their own. Besides, female’s work migrations from Setit Humera towns are mainly caused by poverty and lose of hope to future employment after graduation from different level of education.
The trafficked respondents reported that, they are affected with many and interrelated effects of human trafficking on account of economic deficiency. Accordingly, here is a story telling which revealed trafficked victim migrant returnees are affecting with complex effects of human trafficking. One of the respondent’s life histories, aged 27 years and, her education level is degree. She stated the situation how she was suffering with complex and interrelated impacts of human trafficking as follows:
One ought to know that I don’t migrate for trip; it is the level of poverty and other problems that pushes me. I was not happy when I leave my country but there is no other option. I have graduated degree program in veterinary medicine from governmental higher education (University) but there is no job opportunity here that will make me stay and work.
Besides, the other some participant informant of irregular migrant returnee girls responded that their primary aim was not only to improve their life but also help their parents. My interest was to improve the life of my parents, to make them very rich. Being I was the elder child for my mother, I decided to migrate irregularly since I have no parent to cover my expense in the regular (legal) way. I don’t want my mother to be depressed as I love her so much.
What you earn there for a year is more than what you get in five years here. So, in order to earn a better income, you migrate. „When I thought about my country, I have never seen any hope. You can gain nothing by working here. There are college and even university graduate with no employment. And even those employed didn’t improve their own and their family life. You can’t change your life style; you are always the same while being here. In our country, it may take more than five or more years to get the money that one got by working one year in industrialized / developed country.
My father is disabled and he couldn’t do hard works such as daily laborer and heavy labor. “I’m the first born daughter in the family. I had three younger siblings who couldn’t earn additional income because they are too young to do. We had no house of our own. We rent from individuals because of poverty. The family living depended on the informal small trade we had no other means of survival and lived in a very poor situation. I dropped out of elementary school to sustain the family by working in grain mill as ordinary worker. But our living situation did not improve. It was therefore due to persistent poverty that I chose irregular migration, not only to improve my own living, but also for the family.
The informant’s response illustrates that poverty was the main cause for their irregular migration and the hope to find a better work abroad pushed them to migrate. Also, it is evident that poverty prevails in the local setting as many poor families depend on their income in the relief or aid ’program to satisfy their basic food consumptions according to the informant from parents of irregular migrants. In addition to this, other reasons that prove the informants‟ low standard of living, losing hope in the future employment opportunity in home country and the extreme poverty of their family initiate them to leave their home to work abroad. The informants stated that there are little or no employment opportunities that absorb students who failed in grade eight, ten and even twelve. Even the few employment opportunities in the informal sectors such as working in grain mill, hotel, restaurant and housemaid couldn’t improve their economic problem.
Contrary to this, some discussants in the focus group discussion responded that all sectors of the community including the poorest, the better off and the middle-income family’s youths are migrating. The rich families send their children through regular means because they want to ensure a better future and they can afford its cost. The middle income families send their daughters and/or sons via regular and irregular means as per the condition, mainly to become rich. The poorest of the poor cannot afford the cost for regular means and send their children through irregular means. In addition to this, key informant from the town bureau of labour and social affairs responds that, even some employees governmental offices including primary school teachers are migrated either irregularly or regularly to search better job opportunity and to become rich within short period of time.
This displays that, even though economy is the primary factor of irregular migration in general, and women’s irregular migration in particular, there are also other factors that drive irregular migration of youths in the town. As Patricia (2014) revealed that, poverty is a major characteristic of a developing country and is seen as a major cause of human trafficking. The quest to improve the standard of living in these families makes them accept whatever promises the traffickers offer them. It is also an issue in cases of internal and external trafficking.
Hence, as it is discovered in the study the migrants are economically powerless due to poverty. The informants participated in this study maintained that poverty accompanied with other poor economic conditions is an influential factor behind their trafficking. Having recognized how rampant poverty in the country is, migration is the only chance for many people to escape poverty and change their life.
Thus, based on the pull and push reasoning of migration, there is a common ground behind people‘s movement from in the country of origin and attractive situations the countries of destination. Poverty is frequently mentioned as a major cause of illegal migration. In this regard, an interview with the participant informants presented her life situation about the way of her migration as following:
I am from poor family, and I was always thinking of how to change and improve myself and my family’s living conditions latterly. I realized going to Beirut seems the way of getting out of poverty. With high expectation of changing my family’s problem, I borrowed many from my relatives to cover the cost of travel and a cost of brokers. I went to Beirut through paying the cost of travel including the payments given to the brokers the money gained from my family. But, after I have arrived Beirut, I lost all of my expectation. Putting my family indebted becomes painful for my life which in turn gave me tensions and trouble. I make my family indebted I could not find Beirut as I am informed by brokers and friend of mine went there ahead of me.
During data collection the researcher observed that, in western zone of Tigray particularly in the study area of Setit Humera town out migration is encouraged and the people of the town looks working abroad as the best last options regardless of its safety or not. In the study area when someone migrates and reached the intended destination country his/her family publicly celebrates, with excessive and unwanted expenditures to express their happiness and get recognition through the surrounding communities.
In addition, the statement of interview from the trafficked returned migrant participants confirmed that, due to the role of other people the victims’ determined to migrate abroad as the following verbal words of informants presented below.