• Regulating Private Employment Agencies in Ethiopia. Protecting the Rights, Safety and Dignity of Ethiopian Housemaids in the Middle East

Lambert Academic Publishing
Publication date:

(Both authors obtained an LL.M at Umeå University in 2011. Specialized on administrative law, and EU law, Barsk’s interest in migration law led her to a position at the Swedish Migration Board's Resident Permit Unit. Lundgren’s specialization on human rights and international law is currently practiced at the Swedish Migration Board's Asylum Unit.)


This study takes its starting point in the exploitative situation that Ethiopian migrant domestic workers face when employed in the Middle East, both working and living in the employer’s home without access to human rights or labour laws. In 2009, a new proclamation, based on the ILO Private Employment Agency Convention 181, was enacted in Ethiopia with the objective of further protecting the rights, safety and dignity of migrant workers by strengthening the mechanisms for monitoring and regulating the business of private recruiters. The implementation, the monitoring of private recruiters as well as the application of the proclamation in criminal court is examined. The law describes both public and private responsibility in terms of protection of Ethiopian workers abroad. It is argued that the capacity of licensed private employment agencies generally is too weak to fulfil the responsibility placed upon them and that this responsibility needs to be shared by other sectors of society. Finally, it is concluded that increased number of agencies under governmental supervision would benefit women employed abroad.

MATERIAS: Ethiopia., private employment agency, international labour law, ethiopian criminal law, ethiopian legal system, women's migration, labour migration, domestic workers, Trafficking, Middle East