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THE CAUSES AND IMPACTS OF INTERNATIONAL IRREGULAR MIGRATION FROM BALE ZONE, SOUTHEASTERN ETHIOPIA: A HUMAN SECURITY PERSPECTIVE. [Abstract ID: 1002-09]
The paper intends to address the causes and impacts on human security of international irregular migrants from Bale zone, Southeastern Ethiopia. Though Bale is one of irregular migration hub areas in Ethiopia and the problem continues to bring unprecedented crisis for migrants’ human security, existing efforts to address the issue still remain unsupported by scientific inquiry - a gap dealt in this paper. A qualitative approach was employed to conduct the study. Interviews and focus group discussions were utilized to collect data along with consultation of secondary materials. Among others, migrant returnees, potential migrants, families of migrants, and government stakeholders were sources of information. The finding revealed that, Bale is found to be an irregular migration core. Therefore, migration is caused, facilitated and accelerated by fundamental factors such as poverty, unemployment, existing strong positive perception towards migration, and with the influence of illegal brokers. Moreover, family and peer pressure, social networks and factors related to administrative failures such as poor bureaucratic and infrastructural delivery and weak response to the problem are also triggering factors. The problem highly affects the personal security of migrants: their survival, livelihood and dignities are extremely threatened at transit and destination countries. Severe exploitation by traffickers and employers such as death through murder and accident, sexual abuse, financial exploitation, forced labor and enslavement, physical and psychological assault, kidnapping for ransom, forced confinement, deportation, xenophobic attack and vulnerability to risks of domestic political instability are among the major risks that irregular migrants commonly face and which are threats to their security.