Human Trafficking and Trauma in the Digital Era
520 Pages
English
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Human Trafficking and Trauma in the Digital Era

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520 Pages
English

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Eritrean refugees crisscross between countries in the Horn of Africa and North Africa in search of a safe place. Along their journeys, they are looted, threatened, intimidated, violated, and held for ransom. This book revisits the human trafficking crisis that first emerged in the Sinai at the end of 2008 and examines the expansion of human trafficking of Eritrean refugees and other forms of exploitation beyond the Sinai. It focuses on the modus operandi of these practices and on identifying their key facilitators and beneficiaries. The book locates the origin of these practices within Eritrea; it reveals how a deliberate policy of impoverishment and human rights abuses has driven the people out of the country, and how individuals within Eritrea, and particularly within the ruling party, benefit from the smuggling and trafficking of Eritrean refugees. The use of information communication technologies (ICTs) is identified as key to the new modus operandi of this criminal business and is found to further facilitate widespread collective trauma amongst Eritreans, who witness the abuse of their family members and fellow nationals through digital networks. An entire section in this book is dedicated to assessing the extent and effects of individual and collective trauma caused by Sinai trafficking and to examining potential approaches to healing. Other sections discuss the vulnerabilities of Eritrean minors and women, and the connections between human trafficking, terrorism and organ trafficking. The last section of the book raises the question of accountability. It examines and evaluates international responses to this forgotten crisis, and discusses the need for policies that tackle the problem where it emerges: in Eritrea.

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Published 13 February 2017
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EAN13 9789956764167
Language English
Document size 7 MB

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HUMAN TRAFFICKING and TRAUMA in the DIGITAL ERA The Ongoing Tragedy of the Trade in Refugees from Eritrea
Edited by Mirjam van Reisen and Munyaradzi Mawere
Human Trafficking and Trauma in the Digital Era: The Ongoing Tragedy of the Trade in Refugees from Eritrea
Edited by Mirjam Van Reisen & Munyaradzi Mawere
L a ng a a R esea rch & P u blishing CIG Mankon, Bamenda
Publisher:LangaaRPCIG Langaa Research & Publishing Common Initiative Group P.O. Box 902 Mankon Bamenda North West Region Cameroon Langaagrp@gmail.comwww.langaa-rpcig.net Distributed in and outside N. America by African Books Collective orders@africanbookscollective.com www.africanbookscollective.com ISBN-10: 9956-764-87-6
ISBN-13: 978-9956-764-87-7 ©Mirjam Van Reisen and Munyaradzi Mawere 2017 Contributing Editor Meron Estefanos Editorial Assistant Lena Reim Copyeditors Susan Sellars-Shrestha and Anirudh Krishnan Advisor (report content) Zecarias Gerrima, Reem Abbas and Klara Smits Translators Medhanie Ghebregzabiher Paulos and Bealfan T Haile All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical or electronic, including photocopying and recording, or be stored in any information storage or retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of Tilburg University and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.
About the Contributors Taha Al-Qasim Taha Al-Qasim is a PhD student. His areas of specialisation in research include unaccompanied minor refugees, development studies, education and conflict, children’s right-based approach, gender, and migration, with a primary research interest in Eritrea and Sudan. He is also interested in research on displaced young people, youth agency and peacebuilding in the Horn of Africa. Francois Christophe Francois Christophe is a political risk analyst specialising in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2008–2009, he served as political attaché at the Embassy of France in Asmara, Eritrea. As a private consultant, he led fact-finding missions to central Africa and the Middle East to report on the security situation and political stability. Francois Christophe holds a Master of Public Affairs from Sciences Po Paris. Meron Estefanos Meron Estefanos is a human rights activist and journalist. She is a radio presenter for Radio Erena, as well as co-founder and director of the International Commission on Eritrean Refugees in Stockholm, Sweden. Among other publications, Estefanos co-authored ‘Human Trafficking in the Sinai: Refugees between Life and Death’(with Van Reisen & Rijken, 2012) and ‘The Human Trafficking Cycle: Sinai and Beyond’(with Van Reisen & Rijken, 2014). In 2012, Meron Estefanos received the Dawit Isaac Award and was acknowledged as a ‘Forgotten Hero’ by The Guardian (2016). Zecarias Gerrima Zecarias Gerrima is vice-chair, staff writer and media coordinator of African Monitors, an Eritrean Human Rights organisation based in Uganda. Before leaving Eritrea in 2014, Zecarias Gerrima graduated from Asmara University in Applied Geography and History in 2003 and worked as a journalist for the Ministry of Information with Eritrean Television Service (Eri-TV) until 2013. After moving to Uganda, he worked with the Eritrean National Forum for Dialogue
as a staff writer for Radio Medrek (erimdrek.com). In this position, he wrote commentaries and current affairs analyses on Eritrean politics. Eyob Ghilazghy Eyob Ghilazghy is co-founder and executive director of Africa Monitors, an Eritrean human rights organisation based in Uganda. He is also secretary of Pen Eritrea, an association of writers and journalists in exile that promotes freedom of expression. Eyob Ghilazghy holds a Bachelor in Plant Sciences from the University of Asmara and a Master of Science in Sustainable Development from School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) University of London. He has also previously worked as teacher, food security officer, monitoring officer, agronomist, human rights defender, researcher and journalist. Susan Höfner Susan Höfner currently interns at Europe External Policy Advisors (EEPA) as research assistant. She recently graduated from Utrecht University, where she undertook a Master of Arts in Applied Ethics. Susan Höfner also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Economics from the University of Bayreuth. Selam Kidane Selam Kidane is a PhD student at Tilburg University. She is a psychotherapist, writer and human rights campaigner. She has been director of Release Eritrea since 2004. Since August 2016, she has been the Project Manager at Race On The Agenda (ROTA), where she develops and manages mental health projects for Nepalese, Tamil and Somali communities in West London. Previously, she worked for Enfield Council (2006–2015), the British Association for Adoption & Fostering (2000–2006), the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (1998–2000), and the Camden Family Support Unit (1994–1998). Selam Kidane holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from University of Westminster and a Master of Science in Systemic Therapy from University of London.
Sacha Kuilman Sacha Kuilman is currently undertaking a Masters in Human Rights and Humanitarian Action at Sciences Po (PSIA) and holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in the Liberal Arts and Sciences from Amsterdam University College, where she focused on International Relations and Political Sciences. Between September 2015 and March 2016 she interned as research assistant at Africa Monitors. Daniel Mekonnen Dr Daniel Mekonnen is an Eritrean human rights lawyer and a former Judge of the Central Provincial Court in Asmara (Eritrea). He is currently a guest writer at the ‘Writers in Exile Program’ of the Swiss-German PEN Centre in Luzern. Having lived and worked in eight different countries, he was a senior legal advisor and research professor at the Oslo-based International Law and Policy Institute (ILPI), a visiting fellow at the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law, a post-doctoral researcher at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, and a research fellow at the School of Law in Queen’s University Belfast. His most recent book (co-authored with Kjetil Tronvoll) is: ‘The African Garrison State: Human Rights and Political Development in Eritrea(James Currey, 2014). The book was included in the prestigious ‘Outstanding Academic Titles’ list of January 2015, published by Choice magazine of the American Library Association (ALA). Munyaradzi Mawere Prof. Dr. Munyaradzi Mawere is a Professor in the Department of Culture and Heritage Studies at Great Zimbabwe University. He holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa. Professor Mawere also holds a Masters in Social Anthropology; Masters in Philosophy; Masters in Development Studies; Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Philosophy; Certificate in Tertiary and Higher Learning; Certificate in Information Technology; and Certificate in Diplomacy, Negotiation and Bargaining. He has authored more than 35 books and over 150 publications. Some of his best-selling books are: ‘Culture, Indigenous Knowledge and Development in Africa: Reviving Interconnections for Sustainable Development’ (2014); ‘Democracy, Good Governance and Development in Africa: A Search for Sustainable Democracy and Development’, (2015); and
Development Perspectives from the South: Troubling the Metrics of [Under-]development in Africa’ (2016). Martin Plaut Martin Plaut is senior research fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London since 2013. He received his first degree in Social Science from the University of Cape Town (1975) and an Honours degree from the University of the Witwatersrand (1977) before completing a Master of Arts at the University of Warwick (1978). Between 2003 and 2013, Martin Plaut was Africa editor for the BBC World Service News. He has advised the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the US State Department. He was an Associate Fellow of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, leading their Africa research programme and continues to be an active member of Chatham House and the Royal African Society. His most recent publications include ‘Curious Camden Town’ (with Andrew Whitehead, 2015), ‘Promise and Despair: The first struggle for a non-racial South Africa, 1899–1914’ (2016), and ‘Understanding Eritrea: Inside Africa’s most repressive state’ (2016). Lena Reim Lena Reim currently works as an independent consultant for Europe External Policy Advisors (EEPA), where she assists with the coordination, research, writing and editing of draft publications. She recently graduated from Amsterdam University College with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in the Liberal Arts and Sciences, focusing on international relations, political sciences and law. Wegi Sereke Wegi Sereke is an Eritrean lawyer with more than eight years’ experience, including as former staff attorney at the Legal Advisor’s Office to the Eritrean State President and as an elementary school teacher in rural Eritrea. Since September 2016, she has been a consultant with the Brussels-based think-tank, Europe External Policy Advisors (EEPA). Prior to this, she interned with three Geneva-based intergovernmental organisations, namely, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), and the
United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC), which allowed her to benefit from exposure to international diplomacy and key areas of international law. She obtained her first Master of Laws in International Dispute Settlement from MIDS in 2011 in Geneva, and her second Master of Laws in International Law in 2013 from the Graduate Institute in Geneva. Klara Smits Klara Smits graduated from Wageningen University in the Netherlands with a Masters in Sustainable Development Diplomacy. Since graduating, she has worked at Europe External Policy Advisors (EEPA) in Brussels as office and communications coordinator. At EEPA, she coordinates the advocacy strategy of EEPA towards the European Union, especially in the areas of human trafficking and human rights in Eritrea. She also plays a role in EEPA research and regularly publishes in the media and on the EEPA website. Mirjam Van Reisen Prof. Dr. Mirjam Van Reisen holds the University Chair of Computing for Society at Leiden University and the Chair of International Relations, Innovation and Care at Tilburg University. She is a member of the Dutch Government Council on International Relations and Chair of the Council on Development Cooperation. In 2012, she received the Golden Image Award by Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the category of ‘Peace and Development’. Mirjam Van Reisen has (co-)authored numerous publications. Among others, she is author ofHuman Trafficking in the Sinai: Refugees between Life and DeathEstefanos & Rijken, 2012), (with The Human Trafficking Cycle: Sinai and Beyond(with Estefanos & Rijken, 2014), as well asSinai Trafficking: Origin and Definition of a New Form of Human Trafficking(with Rijken, 2015). Zara Tewolde Zara Tewolde-Berhan currently interns at EEPA as research and communications assistant. She recently graduated in Modern History and Politics from the University of Essex. Zara Tewolde-Berhan is also a human rights campaigner and a member of the Stop Slavery in Eritrea Campaign.
Table of Contents Acknowledgements…....……………………………………. xv Justification………………………………….……………… xvii Acronyms…………………………...…….………………… xviii Chapter 1: Introduction..………….………………………. 1 By Mirjam Van Reisen The ongoing human trafficking crisis………..……………… 1 Severe trauma…………………………….…………………. 6 A crisis of accountability………………….………………… 7 Main conclusions…………………………...……………….. 11 Part 1: The Ongoing Human Trafficking Crisis….……... 17 Chapter 2: Human Trafficking in the Sinai: Mapping the Routes and Facilitators……..…………….... 19 By Mirjam Van Reisen, Meron Estefanos and Lena Reim Introduction………………………………….……………... 19 Deliberate impoverishment and control: Establishing human trafficking structures……….…………... 21 Eritrea’s illicit cross-border trade in arms and people….……. 31 Abduction and trafficking to the Sinai…………….………… 39 Involvement of Eritrean officials………………….…………56 In the Sinai and beyond: A coordinated network of traffickers……………………….….…………… 65 On release: Imprisoned and deported……….……………….72 Towards Israel……………………..……….……………….. 76 Following the ransom back to Eritrea……….…...………….. 82 Conclusion………………………………....……………….. 88 Chapter 3: The Exodus from Eritrea and Who is Benefiting…………………………………..…….. 95 By Mirjam Van Reisen and Meron Estefanos Introduction……………………………..…………………. 95
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