Fake job recruiters exploit, abuse nation’s most vulnerable

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Photo by: Anteneh Aklilu

According to the Addis Ababa City Administration Bureau of Labour and Social Affairs around half of the Capital’s 317 employment agencies are exploiting people through illegal practices.
The Bureau’s assessment found 117 agencies posting fake jobs, demanding money from the potential employees, manipulating people into doing excessive work, not paying taxes, and sexually harassing women.
The Bureau pointed out that 39,800 jobs posted by the agencies demanded payment from those seeking work, which is illegal. Then they would turn around and ask employers to pay the worker’s salary directly to them claiming the pay was commission.
Many jobs were fake but still the agencies would take money from those desperately looking for work. The Bureau said 20 agencies had their licenses revoked for posting fake jobs.
“Fake recruiters are catfishing desperate job-seekers, seducing them with the promise of a high-paying job before stealing their money,” Bureau Head Alemtshay Paulos told Capital.
According to her many agencies are exploiting people looking for domestic or service industry work.
“Fake recruiters are impersonating legitimate people at real companies. When the person contacts you, everything appears real-a real company with a real person’s name and photo that appears in that company’s directory of employees. The agencies charge you hefty fees but later you are informed that the job offer is fake.”
She added that some agencies have been bringing many girls from rural areas, keeping them in small rooms in Addis promising that eventually they will send them to Arab countries for domestic work.
“We have not started yet to send people abroad for domestic work, we are in the preparation stage but some agencies bring girls and take money from them. They promise that they will soon send them abroad. Often they are sexually assaulted or face other abuse.
She urged all stakeholders to stop these crimes by working together and asked that people tell them if they are aware of such illegal agencies.
“Workers will be subjected to a mandatory pre-departure training and verification of their contracts of employment before leaving Ethiopia. Those wishing to engage in recruitment must become familiar with the new requirements and regulations,” she added .
Thousands of Ethiopian migrant workers are in the Middle East as domestic workers, cleaners, drivers, chefs ect. Some say recruiting agencies are part of the problem.