Ethiopia: New York/Tri state area residents held discussion with Mr. Obang Metho on Ethiopian migrant workers victims of violation of human rights.
The residents of Ethiopians in New York had open discussion with a well-respected social justice and human rights advocate Mr. Obang Metho. Mr. Obang is an Executive Director of Solidarity Movement for New Ethiopia (SMNE) a not-for profit organization. He was apparently came to Washington, D.C. area for business trip. He was “hijacked” by New Yorkers to provide his opinions and views, insights and inspiration as his expressed across several cities across the United States. I extend my appreciation to him for willingness to participate in this open the forum. He addressed the Community on the current deteriorating human rights violations migrant workers of Ethiopians in Middle East and African countries.
Mr. Metho as expressed in many occasions that the world has been upside down for migrants for the past several years. Migrant workers don’t
have means to fight back and there seemed no end to their suffering. Their lives were hanging by a thread. In this desperate situation the only hope of source they have is to pray to survive. Mr. Metho explained and articulated the facts that migrant workers are tortured, beaten up to death, beheaded, killed and set on fire to the extent that bodies were not recognizable. Those fortunate enough to survive are left with nightmare and permanent pains. How many migrant workers displaced or killed will never be known. Some Ethiopians living in western countries felt helpless thinking that that we could do nothing to help them. Some believe that if the Ethiopian diaspora collectively and increasingly involved in voicing to immediately stop these horrific acts to international communities, to the regimes of Gulf States, African countries including Ethiopia will help. The Gulf States, African countries including Ethiopia supposed to uphold the principle stipulated under United Nations “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, but in practice they are doing inadequate job to safeguard the rights of migrant workers.
Obang has been and still is one of the leading social justice and human rights advocate. He investigates, documents, report and shows vidences of several human rights violation crimes and brings it up to responsible entities and to the international communities. In addition, he has
testified before United States congressional committees on several occasions. His record is unmistakably clear in fighting for human rights, migrant workers’ rights, ethnic cleansing and exposing ongoing repression in Ethiopia. Today, his organization SMNE is one of the active
organizations fighting for just cause. Furthermore, it is our responsibility to mount a broad-based grassroots campaign exposing the crimes committed on Ethiopian migrant workers. Gross human rights violation is taking place in a large scale that targeted Ethiopians in Gulf States and African countries. The violation is immeasurable. But, our inability to collectively and forcefully to respond to these ugly deeds is often frustrating. Clearly being frustrated is not the solution. The solution is to do something about it on several fronts to reverse it. We cannot keep silent as Ethiopians continue to endure more untold suffering at the hands of autarchic regimes.
Holding open forums as this one helps to educate the general public, take the issues seriously, rejuvenates and transforms to broader movement in protecting human rights. One of the most important actions we could take would be to support human rights defenders organization Despite some differences we might have on some political opinion but there are crucial common causes as citizen we shall dialogue and reconcile with. To cite a snapshot of some of thing we could agree on: calling for justice, stable democratic rule and advocate for victims of human rights
violation of Ethiopians in foreign countries and at home. These will bring up together to discuss ways in which we can cooperate to address the same noble goals.
By all accounts, Obang has been providing the best advocacy platform in social justice and human right for Ethiopian people. Like others civic organizations, he is steadily fighting for the stories that are familiar to us, in particular in the area of human rights abuses, ethnic cleansing, land grab, corruption, and unaccountability that has been festered by dictatorial rule. Let me cite one of SMNE’s reflection and mission themes. “No one ethnic group will be free until we all are free”. As a whole, the discussion was very informative, educational and highlighted human rights abuses in Middle East countries and showed Ethiopia’s maladministration are part of the problem. It sheds light on current Ethiopian regime who has ruled the country with an iron fist for 25 years contributed for the dilemma in which the Ethiopian migrant workers find themselves today.