Ethiopia map
Ethiopia map
The Ethiopian government has temporarily banned its citizens from traveling abroad for employment.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the travel ban is aimed at curbing what it calls "the rising tide of abuse and exploitation" of migrants from the country.

It says the ban will remain until issues surrounding employment of Ethiopians abroad are addressed.

Tens of thousands of Ethiopians travel overseas each year in search of work. Rights groups say a majority who leave the country are females seeking domestic work in the Middle East.

Some end up being subjected to emotional and physical abuse as well as poor working conditions. Earlier this year, video surfaced reportedly showing an Ethiopian maid being abused in Lebanon. She later committed suicide.

Other Ethiopian migrants have died at sea, traveling on unsafe smuggling boats destined for Yemen or Italy.

The foreign affairs ministry says the government has suspended the licenses of foreign employment agencies as part of the new restrictions.