<h2>Listros Conference<h2>

On October 16, 2012 we held a LISTROS conference in Addis Ababa as part of LISTROS DAY 2012. It was the first conference of its kind in the country's history and more than 900 of 1500 invited Listros followed our invitation to the the six-hour meeting. Representatives of the national government, the city council and the city police were also present. This first encounter of these groups was unique in the openness and commitment of all parties involved.

For LISTROS Conference we collaborated with WOLAITTA DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION IN ADDIS ABABA (WODA AA OFFICE), because according to Addis Ababa police statistics about 85% of the 39,000 LISTROS holding different occupations in public places within the so-called informal sector of the capital hail from the southern regions of the country around Wolaitta.

Many of these young people come to Addis Ababa at the age of 15 or 16 in the hope of finding a job. With the money earned they want to improve their own and their families' lives. The conference's goal was to raise these teenagers' awareness of their tremendous contribution to society. Furthermore they were to be given the opportunity to make their concerns public. 

The conference was full of emotion. The participants made vivid use to explicitly express their worries, concerns and ideas in the presence of official policy makers. A total of 26 young took the floor to address the issues of labor problems, discrimination, sexual harrassment they are exposed to and to make suggestions on how the situation could be improved. 

The government representatives announced plans to help the working young people in their efforts and gave some important information on how and where young people could expect help.

The police representative reported on the difficulties police have in their work, especially in relation to the fight against crime. He promised to consider the problems mentioned by the Listros and to take the chance of consulting with them on how the situation can be improved for both sides.

At the end of the conference, the Listros elected 30 representatives and decided to initiate a self-organization and long-term network among themselves.