EU and UK deplore lack of progress by Eritrea on Human Rights

The European Union and the UK responded to the strong criticism of the state of human rights in Eritrea made by the UN Special Rapporteur, Daniela Kravetz, which can be read here.

HRC43_SR Eritrea_26.02.2020

The EU said this – the full statement can be seen below.

“We remain concerned about the serious violations of human rights, including the indefinite National Service, which remains one of the main drivers of migration from Eritrea, and the absence of possibilities to opt for alternative civilian service, gender-based violence, including reports on severe violations of the rights of women conscripts, and harmful practices against women and girls.”

The UK statement (also in full below) said:

“And we do believe that Eritrea has a bright future, in partnership with its people, if based on an unqualified respect for human rights. However, we do remain concerned by the human rights situation. Progress is needed to respect rights to liberty and security of person, fair and equitable treatment of detainees, promotion of freedom of religion or belief, and the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.”

  EU Statement 

EUROPEAN UNION

Permanent Delegation to the United Nations Office

and other international organisations in Geneva

 

 

 

UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL

43rd session

 

Interactive Dialogue on oral update by SR on Eritrea

(res 41/1) 26 February 2020 

EU Intervention

Madame President,

The EU welcomes the continued peace and cooperation process between Eritrea and Ethiopia and neighboring countries and efforts to promote regional peace and security in the Horn of Africa. The European Union encourages Eritrea to continue to strengthen ties with its neighbours. Although the Peace Declaration brought hope for improvement, there are still no signs that the human rights situation has improved.

We remain concerned about the serious violations of human rights, including the indefinite National Service, which remains one of the main drivers of migration from Eritrea, and the absence of possibilities to opt for alternative civilian service, gender-based violence, including reports on severe violations of the rights of women conscripts, and harmful practices against women and girls. The EU remains ready to work with Eritrea to reform the National Service and respect the legal limit of 18 months. We regret the closure of health facilities run by the religious institutions and the confiscation of their property. These acts exemplify violations of the freedom of religion or belief and the right to health of all persons in Eritrea, as well as of land and property rights, including those of religious institutions and foreign communities.

We urge Eritrea, a member of this Council, to uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights, to fully cooperate with the Special Rapporteur as well as with thematic special procedure mandate holders and UN human rights mechanisms, notably by granting them full and unhindered access to the country and to adopt the proposed benchmarks.

Ms Kravetz,

We reaffirm our full support for your mandate and we thank you for your oral update.

In your view, how could Eritrea be supported by the International Community to meet the human rights benchmarks? Have you seen any sign from Eritrea to engage in a discussion regarding your benchmarks?

Thank you.

 

UK Statement 

 

United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland

                          Human Rights Council – 43rd session               

Statement for

the Interactive Dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on Eritrea

Wednesday 26th February 2020

 

Madam President,

The United Kingdom thanks the Special Rapporteur for her report and continued commitment to monitoring the human rights situation in Eritrea. We regret Eitrea’s lack of cooperation with her.

The United Kingdom acknowledges the tough path Eritrea has navigated and recognise areas of achievement, such as in some areas of health provision. And we do believe that Eritrea has a bright future, in partnership with its people, if based on an unqualified respect for human rights. However, we do remain concerned by the human rights situation. Progress is needed to respect rights to liberty and security of person, fair and equitable treatment of detainees, promotion of freedom of religion or belief, and the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. In this regard, we welcome Eritrea’s acceptance of UPR recommendations and look forward to Eritrea’s Four Year Plan for Action for implementing them. We stand ready to provide support.

We will also continue to press for specific reforms including for: the National Service; freedom of religion or belief for worshippers of unregistered religions; and the release of arbitrarily detained individuals, including journalists.

Madam Special Rapporteur,

Thank you.

 

 

 

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