Eritrean human rights organization withdraws claim against EU, but remains vigilant about forced labour
Source: Kennedy van der Laan
Amsterdam, 22 September – The Foundation Human Rights for Eritreans has decided to withdraw the lawsuit filed against the European Union (EU) over 80 million euros in aid provided to Eritrea. This decision was taken in response to the ‘no more roads’ approach announced by the EU, after repeated criticism of its financial support.
“We will continue our investigation into forced labour in Eritrea and will come back to this issue if new facts come to light.” States Muluberhan Temelso, Director of the Foundation.
The lawsuit was filed on 13 May 2020 in relation to EU funding of a project in Eritrea which uses forced labour from the Eritrean national service. This is openly acknowledged by the EU. The situation is and remains contrary to the most fundamental norms of international and European law.
In response to criticism from the media, the European Parliament, and European member states, partly as a result of this lawsuit, the EU has indicated that it will change its policy with regard to road construction projects in Eritrea. The EU has announced a ‘no more roads’ approach, whereby further funds that were earmarked for road construction on top of the 80 million euros have been diverted to Sudan and other projects in Eritrea. The EU will also evaluate the ‘dual track approach’ of diplomatic relations with Eritrea, of which the road building project was a part.
The Foundation is largely pleased with these steps, says Emiel Jurjens, the Foundation’s lawyer. “The EU has recognized that supporting a project using forced labour is unacceptable. That is why the EU has now abandoned this policy by saying “no more roads”. The goal of the Foundation has thus been achieved. This is an important victory that means alot to the Foundation and to the Eritrean people”. However, this does not change the fact that the human rights situation in Eritrea remains of great concern.
With these new developments, which are considered as unconditional and permanent by the Foundation, the core requirements of the lawsuit have been met. However, the Foundation will continue to closely monitor the situation and continue its investigation into aid in Eritrea implemented through use of forced labour.
The Foundation remains very concerned about the way aid is organized through the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF). From the beginning, the EU knew that forced labour would be used in the implementation of the road construction project, and the EU agreed with this. The EU argues that a national court could not review this case, but a collective claim cannot be reviewed by an EU court. “If this argument is followed, cases where the victims cannot be directly present, for example because they are still in repressive countries such as Eritrea, cannot be reviewed. This puts the EUTF in a legal vacuum,” states Jurjens.
“We remain seriously concerned about the road building project.” Says Temelso. “For example, the EU indicates that money will still end up in organizations under the control of the Eritrean regime, specifically the Red Sea Trading Corporation. It is not clear how the EU can adequately control this.”
Ihr könnt sie nicht aufhalten weiter zu machen.
It is regrettable the litigation in Amsterdam had to be aborted. But the fight must go on.
UK courts may soon consider a similar litigation against the government here and fingers crossed they will pass a judgement.
All justice seekers should join hands in starving the repressive regime in Asmara from getting inward investments and/or foreign aid until it stops enslaving its own people.
Together, we can help the regime in Asmara to cripple its own economy even more. Apartheid in SA collapsed because of international sanctions. Similarly, we can and we will eradicate slavery from Eritrea using the same tools. If it can be done in SA, it is a million times easier to do it in Eritrea.
Das tut mir leid für euch, denn dass wir Eritrea nicht hindern weiter zu kommen das Volk ist auf ihre Seite und wie viele sind die Gegner vielleicht 1% des wegen ihr könnt sie aufhalten.
Please to be stop that project b/c it helps to be easy national and international trade as well as uniform the community to the 1st world stage, don’t see it in terms of profit for EU.
Make for humastic and safety of society in the way of peace ,the were nothing to be sanction Eritrea the last 10 years but it happens in the form of selfishness from head offices.
National service and national armey improved eritrean freedom and it’s propority from different Julius country.
They may be need to be use it’s society as slave of developed countries.
No more place for dictatorship. The Idiots have no plan to build the nation. The just want the money for their private staffs. Sie haben das Land absichtlich kaputt gemacht.
es ist zu gut dass mehr starken zu build
unserm Heimatland, lass uns und wir bauen mit Geduld. Bitte eure Meinung waschen und +ve denken. Gehen weg mit deinem Träumen. Die Gegenr und Heimatloss.
Well,it been told in many occasions That funding Eritrean only governing political party doesn’t deserve it.because they are torturing young generation by slaving them with out any salary of the hard work.
dat doen jullie heel goed genoeg geweest