The European Union thanks the Special Rapporteur for her insightful report, and presentation and reaffirms its support to her mandate. The benchmark approach offers in our view concrete suggestions necessary for improvements of the human rights situation.
The EU fully supports the peace and cooperation process between Eritrea and Ethiopia as an opportunity which could trigger the strengthening of civil rights shared growth and development in the whole Horn of Africa. We share the concerns about the human rights situation in Eritrea, in particular about indefinite and arbitrary detentions and enforced disappearances, gender-based violence, restrictions to freedom of association and peaceful assembly, freedom of expression and freedom of the press, and the issue of the indefinite national service. In light of the Special Rapporteur’s assessment and recommendations, we encourage Eritrea to improve the human rights situation of its people, to strengthen the participatory political system and to create efficient, responsive and transparent institutions.
Following its election to the Human Rights Council, we reiterate our call on Eritrea to fully cooperate with UN human rights mechanisms, including with the Special Rapporteur on Eritrea as well as with thematic special procedure mandate holders, notably by granting them full and unhindered access to the country. The EU welcomes Eritrea’s technical cooperation with OHCHR so far and encourages Eritrea to consider the establishment of an OHCHR office in the country. We also encourage Eritrea to further expand and strengthen its engagement with international and regional actors and third countries on human rights issues. In this regard, the EU welcomes the visit in Eritrea, last May, of the new EU Special Representative for Human Rights, Eamon Gilmore.
We call upon Eritrea to ensure and guarantee the respect for human rights and the rule of law, especially by implementing a constitutional, legal and institutional framework for the promotion and protection of human rights, for land and property rights, including those of the Catholic Church and other religious institutions and foreign communities, to address all forms of gender-based violence as well as to follow-up on all accepted UPR recommendations and on those that will be accepted under the third cycle of the UPR with concrete measures. To reform the national service, the EU stands ready to support Eritrea in the creation of new jobs and opportunities for the youth and remains fully available to offer assistance to support demobilization.
Ms Kravetz, in your view, how could Eritrea better address the above mentioned problems?