Human Rights Council
24 June–12 July 2019
Agenda item 4
Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention
Situation of human rights in Eritrea
The present report is submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 38/15, in which the Council decided to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea for one year and requested the mandate holder to present a written report to the Council at its forty-first session.
During the period under review, the Special Rapporteur was not given access to Eritrea to conduct in-country visits. She has monitored the human rights situation in the country by conducting field missions to other countries and by engaging with a broad range of stakeholders. While the Special Rapporteur welcomed the opportunity to meet with the delegation of Eritrea in the margins of the fortieth session of the Human Rights Council in March 2019, she notes that the Government remains opposed to cooperating with her mandate on substantive issues and to granting her access to the country.
Since the Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship between Eritrea and Ethiopia was signed in July 2018, the two countries have continued to make progress towards achieving sustainable peace. Eritrea has also improved its relations with its neighbours in the region, engaged in efforts to promote integration and economic ties in East Africa and shown an increased willingness to normalize bilateral relations with various countries. In November 2018, the Security Council lifted its sanctions against Eritrea.
The positive momentum for peace and security in the region has raised expectations in Eritrea and in the international community that the Government of Eritrea will implement political and institutional reforms. However, the Eritrean authorities have not yet engaged in a process of domestic reforms and the human rights situation remains unchanged. In the present report, the Special Rapporteur identifies key areas that remain unaddressed and sets out benchmarks for achieving meaningful and lasting progress in human rights.