UN Human Rights Council was Urged to Take Action to Address Slavery in Eritrea

By IndepthAfrica
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Jan 30th, 2014
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Selam Kidane

National Slavery in the Guise of National Service is the Root Cause to the Refugee Crisis Facing Eritrea

(Geneva 27-01-2014) Over the last fourteen years tens of thousands of young Eritreans have fled their country escaping the indefinite military service, where they are forced to work in slave like conditions.

Stop National Service Slavery in Eritrea Campaign, calls on the UN Human Rights Council to address the concern that is driving up to 1,500 young Eritreans out of their country into refugee camps across the border and subsequently into the hands of human traffickers in the Sinai desert or in Libya from where they hope of crossing the continent to seek asylum elsewhere often unsuccessfully.

On the 3rd of February Eritrea will be undertaking its 2nd human rights review under the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism, for that the Government submitted the State Report, but the Campaign Group contends that the report doesn’t address this grave concern that has blighted almost every household in the country, nor does it update progress per recommendations made during the first review four years ago.

In 2009, Argentina, Canada, Slovenia, United Kingdom and the United States issued recommendations to eliminate the indefinite national service, however the State report Submitted in November 2013, doesn’t mention any progress in this respect. Contrary to recommendations the Eritrean National Service continues to violate the fundamental human rights of the conscripts’ and their families’ rights to Life; Liberty; Security of person; Economic Rights; Personal rights and Legal and Political rights. Those who resist conscription on the grounds of conscientious objection have been languishing in incommunicado detention. To escape from the open-ended slavery-like forced labour, tens of thousands have been fleeing the country to seek protection and livelihoods elsewhere.

The Campaign therefore calls on all Member States of the United Nation to call for an end to this modern day slavery that is devastating Eritrea and pushing its youth into forced migration.

End

Notes

Stop National Service Slavery in Eritrea, was a campaign launched on the 1st of January 2014 with the following objectives:

Highlight the toxic nature of Eritrea’s National Service, which has become interminable in length, persecutory in the process of recruitment and retention and violates the basic rights of recruits.
Highlight the fact that currently, conscription to national service and fear of conscription as push factors contributing to Eritrea’s refugee crisis.
Call on the International community to recognise this, slavery as an abject violation to the human rights of Eritreans and an affront to humanity at large

Please contact Feruz Kaissy on: StopSlaeryInEritrea@gmail.com or +44 (0) 7804 897 448

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