CSW welcomes the adoption of a resolution passed on 12 July by the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) which extends the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea for a further year.
The resolution was sponsored by 38 countries and passed by a vote of 21 in favour to 13 against, with a further 13 abstentions. Taking note of “regional developments in recent months”, it calls on Eritrea to “cooperate fully with the Special Rapporteur, including by granting him access to the country and committing to making progress on the benchmarks proposed by the previous mandate holder.”
The resolution mandates the Special Rapporteur to present an oral update on the situation of human rights in the country at the 49th session of the HRC, and participate in interactive dialogues at both the 50th session of the HRC and the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, thereby maintaining scrutiny on the human rights situation in the country.
A resolution was also passed at the HRC on the situation of human rights in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, which borders Eritrea. It was supported by 40 countries, and passed by a vote of 20-14, with 13 abstentions on 13 July.
The resolution expresses “grave concern at the reports of serious human rights violations and abuses and violations of international humanitarian law and international refugee law allegedly committed by all parties in the Tigray region since the start of the conflict on 4 November 2020.” It calls for an immediate end to all human rights violations, the swift and verifiable withdrawal of Eritrean troops from the Tigray region, calls upon the Ethiopian government to continue to create the conditions necessary to carry out full, unhindered and independent investigations, to prosecute and to render judgments efficiently, transparently and independently, and requests that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights provides oral updates on the situation in the region at the 48th and 49th sessions of the HRC.
CSW’s Head of Advocacy Khataza Gondwe said: “CSW welcomes the adoption of these two essential resolutions. The people of Eritrea continue to suffer the most appalling human rights violations at the hands of their government, which are now being committed extraterritorially with the seeming acquiescence of the Ethiopian authorities. We call on the HRC to keep both of these situations on its agenda until there are definitive improvements, and urge the governments of Eritrea and Ethiopia to cooperate fully with UN Mandate Holders and with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. We also call for both governments to ensure that the fundamental rights and freedoms of all of their citizens are fully respected, for the verified withdrawal of Eritrean and other forces from Tigray, and for unhindered humanitarian access to the region.”
Note to Editors:
1. Only the 47 Human Rights Council Members, elected for terms of three years at a time, are permitted to vote on Human Rights Council resolutions. As such, while resolutions can enjoy the support of non-Member States, not all states are eligible to vote, hence the differences between the number of countries co-sponsoring a resolution, and the number of votes in favour of a resolution.