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Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea

Statement of Ireland

13 March 2017 

Ireland aligns with the statement of the European Union and adds the following.

Mr President

Ireland thanks the Special Rapporteur for her presentation today and looks forward to her written report at the next session.  

We express our deep concern at the ongoing violations of human rights in Eritrea.  We recall the findings and recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry which remain fully relevant today.

We note with disappointment the update of the Special Rapporteur that there is little to suggest the human rights situation has changed and that she has observed “no substantial or institutional legal reforms” in Eritrea to hold perpetrators of human rights violations to account. 

We acknowledge that Eritrea faces many security and development challenges. However international assistance to address these challenges must be matched with real and practical measures by the authorities themselves. 

Ireland continues to urge the Government of Eritrea to end the practice of indefinite national service, which prevents Eritrean citizens from being able to plan for the future and contributes to significant outward migration.  

We continue to urge progress on accountability for past and persistent human rights violations including enslavement, imprisonment, enforced disappearances and torture.

Further, Ireland again calls for the necessary legal reforms as set out in detail in the report of the Commission of Inquiry, including full implementation of the 1997 Constitution and significant reform of the justice system so as to ensure rule of law in the State.

We urge Eritrea to regard OHCHR, the Council and its mechanisms including the Special Rapporteur as a supportive partner in this process of reform. 

Special Rapporteur

We recall the recommendation of the Commission of Inquiry and the Council, in resolution 32/24, that third states should seek to strengthen engagement with the Government of Eritrea.  We would welcome further elaboration of your views on ways and means for States to do so, including through the Universal Periodic Review process.

Thank you