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UN Human Rights Council 56: UK Statement on Eritrea

Thank you Madame Vice-President,

The UK remains deeply concerned about the human rights situation in Eritrea, which is not improving with any sense of urgency. 

We continue to call for the reform of Eritrea’s national service policy, by ending its indefinite nature; and the implementation of the Constitution, including its provisions for the participation of an elected legislature, independent media and a free and open civil society.

We also call on Eritrea once again to re-engage with the concerns expressed by this Council, cooperate fully with the mandate of the Special Rapporteur, and engage with the support being offered by the international community so that progress can begin in earnest.

For our part, the UK continues to seek to engage Eritrea on its human rights situation, both through this Council and bilaterally, including to encourage implementation of the recommendations it has received through its Universal Periodic Review, as well as from the reviews carried out by the Treaty Monitoring Bodies.

If progress on human rights can be realised in Eritrea, we hope that this in turn may help to refresh and diversify the economic opportunities available to its people.

Dr Babiker,

We thank you for your report and reiterate our support for your mandate. Restrictions to the freedom of religion or belief remain a serious concern for the UK. What prospects do you see for a change to the current status quo in Eritrea, and how might this be encouraged?

Thank you.

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