Under a mechanism called UPR (Universal Periodic Review), UN member states report every five years to the UN Human Rights Council on what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in respective their countries in fulfilling their human rights obligations. They also mention the challenges they faced while trying to take action. When its time came to present something in the afternoon of 28 January, the Eritrean regime – represented by the same old Ambassador Tesfamichael Gerhatu - had no factual achievements to report. Instead, regime representative had to go back to the same old bald lies presented in its previous two UPR reports.
If any, what one would call “successes” it had to report included the signing of the Ethiopian Prime Minister’s initiative for peace accord, and the UNDP-UNICEF projects for children and women in Eritrea. That was all. Almost none of previous recommendations were achieved.
Unsatisfied with what Eritrea had to report, member countries listed additional 261 recommendations for the Asmara regime to act towards improving human rights in Eritrea. These were in addition to the myriad recommendations of the Council and the UN Special Rapporteur which were not acted upon.
Many of the 89 member states that made statements during the session, did not find it useful to repeat their old critical viewpoints and strong condemnations of the failures of the Eritrean regime, and instead “praised” the peace accord with Ethiopia and listed their sharp recommendations.
The usual Eritrea supporters like North Korea, Myanmar, China, Russia, Syria, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan and Pakistan praised the “Eritrean government for its endeavors despite many challenges.” None of them could mention those non-existent endeavors.
The working group meetings of this 32nd session of the UPR mechanism were held between 21 January and 1 February. The UN Human Rights Council will hold its 40th session between 25 February to 22 March 2019 during which time the new UN Special Rapporteur for Eritrea, Ms. Daniela Kravetz, is expected to report of what she had done since her election to the post last October.
While serving as a humanitarian law expert on the Security Council mandated Panel of Experts on the Sudan from 2016 to 2018, Ms Kravetz conducted fact-finding missions to the Sudan and regional countries to investigate alleged violations by the parties to the conflict. Previously, she worked for over twelve years at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, first as a law clerk in Chambers and later as a prosecutor in the Office of the Prosecutor. Her prior experience includes working as a human rights officer in the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Ms Kravetz has specialized in providing technical assistance and training to domestic institutions on the promotion of women’s rights, working as a consultant on projects aimed at addressing gender-based violence in several countries. She has served as international human rights and gender expert before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and is currently on the roster of international amicus curiae of the newly established Special Jurisdiction for Peace in Colombia. She is a graduate of the University of Chile (Chile) and the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium). She was called to the bar in Chile in July 1996.
Mandate by the Human Rights Council
Human Rights Council resolution 35/35 extended the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea and requested the mandate-holder to continue as appropriate the follow-up on the implementation of the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry on human rights in Eritrea and her recommendations in her report, and to submit a and present a written report to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-eighth session, and to address and engage in an interactive dialogue with the General Assembly at its seventy-second session.
In the discharge of her mandate, the Special Rapporteur on Eritrea has developed the information sheet below to facilitate the submission of information. Although communications are also considered when they are not submitted in the form of this model questionnaire, the Special Rapporteur would be grateful for receiving information tailored to her mandate. The objective of this questionnaire is to have access to precise information on alleged human rights violations in Eritrea. If any information contained in the questionnaire should be kept confidential please mark “CONFIDENTIAL” beside the relevant entry. Please do not hesitate to attach additional sheets, if the space provided is not sufficient.
Should you have any questions concerning the completion of this form, please feel free to contact the Special Rapporteur.
The questionnaire (English, Arabic, Tigrinya) should be filled out and sent to:
Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea
c/o Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations at Geneva
8-14 avenue de la Paix
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Fax: (+41) 22 917 90 06