Remarks at a Meeting of the Third Committee on a Briefing by the Special Rapporteur on Eritrea

Gregory McElwain
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
October 24, 2018


We are grateful for the UN’s continued interest in the human rights situation in Eritrea.

We strongly believe that improving the human rights situation in Eritrea will create more opportunities at home and reduce the number of people who flee the country every month, often at great risk to their own lives. We urge the Eritrean government to comply with its international human rights law obligations and to clearly communicate an end to indefinite national service obligations so that Eritrea’s youth are able to pursue careers of their choice and contribute to the political, economic, and social development of the country.

We call on the Eritrean government to take effective measures to ensure an independent and transparent judiciary, improve detention conditions, and release individuals arbitrarily detained, including prisoners of conscience, journalists detained for their work, and members of religious groups held on account of their beliefs.

Have you seen any evidence that Eritrea’s recent moves toward political reconciliation with its neighbors have made it more willing to address concerns over its human rights situation?