AFTER reviewing the Report of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights (COI) established pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 26/24, CECCO has a number of concerns regarding its methodology, findings and conclusions.
CECCO believes that the lack of reliable and verifiable data in this report calls into question its portrayal of the actual human rights situation in Eritrea. The fact that many of the COI findings contradict a recent fact-finding mission report published by the Danish Immigration Service (DIS) supports CECCO’s concerns of the lack of accurate and relevant information.
CECCO believes that human rights cannot be discussed in a vacuum and must be considered under the context of the continued occupation of Eritrea’s territory by Ethiopia.The United Nations and the guarantors of the Algiers Peace Agreement bear the responsibility to end Ethiopia’s illegal occupation. Avoiding or minimizing the impact of Ethiopia’s flagrant violation of its treaty obligations on Eritrean society is irresponsible.
The report does not sufficiently situate Eritrean youth migration in the context of a larger global socio-economic phenomenon affecting Africa. It also ignores the voices of Eritreans in our communities who asserted a more balanced portrayal of challenges they faced before leaving their native land. The pre-selected witnesses in the COI report were asylum-seekers who have every reason to exaggerate or misrepresent their situation. Encouraging them to participate in a study that would have an immediate impact on their future asylum aspirations places refugees in a morally untenable position and pressures them to tell stories of persecution.
The fact is that refugees come from many different African countries but to single out one country to condemn, isolate and shame is totally inconsistent with the expected level of accountability and morality for an international institution like the United Nations.
The report also ignores the actual human rights achievements in many sectors including, health, education, infrastructure and gender equality.
CECCO has witnessed a worrisome sign of the deterioration and impartiality of organizations that claim to advocate in the name of human rights. These organizations including the COI, have clearly politicized the issue of human rights with detrimental effects to those that these very institutions claim to protect.
The exclusion of CECCO, its leadership, its represented organizations and the 30,000 Canadians of Eritrean origin from providing feedback and opinion is proof of a political bias and machinations to invoke harm in the name of human rights.
Finally, CECCO condemns this inaccurate, sensationalist and utterly irresponsible report.
THE Coalition of Eritrean Canadian Communities and Organizations (CECCO) would like to express its support and solidarity with European-Eritreans and the Cycling Tour event for Truth, Peace, Justice and Eritrea.
It has now been 13 years since the Eritrea Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC) delivered its verdict in favour of Eritrea; The Ethiopian government however continues to violate both its treaty obligation and the final and binding verdict of the EEBC in direct and categorical violation of international law by continuing to illegally occupy territory awarded to Eritrea.
Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
Dear Prime Minister Harper,
1) We are writing on behalf of the 30,000 Canadians of Eritrean descent to urge your government to take immediate action in lifting the Regulations implementing the UNSC Resolution 1907, and ease restrictions on the people of Eritrea and its Diaspora.
We are deeply concerned that government policy towards Eritrea since 2010 has not changed despite an October 2014 UN report that found no evidence linking Eritrea to the instability in Somalia. As community leaders we believe that sanctions encroach more upon the freedoms of civilian populations and particularly in our case Canadians of Eritrean origin. Continue reading CECCO’s Letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper→
THE Coalition of Eritrean Canadian Communities and Organizations (CECCO) commemorated the anniversary of the Lampedusa shipwreck in which hundreds of migrants lost their lives off the the coast of southern Italy. The sinking of the ship in Lampedusa shocked our tight-knit Eritrean community , Canadians of Eritrean descent mourned and reflected on the magnitude of this tragic loss of human life. Continue reading Eritrean – Canadians Commemorates the Lampedusa Shipwreck→