UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL

Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea extended by the Human Rights Council (Resolution 29/18) - Call for submissions, 9 November 2015


Background

The United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) is the highest inter-governmental body within the United Nations system responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the world.

The Commission of Inquiry was established pursuant to the Human Rights Council resolution A/HRC/RES/26/24 adopted on 27 June 2014 to investigate all alleged violations of human rights in Eritrea, as outlined in the reports of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea. By resolution A/HRC/RES/29/18 of 2 July 2015, the Human Rights Council decided to extend the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry for one year to investigate systematic, widespread and gross violations of human rights in Eritrea with a view to ensuring full accountability, including where these violations may amount to crimes against humanity.

During the second term, the Commission will conduct its investigations with a view to ensuring full accountability for systematic, widespread and gross violations of human rights in Eritrea, including where these violations may amount to crimes against humanity. The Commission will also investigate and document developments with regard to the human rights situation in Eritrea since the finalisation of the Commission’s first report. The Commission will make recommendations on how to improve the general human rights situation in the country and ensure accountability in the future. Through its work the Commission will also contribute to raising awareness of the situation of human rights in the country.

The mandate of the COI on Eritrea covers violations of international human rights law and international criminal law committed in Eritrea since the country became an independent State.

The legal framework that underlies the investigation will comprise of all obligations assumed by Eritrea under international human rights treaties and other relevant treaties, and those applicable under customary international law.
The Commission of Inquiry is composed of:

  • Mr Mike Smith, Chairperson
  • Ms Sheila B. Keetharuth, and
  • Mr Victor Dankwa

The Commissioners are not United Nations staff; they are not remunerated, and serve in their independent personal expert capacity.

The Commission will present a written report with its findings and recommendations to the Human Rights Council in June 2016. It will provide oral update on its work to the General Assembly in October 2016.

Call for submissions

The Commission of Inquiry invites interested individuals, groups and organisations to submit information and/or documentation on systematic, widespread and gross violations of human rights in Eritrea, including where these violations may amount to crimes against humanity perpetrated in Eritrea since its independence, as well as on developments of the human rights situation since April 2015.

In order to meaningfully address all the issues shared with the Commission of Inquiry ahead of the submission of its report to the Human Rights Council in June 2016, the Commission of Inquiry will receive information up to midnight, Geneva time, on 15 January 2016.

Procedure for submissions

Submissions should be sent in written form and must include the contact details of the author(s). Submitting entities/individuals should specify if the submissions – or parts of them - should be treated confidentially. In this case, upon receipt of the submission, the COI on Eritrea will take all necessary measures to ensure the confidentiality of the identity of the authors and/or any other persons named in the submissions.

Submissions should be in English and they must not exceed 10 pages. Submissions in Tigrinya and Arabic may also be accepted provided that they do not exceed 5 pages. Should the COI on Eritrea require additional information about a specific submission, it will contact its author(s). Any video, audio or photographic material related to the submissions should not be submitted via email. Please contact the secretariat of the COI on Eritrea to make arrangements to send such material by alternative means.

Email and postal addresses for submissions
By email to: coieritrea@ohchr.org
By post to: Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea
UNOG-OHCHR
8-14 Rue de la Paix
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

For the HRC resolution and other information on the COI of Eritrea, please visit:
http://www.ohchr.org/COIEritrea