Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea

Established by the Human Rights Council (Resolution 26/24)

Call for submissions
20 November 2014


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.

During its 26th session in June 2014, the HRC decided to establish a Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea (hereafter “COI on Eritrea”) with the mandate 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]” (resolution 26/24).

The Commission will conduct its investigations with a view to identify possible patterns of systematic violations of human rights, 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 committed in Eritrea since the country became an independent State, as outlined in the reports of the Special Rapporteur.

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 2015. It will provide oral updates on its work to the Human Rights Council in March 2015 and to the General Assembly in October 2015.

Call for submissions

The Commission of Inquiry invites interested individuals, groups and organisations to submit information and/or documentation on alleged violations of human rights perpetrated in Eritrea since its independence.

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 2015, the Commission of Inquiry will receive information up to midnight, Geneva time, on 31 January 2015.

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:

By post to:      Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea
8-14 Rue de la Paix
CH-1211 Geneva 10

For the HRC resolution and other information on the COI of Eritrea, please visit: