Refugees: Eritrea

Home Office written question – answered on 2nd November 2015.

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Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will revise the country guidance for Eritrea so that asylum applicants from that country are favourably considered for protection as refugees, in the light of the Report of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights on Eritrea and other reports of human rights abuses in that country.

Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to call upon all European Union member states to uphold the principle of non-refoulement for refugees from Eritrea.

Photo of Lord Bates Lord Bates The Minister of State, Home Department

We have updated our country information and guidance on Eritrea. This takes into account the UN Commission of Inquiry’s report as well other sources reporting on the human rights situation. The revised documents, covering illegal exit and national service, were published on 9 September and are available on the Gov.uk website. They recognise that there are human rights challenges in Eritrea – particularly around the national service programme – but, as with all asylum applications, stress the need to consider each claim on its individual merits.

All EU Member States have a responsibility to respect the principle of non-refoulement. We are confident that our European partners understand and apply this, whether to Eritrea or anywhere else. We are in regular discussions with our EU counterparts – individually and via the European Asylum Support Office – to discuss various aspects of asylum policy and practice.

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