A Dutch Foundation of Eritrean refugees, Foundation Human Rights for Eritreans, has filed a lawsuit in the Amsterdam court against the European Union (EU) for its role in financing a road building project in Eritrea that uses forced labor. The Foundation, together with their Dutch Lawyer Emiel Jurjens, demand the EU stops the 80 million euro support to Eritrea. While the European Commission acknowledges that the funded project entails labour from Eritrea’s indefinite and forced national service, in direct violation of EU’s fundamental principles and international law, it deflects blame by claiming that the EU is not paying directly for labor itself but rather for the equipment. Besides the use of forced labor, the EU has no direct oversight or proper monitoring scheme to safeguard the Eritrean national conscripts forced to work on the project or ability monitor how the money is spent. The EU has already pledged 80 million and is looking to spend an additional 120 million on subsequent phases. The lawsuit enters uncharted legal territory in a complex web of jurisdiction and accountability.
This week’s news highlights: UK withdraws embassy staff from Eritrea; Rumours about the situation in Eritrea; Ethiopia destroying homes leaving hundreds of people homeless; Thousands of migrants returned to Ethiopia amidst COVID-19; Inadequate preparedness slows COVID-19 response in Somalia; Record of internally displaced persons in 2019; NGOs state that EU policies facilitate the abuse of migrants and refugees in Libya as organisations launch ECA complaint; EU to bolster Libya’s coastguard amidst MEP backlash; WFP says 104.793 people assisted in March amidst COVID-19; Migrants and refugees discriminated in Tunisia; Announcement closure Greek migrant camp; German experts advise on migrant working permit scheme; Asylum seeker in Germany wins court case; Bosnian minister proposes migrants and refugees should be deported; Proposal to map undocumented migrants south Italy; Less people granted Asylum in Europe 2019; Migrants and refugees first victims of COVID-19 containment; And refugees and migrants provide support in medical and agricultural sectors to curb labour shortages
In this week’s news highlights: IOM launches COVID-19 response plan in the East and Horn of Africa; UN Solidarity Flights from Ethiopia; Surge of returnees to Ethiopia; Al-Fashaqa region returns to Sudanese sovereignty, says anonymous informant; Food shortage due to desert locust in the Horn; Eritrean priest wants to help migrants and refugees fleeing Libya; Stampede for food aid in Kenya; KIU adopts online education system: EU countries taking in unaccompanied minors from Greek camps; Malta urged to take in rescued migrants; Controversy around Italy’s quarantining of migrants; European states urged to allow refugee health workers to help; Belgium COVID-19 measure allows asylum seekers to work; Worries about missing migrant ship in Mediterranean; Migrants and refugees flee Tripoli’s quarantined port; And Libyan government (GNA) takes back control over three cities.