The State of Eritrea is a member of the United Nations and the African Union. It has ratified many UN Human Rights Conventions (compare list on the right) and thus has made binding international commitments to adhere to the standards laid down in these universal human rights documents.
Eritrea is an Arabic- and Tigrinya-speaking country in the Horn of Africa. It has an area of 117,600 square km and an extensive coastline to the Red Sea on its north and northeast border. On a global scale, its population density is low. The capital of the country, which became independent on 24 May 1993 from Ethiopia, is Asmara. Eritrea is a member of the regional economic communities CEN-SAD and COMESA.
With a Human Development Index of 0.47 Eritrea ranks 165th of 182 countries ranked in the UNDP Human Development Report of 2009. Life expectancy of the 5.0 million inhabitants at birth is 58 years, population growth is 3.1 percent per year. GNI is 300 US-$ per capita. External debt is 64.1 percent of gross national income. Primary school enrolment is 41.2 percent.
In as far as Eritrea has ratified the Optional Protocols for UN Human Rights Conventions or has accepted the Competence of the corresponding UN Treaty Bodies (compare list on the right), the inhabitants of Eritrea and their representatives are able to invoke their human rights through these bodies.
All inhabitants of Eritrea may turn to the UN Human Rights Committee through procedure 1503, to the Special Rapporteurs for violations of specific human rights or to ECOSOC for women's rights violations.
Since Eritrea is a member state of UNESCO, its citizens may use the UNESCO procedure for human rights violations in UNESCO's fields of mandate.
Employers' or workers' and certain other organizations (not individuals) of Eritrea may file complaints through the ILO procedure in the cases of those conventions which Eritrea has ratified.
Since Eritrea is an AU member, its citizens and NGOs may file complaints to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
They may also file complaints according to the EU guidelines (on Human Rights Defenders, Death Penalty and Torture) to Embassies of EU Member States and the Delegations of the European Commission.
In cases of human rights violations by multinational enterprises, they may also invoke the National Contact Point in an OECD member state.
Eritrea has not yet joined the International Criminal Court.