International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Eritrea (CCPR 03-05-2019)

1. In the absence of the initial report by the State party, the Committee considered the situation of civil and political rights under the Covenant in Eritrea at its 3582nd and 3583rd meetings (CCPR/C/SR.3582 and 3583), held in public sessions on 12 and 13 March 2019. In accordance with rule 71, paragraph 1, of the Committee’s rules of procedure, the failure of a State party to submit its report under article 40 of the Covenant may lead to an examination in a public session of the measures taken by the State party to give effect to the rights recognized in the Covenant and to adopt concluding observations.
2. At its 3599th meeting, held on 25 March 2019, the Committee adopted the following
concluding observations.

Concluding observations

C. Principal matters of concern and recommendations

Gender-based violence, including domestic violence

  1. While welcoming assurances by the State party that it is addressing harmful practices such as female genital mutilation, the Committee is concerned that violence against women is widespread and persistent in the State party, including domestic violence and sexual violence in the context of the national service programme. The Committee is further concerned about a lack of comprehensive legislation that explicitly criminalizes all forms of violence against women, including marital rape. The Committee is also concerned that consensual same-sex relationships are criminalized in the State party, which promotes homophobic attitudes and stigmatizes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons (arts. 3, 6, 7, 14 and 26).
  2. The State party should adopt comprehensive legal measures explicitly criminalizing all forms of violence against women, including sexual violence and marital rape. The State party should ensure that:

(a) Cases of violence against women and domestic violence are promptly and thoroughly investigated and perpetrators are prosecuted and, if convicted, punished with penalties commensurate with the gravity of the offences;

(b) Victims have access to effective remedies and full reparation. The State party should also decriminalize same-sex relationships between consenting adults and take measures, including policy and public education initiatives, to change societal perceptions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons.

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