United Kingdom Home Office issues Operational Guidance Note on Eritrea

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Note provides guidance to asylum decision-makers of the UK Home Office regarding applicants for protection from Eritrea.

Since ‘there is no effective rule of law within Eritrea’, ‘impunity for serious rights abuse’ and ‘police and judicial corruption’, effective protection from the Eritrean authorities is unlikely for those who fear persecution from a non-state actor. Regarding safe relocation alternatives, the Note is clear: ‘The regime has a tight control of the state and internal relocation is not a feasible option where the fear of persecution stems from the Eritrean authorities or its agents’. Non-state actor persecution requires a case by case analysis in accordance with the principles and jurisprudence on internal relocation.  Reference is made to a number of country guidance judgments of the Upper Tribunal, including ST (Ethnic Eritrean - nationality - return) Ethiopia CG [2011] UKUT 252 (IAC) (01 July 2011) and MO (illegal exit - risk on return) Eritrea CG [2011] UKUT 190 (IAC) (27 May 2011).

The Note gives guidance on the main categories of claim. Because ‘state persecution of non-sanctioned religions is systematic and widespread throughout Eritrea … a grant of asylum on religious grounds will usually be appropriate’ for members of unregistered religious groups.  ‘Members of recognised/sanctioned religious groups may also face persecution … given the tight control exercised by the Government of all faiths’, but membership is not of itself sufficient to prove risk. The other main categories for which guidance is given are (1) evaders/deserters of military service and their families, (2) members of opposition groups, (3) journalists and human rights activists, (4) persons of mixed Ethiopian/Eritrean origin, (5) those who left Eritrea illegally, (6) women, with a focus on violence against women, military service, trafficking, and female genital mutilation, and (7) those at risk of imprisonment. Specific guidance is also given on cases concerning the unavailability of medical treatment in Eritrea and the return of refused asylum seekers.

Read the Eritrea Guidance Note of the UK Home Office.

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Country of origin information
Internal protection
Non-state actors/agents of persecution
Persecution Grounds/Reasons