Eritrea has become the latest country the receive EU is funding for a forced labour project. Gillian Brien, the People Before Profit candidate for the Dublin seat in the European election, has condemned how EU money is being used to forcibly detain people.
The EU has pledged to spend €20m ($22m; £17m) in Eritrea as part of its Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, which is aimed at tackling what the EU calls “irregular migration” by funding job creation schemes in various African countries.
But the reality is that it is funding a forced labour scheme.
People have been forced into working indefinitely to build roads in Eritrea. The Foundation Human Rights for Eritreans (FHRE) says conscripts are “trapped for an indefinite period”. Europe is now funding large scale work camps, knowing that this directly opposed to its on charter of human rights. This is not acceptable.
This follows a similar pattern in other countries. A Human Rights Watch report, for example, found that in Libya the EU is sustaining a network of detention centres characterised by “inhuman and degrading” conditions where the risk of abuse is rife.
The Foundation Human Right for Eritreans has sent a letter to the EU warning that it will take the organisation to court for violating its own Charter of Fundamental Rights if it does not withdraw from the road-building project.
The charter states that “no-one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour”.
The reality is that Europe is moving further away from its Fundamental Rights Charter and Human Rights Charter
It has stopped rescue missions within the Mediterranean Sea. This means will allowing men, women and children who are escaping war, hungry, famine, rape and slavery. To drown in the sea.
Media attention has been focussed on Donald Trump’s wall. But the EU is acting in a similar manner and it is time that MEPs spoke out against this practice.