Seminar by Sheila Keetharuth: Human rights situation in Eritrea

Ms Sheila Keetharuth (Mauritius), Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, will give a lecture at the ASC. Her lecture will be followed by a roundtable discussion under the chairmanship of Prof. Jan Abbink, African Studies Centre Leiden. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss key issues and exchange information pertaining to selected economic and social-cultural human rights (right to education, right to adequate housing, right to health, right to water) and children’s rights, in particular of unaccompanied migrant children. 

Ms Keetharuth presented her report on the human rights situation in Eritrea for the UN Human Rights Commission last June. In it, a dire human rights situation is described: torture during police questioning, inhuman prison conditions, disappearances, executions and arbitrary arrests. The abuse of children's  rights has to do with the long military service, as a consequence of which youth cannot continue their education. Young Eritreans flee the country massively. After Syria, it is the country most refugees entering Europe originate from.

This seminar has been initiated by Habtom Yohannes.
Registration is compulsory.


Sheila B.Keetharuth is a human rights defender from Mauritius who has worked and travelled in mainland Africa for three decades. She is a committed human rights advocate having extensive experience in research, advocacy, litigation and training in Africa. Ms. Keetharuth was appointed in October 2012 as the first Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea and is also currently one of three Commissioners on the Commission of Inquiry for Eritrea.

Until 30 June 2012, Ms. Keetharuth was the Executive Director of the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA), a pan-African NGO based in Banjul, The Gambia. In July 2002, she joined Amnesty International as a Researcher at its Africa Regional Office in Kampala, Uganda. She was the Interim Head of Office until December 2005. After reading for an LLM in International Human Rights Law and Civil Liberties at the University of Leicester (UK), Ms. Keetharuth was called to the Bar in Mauritius in January 1997.

Since May 2014, Ms. Keetharuth is an expert member of the Working Group on Extractive Industries, Environment and Human Rights Violations of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. 

Date, time and location

29 September 2015
15.30 - 17.00
Pieter de la Courtgebouw / Faculty of Social Sciences, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden
Room 1A27 (1st floor)