News / Africa

Ethiopia Presents Human Rights Action Plan

Ethiopia has unveiled its first Human Rights Action Plan, with the goal of ensuring human rights in the East African country. Activists have long complained about the Ethiopian government's record of quashing political dissent and freedom of expression.  
 
The Ethiopian government presented a draft Human Rights Action Plan on Thursday to discuss with stakeholders such as the United Nations, civil societies and development partners.
 
Musa Gassama, the regional representative of the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the plan does not introduce new laws for Ethiopia.
 
“What is new is to bring all these laws that we talk about, putting them together and analyzing them and seeing what actions could be taken to make sure that these laws are bringing benefit to the people,” he said.

The plan includes nearly 60 recommendations to cover gaps in sectors such as education, health and culture.  

Ethiopia’s Minister of Justice Berhan Hailu explained that gaps have also been identified in the justice sector.
 
“We need a lot of proclamations and also guidelines for the protection of the rights of the people, for the accused persons, for the persons in prison and so on," Hailu  said. "For example, we have mentioned in the document the importance of a guideline on the use of force by the police.”

International organizations such as Human Rights Watch criticized Ethiopia’s election to the U.N. Human Rights Council in 2012. The country has one of the world's highest numbers of journalists in jail, while leaders of peaceful Muslim demonstrations have been arrested and many opposition leaders are prison on charges of terrorism.
 
In addition, Ethiopia has not signed several international human rights treaties, such as the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and their Families, the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
 
Minister Berhan said  Ethiopia is making progress when it comes to ensuring human rights, despite the criticism:
 
“Those who don’t want to realize or to recognize this kind of progress might say that there is no good performance in human rights in Ethiopia, but we are doing our level best and the people of Ethiopia are now benefiting a lot, but we have gaps now," he said. "In order to fill the gaps we have to work hard; we have to plan it, like the kind of plan that we have presented today.”

The Human Rights Action Plan will be sent to parliament for adoption this week, and is scheduled to be implemented over the next three years.

You May Like

Photogallery South Africa Bans Travelers From Ebola-stricken Countries

South Africans returning from affected West African countries will be thoroughly screened, required to fill out medical questionnaire, health minister says More

Multimedia UN Launches ‘Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years’ in Iraq

Move aims to help thousands of Iraqi religious minorities who fled their homes as Kurdish, Iraqi government forces battle Sunni insurgents More

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

IT specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about disease More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Zelalemawi
March 06, 2013 10:49 AM
Off all the things I neeed to see police brutality curbed. Leave alone the country side, police brutality in Addis itself is so scary. Even the traffic police is so abusive. If a policeman voilated a citizens right, no one will punish him. Most of the police force members having knowding that they will not be punished unleashed unchecked police brutality in the countr.


by: Robert from: Seattle, Washington
March 06, 2013 6:40 AM
I'm a US citizen who used to work in Ethiopia from 2008-2010. I've personally seen many Ethiopian colleagues imprisoned and tortured because they said something critical about the brutal dictatorship in Ethiopia. One thing is certain: this regime is extremely hated by the people. If something isn't done soon about the minority ethnic hegemony of the country, a genocide will occur that will scar the image of the United States.

This regime needs to be condemned and sanctioned until a civilian government is put in place that is inline with American values. I am ashamed of my government for supporting one of the most ruthless regimes in Africa. I really am. This is not what our founding fathers envisioned. The Ethiopian people deserve better.

In Response

by: Samoa from: Ethiopia
March 06, 2013 4:07 PM
"a civilian government is put in place that is inline with American values"

What a s... comment. How can American values be Ethiopian values. Shame on you guy. Read more and get matured before you state such self degrading comments.


by: Alem
March 05, 2013 4:53 PM
Marthe, this is a proven strategy to buy time and to ward off mounting pressure especially from Europeans. Another point is that it is done in consultation with the Obama Administration or more precisely, to deflect criticisms that Obama Admin has gone back on its promises to not stand with tyrants. [Susan Rice's very public support of the late Meles Zenawi is a case in point.] The current Human Rights Action Plan is one of a series of actions Ethiopian rulers have taken over the past few months to cover the backs of Obama so as to continue to milk the American public of billions more. It was only late last year that we heard of a new plan [repeated at intervals over the past two decades] to root out corruption. In fact, Prime Minister Hailemariam made a public statement that he on evidence will personally take to court any who engaged in corruption of any kind. Do you think he could sue Chief of Defense or the late Prime Minister's wife or the Foreign Minister or the Ambassador to China? or the Saudi Al Amoudi? or the Security Chief? What evidence would he be looking for when an army officer with the right ethnic ties could own a four storey building business complex on a $300 per month salary? Another item is the news last month that Ethiopia has produced its own Drone. So why is that surprising? It is because Obama Administration is being questioned on its fast widening, secret and under-reported Drone use and the mounting civilian casualties. Well, Ethiopian rulers would not mind taking the blame for millions more of taxpayer's dollars and in the process escape scrutiny for massive corruption and money-laundering, for jailing as terrorists any who cry out for their democratic rights, for interfering in the affairs of religious institutions [the latest being the appointment by the government of a new patriarch] and in the process of doing similarly for Muslims. So, there we go. It is just plain sad. Sadder even is the fact that American people do not have a fuller picture that the aid collected in their name is not reaching the publics it was intended for and is often stolen by dictatorial regimes who happen to have the backing of the Obama Administration. Please post my comments. I can only do this freely when I am out of the country. Thanks.

In Response

by: Alem
March 06, 2013 8:44 PM
Samoa, Do you think respect for human life is Ethiopian value? How about equality before the law? The late Prime Minister's wife and you are equal before the law. If the Foreign Minister happens to have stashed away millions of aid money in a foreign bank while on a $500 per month salary then he is subject to investigation and possible jail time. How about freedom to speak and write, including disagreeing with those who rule over you? Well, those are American values.


by: Just Be from: London
March 05, 2013 3:36 PM
The FOX AND THE LITTLE RED HEN
There was once a little red hen that lived in a house by herself in the wood. And over the hill, in a hole in the rocks, lived a sly, crafty old fox.
Now this crafty old fellow of a fox lay awake nights, and prowled slyly about days, trying to think of how he should get the little red hen. He wanted to carry her home to boil for his supper.....

A fox will always be a fox whether it changes its colors or clothes. The Ethiopian regime is built on injustice, fear and control and regardless of any makeovers, endorsed by others, it makes, the people in Ethiopia will be captive and keep suffering, until they take matters into their own hands. No amount of plea to those who are in the Ivory towers will bring Ethiopians any succor.


by: Truth-Teller from: U.S.
March 05, 2013 2:16 PM
First, let me just say that voanews.com site is block from Ethiopian people and they won't be able to read this article. Those who are able to read it are probably mind-slaves or cadre's of the current thug regime. Second, I wish, voanews, as U.S. publicly funded news agency, can stop its yellow journalism and let us here a response from U.S. government regarding the Human Rights Abuse of this thug "ally" of U.S. - who receives billions every year!! Third, all this is "Human Right Action Plan" is a shenanigan. It's nothing serious, but a Childs-play intended to say, 'we've done something about our Human Rights abuse record'

In Response

by: Behailu
March 13, 2013 8:16 AM
What is HUMAN RIGHTS ACTION PLAN? Would you please give the same chance for other dictator regimes: Beshir Alasad, Esaya, Al Beshir?
Too much reporting about human right violation in Syria and reporting hopes of HUMAN RIGHTS ACTION PLAN for Western sponsered tyrany in Ethiopia. Ethiopians cry, "fair condemning and reporting, atleast!"

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbasi
X
Scott Stearns
August 21, 2014 9:20 PM
The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid