are 18 months for all current and future conscripts”

are left to face insurmountable obstacles. Unaccompanied Eritrean minors leave their country in hope of a better life but many find themselves hoping they have never left in the first place. 4. Action Plan: The fourth section will contain your suggestions for actions to respond to the problems.  You might want to lay out some ideas that have not worked, some that have—some that are short term ideas and some that are long term. As explained above, Eritrea is known for its human rights violations and in 2016 the UN Human Rights Council Commission inquiry in Eritrea released its second report detailing these findings. In addition to gross human rights violations, the Eritrean government showed an unwillingness to improve the situation. This lead the council to recommended that the International Criminal Court consider prosecuting Eritrea’s head of state for crimes against humanity (Laub, Council on Foreign Relations and IJR Center). The report states,  “…the evidence demonstrates that arrests and detentions in violation of fundamental rules of international law, have been and remain, central to an Eritrean leadership policy…” (248, p.62). In regards to military/national service the council recommends that the government of Eritrea “Discontinue indefinite military/national service by limiting it to 18 months for all current and future conscripts” (350 (a), p. 84).Limiting national services to 18 months is essential to the immediate safety of Eritrean minors and will ensure that they can plan their futures. The 2016 UN Human Rights Council Commission report revealed that to outsiders Asmara, the capital, seems calm but the crimes occur behind closed prison doors (59, p.16.). For minors, prolonged or indefinite military service not only exposes them to harm but also to irreversible psychological damage (Human Rights Concern Eritrea). Indefinite national service deprives Eritrean minors of their future economic security and their agency (Human Rights Concern Eritrea). As a result, I strongly believe that a shortened military service would still allow youths to contribute to the national interest and growth while not endangering their own future prospects for employment. For those in school, the Eritrean government should at least allow students to finish high school, if not to proceed on to higher education.In the long run, there needs to be better ways to tackle the push factors, such as military service and poverty, that are motivating Eritrean minors to leave their country. As expressed above, the introduction of a new currency has not improved the economy and thereby slowed the outflow of minors , instead, it has exacerbated already existing problems such as the inequality between the poor and the rich. Rich Eritrean minors can afford to pay the high cost of a safe passage out of Eritrea but poor Eritrean minors have to depend on their families in Eritrea as well as those abroad to pay smugglers to take them on unsafe routes out of Eritrea. In fact, the government’s “shoot-to-kill policy” has lead to many deaths of unaccompanied Eritrean minors. Remittances, which represent a major portion of Eritrea’s GDP, still continue to flood into Eritrea but now they are being used to finance the flight of Eritrean minors rather than to encourage them to stay(BBC News, Harper). The government of Eritrea needs to provide incentives for its people to remain in the country. One solution might be less restrictive economic policies, such as removing the controls on bank transfers by individuals.The government could also increase the pay of those conscripted into the military. Currently, it’s conscripts make about $33 dollars a month (TesfaNews and The Guardian, Anderson). In Africa, a person with a job does not just support him/herself, rather contributes to support of a large family. The amount of $33 a month cannot support even an individual (TesfaNews and The Guardian, Anderson). Overall, increased pay might encourage minors to stay and even encourage them to willingly serve in the military. Overall, the government needs to deal with the massive unemployment that is contributing to the lack of future opportunities for Eritrean minors. If there were an increase in jobs, minors would be gainfully employed and as a result Eritrea would see improvements in all aspects of life. To the international community, many unaccompanied Eritrean minors are easily confused with economic migrants, who are individuals leaving their country in order to improve their living standards. There is certainly an economic issue involved, but it is at the level of survival due to the prevailing economic conditions of the entire population in Eritrea. The minors are not seeking a “better” life in Europe but rather to “stay alive.” In fact, the current migration crisis is an issue not only limited to Eritrea or to Africa, rather it is a global issue of wealth and resource distribution that requires effective global solutions that can be arrived at through cooperation between the government of Eritrea and the international community.

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