From the Human Rights Watch Report, October 19. 2010

Recommendations

To the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

  • Discipline or prosecute in accordance with international fair trial standards any state or party officials implicated in violations of human rights or partisan allocation of services.
  • Amend the Charities and Societies Proclamation, the Mass Media and Freedom of Information Proclamation, and the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation to bring them into line with Ethiopia’s constitution and its obligations under international law regarding freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly.
  • Implement the International Labour Organization’s recommendations regarding the rights of association of civil servants, the immediate registration of the independent National Teachers’ Association, and the initiating of an independent inquiry into allegations of torture of trade union members.
  • Cease using schools as sites of partisan political activity.
  • Issue clear statements to the public and directly to all government entities explaining that all educational facilities, including teacher training colleges, universities, and civil service colleges, are open to all qualified applicants, regardless of political affiliation.
  • Guarantee unrestricted access to all areas of Ethiopia to international media and independent human rights investigators, and cease harassment of Ethiopian media.

To Ethiopia’s Principal Foreign Donors in the Development Assistance Group

The World Bank, the United States, the European Commission, Key European Union Member States (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom), Norway, Switzerland, and Japan

  • Insist on a credible, independent, international investigation—without the participation of the Ethiopian government—into the EPRDF’s use of government services and other donor-supported programs as tools to entrench single-party rule and restrict the rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly; participation in public life; and non-discriminatory access to food and education.
  • Rule out a return to direct budget support until there is significant improvement in the human rights situation in Ethiopia and accountability for past abuses.
  • Include in all agreements with the Ethiopian government provisions for independent monitoring of all programs funded or partly funded by donors.
  • Suspend funding to the Democratic Institutions Program until benchmarks related to this program are met, such as improving the structural independence of key institutions within the program and repealing or amending repressive legislation such as the Charities and Societies Proclamation.
  • Condition further funding of the General Education Quality Improvement Project until benchmarks related to this program are met, such as implementation of the International Labour Organization’s recommendations regarding the rights of association of civil servants, the immediate registration of the independent National Teachers’ Association, and the initiating of an independent inquiry into allegations of torture of trade union members.
  • Ensure and exercise the ability to observe trainings funded by donors.
  • Invite national parliamentary bodies and audit institutions to examine the manner in which development assistance is underwriting political repression by the Ethiopian government, and the extent to which this is done.
  • Publicly call on the Ethiopian government to repeal or substantially amend the Charities and Societies Proclamation, which restricts and undermines independent civil society activity.
  • Press the Ethiopian government to ensure non-discrimination and non-partisan equality of access to government services and food security programs.
  • Publicly condemn intimidation and harassment of media and civil society organizations.

To the World Bank

  • Explicitly include ways of monitoring partisan politicization and “political capture” of donor assistance when preparing subsequent Country Assistance Strategies for Ethiopia.
  • Consider Ethiopia’s Protection of Basic Services program and Productive Safety Net Programme as potential pilots for the Nordic Trust Fund approach, which examines how human rights relate to the World Bank’s core work and mission.

To United Nations Agencies Operating in Ethiopia

  • Suspend the Democratic Institutions Program until benchmarks related to this program are met, such as improving the structural independence of key institutions within the program and repealing or amending repressive legislation such as the Charities and Societies Proclamation.
  • Establish a country office of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.