Eritrea is a source country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor domestically, and to a lesser extent, forced prostitution and labor abroad.. Tens of thousands of persons continue to flee the country, many escaping the government’s mandatory national service program. Under the Proclamation of National Service (No. 82/1995), persons aged 18 to 50 years must perform national service. For persons aged 18 to 40 years, this consists of six months of military training and 12 months of service in a government-run work unit, including the Eritrean Defense Forces, for a total of 18 months; persons over 40 are considered to be on reserve status if they have performed active duty service. The emergency situation declared in 1998 as a result of a border war with Ethiopia remained in effect during the year.
Source: U.S Department of State