Eritreans are fleeing one of the world’s most repressive dictatorships established after the country of six million won independence from Ethiopia, in 1993, following a long destructive war. Power rests in the hands of president Isaias Afewerki.
Located in the restive Horn of Africa, Eritrea has one party, has never conducted free elections and has no rule of law or independent judiciary.
Eritreans are forced into indefinite military service or compelled to take up jobs in the administration and public services, including as teachers, without reference to their training or expertise. Children are suffering from the system, which has compromised their future.Governance is poor in Eritrea. Tens of thousands are treated as slave labour, arrested without charge, held in concentration camps and tortured. The government is said to back al-Qaeda affiliate al-Shebab, which is waging war in Somalia and across the border in Kenya.