UN questions Norway on Ethiopian human rights
Norwegian officials have answered a letter from the UN raising concerns about its return agreement with Ethiopia on human rights grounds.
The UN letter, sent in April by special Rapporteur on Migrants Rights, François Crepeau, asked the Norwegian authorities questions about how Norway was going to protect asylum seekers being tortured after they had returned.
Norwegian authorities have now responded to the questions in a six-page letter from the Ministry of Justice. The letter also included a copy of the agreement between Norway and Ethiopia.
The letter to the UN states that the Ministry prefers people to return voluntarily. Around 70 Ethiopians so far have decided to return voluntarily under the agreement, according to the Directorate of Immigration (UDI).
Deputy Minister of Justice Pål Lønseth (AP) is unsurprised by the criticism Norway has received since signing the agreement.
“We have entered into an agreement with Ethiopia that remains unchanged. It is not just about forced return, buts adds primarily to facilitate an orderly voluntary return,” he told NRK.