Originally published by Human Rights Watch on 20 April 2020
The Ethiopian government’s changes to asylum procedures for Eritreans undermines their access to asylum and denies unaccompanied children necessary protection. The changes include not allowing all Eritrean refugees, including unaccompanied children, to apply for asylum, which leaves them without protection services or refugee camp accommodations. Ethiopia currently hosts 171,876 Eritrean refugees, and 44% of the Eritrean refugees in the Tigray camps (4 of 6 refugee camps in Ethiopia) are children.
In early March, Ethiopian authorities announced they would close one of the Tigray camps, where 26,652 Eritreans live, including about 1,600 unaccompanied children. The closure is on hold because of COVID-19 but relocations could begin in late April.