As of November 2013, the European Union has assumed the role as Co-Chair for the Human Rights and Democracy Sub Group in Ethiopia, after the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Norway and EU will Co-Chair the group and regularly bring together partners working on human rights and democracy issues in Ethiopia.
The Human Rights and Democracy Sub Group is a sub-group of the Ethiopian Partners’ Group, which reports to the Development Assistance Group. Norway has co-chaired the group since 2011. Through this role, Norway is actively engaged in human rights and democracy issues in Ethiopia.
The objectives of the Group are to share information on recent human rights and democracy related events, actions and plans, harmonize efforts to monitor human rights situation and follow-up human rights allegations in the country. Each meeting has a thematic focus and a relevant speaker is invited to introduce a topic. Topics which have been addressed over the last year are:
• Civil Society in Ethiopia
• Resettlement and Villagization
• Federalism, Decentralization and Local Authorities
• Media, Press Freedom and Journalist Culture in Ethiopia
• Ethiopia’s National Human Rights Action Plan
• Ethiopia’s Structural and Political Framework focusing on the Constitution and Ethnicity
• Ethiopia’s Universal Periodic Review – 2009 and upcoming 2014 – Civil society’s report
• Religious development in Ethiopia focusing on Islam and relations to the State and the Orthodox Church