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Thousands of Eritrean students bused to Forced Labour Camps in Eritrea.

Staring from 9th July 2016 over 27 000 Eritrean school children were bused to various forced labour camps around the country. This shocking latest action against school children comes in the wake of a damning

Staring from 9th July 2016 over 27 000 Eritrean school children were bused to various forced labour camps around the country. This shocking latest action against school children comes in the wake of a damning report by the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea which confirmed Crimes Against Humanity have been committed by the ruling regime since 1991 in what it called ‘systematic, widespread, and gross violations of human rights’ including enslavement, forced conscription and forced labour. The students are often taken to remote places without the the protection of their parents or guardians and are exposed to all sorts of abuses including sexual abuses against girls, and hard labour. Any student who refuses to participate is denied access to education and rounded up for forced conscription. This practice violates the 1999 Convention on the Rights of the Child and Convention of the Worst Forms of Child Labour which prohibit any work that denies children the right to education and any form of forced labour.
The student forced labour grogram known as ‘Students Summer Work Program’ in Eritrea usually comes before the indefinite forced conscription of all high school students who are made to finish their secondary education in a single military training, juggling between classes and military training. Once the students or any other youth are forced into conscription there is no way out. For all intents and purposes they are owned by the regime which the UN report rightly described as modern slavery. The regime enslaves around half a million Eritrean youth at any given time as confirmed by the UN report. As a result, the desperate youth continue to risk their lives to flee the country to seek for protection elsewhere. The tragic mass drowning of Eritreans in the Mediterranean Sea, the gruesome beheading of Eritrean migrants in Libya, and harrowing trafficking and kidnapping for ransom and organ harvesting of Eritrean in the Sinai desert and the hundreds of thousands of refugees (including unaccompanied children) in camps in Ethiopia and Sudan are consequences of the desperation Eritrean youth feel under the most brutal regime in the world. Many others are languishing inside Eritrean chain of prisons or serving as slave soldiers and labourers in the army.
We call upon the world to stand with us and defend the rights of Eritrean school children and stop all forms of slavery, forced conscription, and forced labour in Eritrea. This is the time to challenge the brutal rulers in Eritrea and force them to free the Eritrean youth from modern slavery. Let’s demand for:
1. The immediate return of all Eritrean students currently in forced labour camps to their families
2. Immediate and total ban of Forced Labour in Eritrea
3. Immediate and total ban of Forced Conscription in Eritrea
For the financial compensation of all those who participated in forced labour
4. All those responsible for the enslavement, forced conscription, and forced labour to be held accountable
Eritrea is the only country in the world without a constitution and is ‘ruled by fear’ as the UN report accurately describes it. There have never been any national elections since its independence, no national assembly, no justice system, no civicl society, no independent press, and all forms of freedoms and rights are banned. The one-man regime has terrorised the people in order to stay in power unchallenged.
24 July 2016
Pretoria, South Africa

Review overview
  • wedi Toronto July 27, 2016

    What’s new here from old evil gedli Eritrea’s regime? The fact remains that the entire high school population of Eritrea (every year, tens thousands of them) have to finish their last year of high school education in one single campus in a remote area. It is not that the diaspora or the so-called opportunist oppositions fail to see this, but that they conveniently ignore the sheer totalitarian abnormality of this undertaking and of the evil gedli’s regime. But the most sad thing about the whole campaign is that the countless victimized are mainly highland Eritreans.

  • meseret July 27, 2016

    now I know you are sick from regionalism. whether you believe it or not summer camp is all over the country. There is no regional discrimination in Eritrean concerning national service and summer camp,but you said “the victims are mainly highland Eritreans”. That is why earlier I said don’t oppose blindly;be fair and reasonable. By the way “Setit said child labor”. you need to know what child labor is. “Child labor is work that harms children or keeps them from attending school” but summer camp help students to experience work habits and get to know each other and strengthen solidarity between different ethic group and helps them get to know their country. on top of that to change their country in to green that is it no beyond that. but if you want to defame our government, you can name it what ever you think evil.

    • Elsa H. July 28, 2016

      meseret, are you from dept. of Eritrean misinformation or just poorly misinformed sad person?
      We need a real “government” of the people and for the people in Eritrea urgently and desperately. Hgdef is nothing but a collection of looters, killers, liars who will do anything to maintain their corrupt organization. We shouldn’t be surprised by your daily bold lies and weak arguments in defense of the sadistic, satanic regime that you are unashamedly defending as a legitimate “government” of Eritrea. God help the poor voiceless Eritrean people.

      • k.tewolde July 29, 2016

        Indeed Elsa,the sad thing is,this attitude is pervasive among the youth who went through the conveyor belt [SAWA] ,their mind is stolen there by the hypnotic mentors,the body might have migrated for one reason or the other,but the mind is still there in custody of robbers.That is the reason why the tyrant muses,’they going for a picnic,they will come back.’,and they do looking to retrieve the mind and childhood that was stolen from them,and that’s one form of crime against humanity.

        • Elsa H. July 30, 2016

          Indeed K.Tewolde, thank you for your fair comment and observation. I love your above precise statement of “their mind is stolen there by the hypnotic mentors, the body might have migrated for one reason or the other, but the mind is still there in custody of robbers”, indeed. How very true indeed and I couldn’t agree more brother/sister.

    • wedi Toronto July 28, 2016

      If Eritrea is such a hopeful green country where your government is making tangible progress to improve the lives of Eritreans, why is it then those who would benefit the most from it, the youth, are leaving it by the thousands? The facts speak for themselves. Eritrea’s youth, sentenced to an indentured servitude of compulsory and indefinite military service, are leaving Eritrea anyway they can. And, as they leave the warmth of their homes which have been changed into prison by the Eritrean evil-ghedli regime ( that you call our government), they are dying in Lampedusa, the Mediterranean Sea and Sinai deserts where if they are not killed, they are beaten, raped, tortured and harvested for organs by the savage evil muslim Arabs. The apologists of the evil ghedli regime has no boundary to their shames and excuses. Simply, go and sell your trash to your kind of blind worshipers of the sadist cult leader. Now, should I also say that you are sick too from ignorance or arrogance!!!!

      • Elsa H. July 30, 2016

        Very well said brother wedi Toronto. However, we are unfortunately talking or debating with stagnant person or like dumb meseret so there is no point in taking that kind of misinformed and intentional blinded individual too seriously. By now I am sure you realize that unless you are willing to join them in their irrational obsession with creating confusion and misinformation it is utter waste of time. Their masters HGDEFs don’t train them properly but only train them to jump from trees to trees blindly.

  • meseret July 29, 2016

    Elsa, take a breath. where was you dumb voice when our ministers (G-15) were taken to jail? why did you not say even a single word about their trials when the international community was pressuring our government to bring them to court? hadn’t you demonstrating with piles of petitions and carrying posters with slogans:” nhna nsu nsu nhna”? now you can tell at that time you were supposedly opportunist and now you are hit on the chin.shame on you after 14 years in prison, you want be voice for the voiceless. whether you like it or not, it is the only legitimate government that runs the country. whether it is weak or strong, it is the only recognized legitimate government in Eritrea not you or your clicks. it can be said so many things but it not worthy.

    • Elsa H. July 30, 2016

      meseret, you are nothing but a pure attention seeking infantile who needs to be kept in playgrounds for more playing time and fun.. I can’t make much of the state of your infantile thinking nor can I figure out your half-cooked thoughts.. I would like to debate with you but you keep stretching the topic to your imaginary weird world. I therefore don’t think I can carry this waste of time mini-debate any further. You see, I love it when monkey act monkey, jump from one branch to another. I don’t like when monkeys like yourself act as smart humans. Now I fixed you back to your right place, monkey on the fast move. We can’t follow you simply because we are not monkey-fast to match your tree moves. Stay in one of your safe trees instead of jumping from one tree to another (unforced and unnecessary jumps) like from forced-labor-camps to (G-15), nhna nsu nsu nhna slogans and God knows what next, may be about your master boss Yemane monkey from “our government”??
      Misinformation, denial of truth, and manipulation of the past is the hallmark of HGDEF and its minions. You have perfected the art of disinformation to deceive innocent Eritreans. In your vindictive and twisted mind, you can get high and be happy but you have low IQ to figure out obvious lies in your comment and information. Despite the regime poor operatives like yourself shameful tactics of creating confusion, eye witness accounts are coming out of Eritrea claiming the truths and exposing all your lies and misinformation, so stop your poor misinformation and mix-up things act.

  • meseret July 29, 2016

    wedi Toronto, I am not sure whether exactlly you or not, but I googled you on facebook and found that one person wedi toronto studied in addis ababa university, so if that is you, even I don’t need to say so much. If Ethiopia is the best place for you good luck!

  • meseret July 29, 2016

    Dear K. tewolde, I am not saying that things are ok in Eritrea, but this the consequences of war and political crisis in the region of Horn of Africa. What should we expect from continuous war and drought that persisted for years even decades? look at the western country if they face war with any country, how much their economy would be affected. The problem in our case is that we mix up our internal problem with the external problem. you see the international community take side with Ethiopia while the rule of law is violated by Ethiopia.For our internal problem, we don’t need to go to Geneva, while we could have done it in side our country. If you had even been in the military, had you even seen a single person to oppose his boss while he is stealing his logistics? Had you ever seen, when you speak up people would support you yes he is right? None of us. that was the right time for me and you could oppose our leaders when they did mistakes. Instead we had seen to make our friends victims in order to get 15 days vacation to Asmara.We had seen people wash their boss’s under wear to get the cheap 15 days vacation.Please let us get out of the pond, and think wisely how we can resolve our problem with hostility and emotions.

    • meseret July 29, 2016

      correction without hostility and emotions

      • k.tewolde July 30, 2016

        Dear meseret,you seem to be coming around.Let me state some facts for you to see the blind side,the side that growing up under HGDEF’S rule forbidden you to open your eyes.I left home voluntarily to liberate the land and the people from the yoke of colonialism,you were mandated to serve by someone you never elected as a leader and cheaply conscripted to indefinite servitude,you hated it and you left and so many others like you.Now,can you imagine if me and my generation of tegadelti took the same decision you made,do you think Eritrea as a nation would have existed regardless who is running it,We entered a new era,your era of ghedli where a handful of former’ tegadelti’ turned against the very ideals of their fallen comrades and the Eritrean people and wrestled power by the barrel of a gun and started ruling with iron feast and tell you do what we say or else,what is your role,serve them,submit to them,run away or stand up to them and fight?tegadelti of yesteryear did their job,liberated the land.That is how they are defined.What is your trademark?how do we define you and your generation meseret?most of you are now from your early 20s to early 40s What kind of niche have you carved in the history of your country? or are you a ghost generation that came and left unnoticed?This has nothing to with supporting and opposing.I want you to do a little introspection before you answer.

        • Micheal G. July 30, 2016

          Lots of words and pure fictions. You do love the sound of your own voice and false wisdom. Tragic with all the fantasy and half truths you tell about colonialism. Go and ask the Africans and the black Americans what really colonialism/slavery looked like and felt like and then you will stop your false lectures about colonialism. Talk about something you know instead and did you really liberate the land and the people from the yoke of colonialism as you strangely claim? Free yourself from ages of EPLF/ELF manipulated and corrupted slavery poor mind and sick outdated beliefs.

          • k.tewolde July 30, 2016

            M.G. the answer is intended strictly and exclusively for an Eritrean citizen.If I had an M.G. in my hand like the old days,I would blow your helmet clean off so that you won’t come back to this medium anymore,but those days are history along with your feudal-imperial tendencies.

          • Micheal G. July 31, 2016

            Dear Assenna moderator or Head,
            Where is my reply to this arrogant pig-head k.tewolde? Please sometimes allow me/us to defend my/our self/selves. You can’t let him get away with fictions and fabricated stories or claims. Where is your so-called democracy, equality and freedom of speech that you claim to fight for or are you just fighting for the rights of a few chosen ones? I demand a reply and justice. Otherwise, you are not better than PFDJ dictators and no wonder you’ve lost so many great commentators and you are sadly left with few lousy and opportunists. Don’t destroy your great reputation for the sake of a few useless individuals.

          • Micheal G. July 31, 2016

            I demand an explanation a proper one please as to why you are unable to post my reply/comment? With all due respect you are supposed and obliged to give reasons and explanations to your one sided actions. Please learn from the great website of and learn how to operate professionally.

        • Elsa H. July 31, 2016

          k.tewolde, I really thought you were a cool and reasonable guy but from what I’ve been reading your recent comments you are a bully and a fake actor.showing off as a caring senior citizen with false advises to the young but all misleadind and confusing guideness.
          What do you really mean by ‘a ghost generation that came and left unnoticed’? You are truly a nasty creature that should be kept away from the innocent young generation of Eritrea, we have seen so many wolves in sheep’s skin in the past and have done so much unrepairable damages so just keep your nasty evil thoughts and supposedly caring advises to yourself and to your sick old generation.

  • meseret July 30, 2016

    K. Tewolde, you call your self a fighter who joined the army struggle to liberate your people from colony which you failed to acomplish your promises , now you named your younger brother even your kids slsves who have protected their poeple from the expandlshist woyane regime. The most sadful thing, you voiced and entertain for the woyanes evil agenda in geneva. This is nothing except failurity and politial emptiness that you can not correct throughout your life.
    But thank to G michael that he hit you on your horn.

    • k.tewolde July 31, 2016

      meseret,you should abide by your rules ,no hostility.Yes I am a fighter who liberated mendefera,adi quala,agordat,tesennei,tamarat,adeibara tokombia,battle of barentu,battle of hills of sararat in umhajer front to fend off a soviet backed colonial army for 40 days and 40 nights,kicked weyanes ass in badme and chased him deep into sheraro that EPLF embraced and comforted later,southern dankalia tio,irible,bara’assole,bailul and the torching of the oil refinery in assab,I can go on but comparing to the fallen heroes/heroens that I keep dearly in my heart, I am nothing.I didn’t train woyane,I din’d sleep with woyane,as a matter of fact I kept woyane out of my sovereign territory until I was outflanked by them from the rear while I was defending myself from my brother.A little history they don’t teach you in SAWA.But that is not the issue today,You served 13 years and you saw your future going up in a smoke,you dropped your gun like many of your peers and walked away for a greener pasture because there is nothing there for you,and you turn around and say ‘no regrets’,How come you did’t continue serving then? this is a regime that stole your youth,used you and abused you and did’t fairly compensate you for the prime years you gave them,and you call it ‘mengstna’. There is one name for this- the battered wife syndrome.The cure- intensive psychotherapy with debriefing,total re-framing of the mind to think rationally.You need to seek professional counsel to to accomplish this.I wish you luck in this journey.You will look back and say,who was that person.I care about you..

      • Elsa H. July 31, 2016

        You are truly a confused and a delusional individual living and still fantasassing the 60s era of wars and destruction and killings. Don’t you know the world has moved on for better and for globalization or are you still stuck in your old killing fields?
        It seems you are on assenna 24/7 to manipulate, deceive and manufacture Ghedlized hero version of Eritrea. Your touch of so called “Ghedli heroes” has sicking polluting effect especially to the youth of Eritrea. So I am afraid you are accomplishing absolutely nothing worthwhile but just you wasting time. Why do you also go round the bush in circular way not to admit that you were actually an ELF loser who was beaten and kicked his ass and made to run away. Admit it again and answer the simple question of did you belong to ELF or EPLF? Just move on and get a new life in today’s real world not your sad old twisted world.

  • meseret July 30, 2016

    If you think that you own a high IQ by becoming a slave of the slaves , bowing out on feet of woyane, probabliy a cheer or cheer leader of the Geneva’s confused fan,good for you. But this doesn’t deserve you high IQ, rather downs you to dementia even more pushes you to alzheimer.

    • Elsa H. July 31, 2016

      meseret, did you not understand properly what I suggested to you in my last post not to keep changing topics (in your poor case, not to keep jumping trees “unforced”)? Now we are in your other favorite or fancy topic of ‘bowing out on feet of Woyane’! Should I bow on the feet of brutal Arabs like yourself then? Thanks also for letting us know that you badly suffer from dementia and alzheimer, we do feel sorry and sympathetic with your slavery madness but just keep taking your medications and stop from unnecessary tree jumping. If you’ve to come back to me with a new weird topic then I hope it would be about your master monkey boss that is Yemane monkey.

        • Elsa H. August 1, 2016

          Dearest assenna
          I am extremely sorry if I’ve over stepped my line or your guidelines. I never meant to harass others nor do I feel that I embarrassed myself in anyway by expressing my true feelings and views. This guy called k.tewolde may think he is far smarter and the bravest hero of poor Eritrea but he must be made to understand that he is nothing and is a culprit of today’s sad and broken Eritrea.

  • meseret July 30, 2016

    G. Michael asked you very simple question. Just ELF or EPLF. I don’t understand why you are embarassed to tell who exactlly you are.

  • k.tewolde August 2, 2016

    This will be my last post on this article.Assenna really doesn’t care who is posting on its website as long as they are following its guidelines,Contrasting views are encouraged here regardless of their origin as long as they are stated in a civilized manner,it is a platform where Eritreans from all walks of life gather and discuss their current dilemma and try to find a solution by rallying around a single goal-to rid themselves from the barbaric rule of HGDEF. In order to accomplish this mission you are not required to fill out a questionnaire whether you are ELF or EPLF,that’s HGDEF”S old divisive tactics that is still keeping us separate from delivering a united decisive blow once and for all Afterall,we all are his victims. I like to quote one of my favorite leader Pres.Obama here,’sometimes even while you know you are 100% right you have to compromise’.Our current dismal situation is calling to put our differences aside and focus on our primary assailant.Lets not waste our time asking outdated questions which has nothing to do with the resolution of our current problem.