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Human Rights Violations in Federal Ethiopia: When Ethnic Identity is a Political Stigma

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The objective of this paper is to probe the critique against Ethiopia regarding human rights violations along ethnic and racial lines recently raised by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). The article compares the Ethiopian government's stated policy on human and group rights with reported human rights violations in Ethiopia per ethnic regional-state for the purpose of identifying possible "ethnic" patterns of violations. The findings of this article partly question, from a methodological perspective, the categorical classification of "human rights violations along ethnic and racial lines" as expressed by CERD. Violations may certainly be interpreted within an ethnic framework; however, one should also make allowances for a non-ethnic approach to human rights abuses and view the two perspectives as mutually complimentary.


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Affiliations: 1: Associate Professor, University of Oslo, Norwegian Centre for Human Rights


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