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Latest Publication

Eritrea: Von der Befreiung zur Unterdruckung

Eritrea: Von der Befreiung zur Unterdrückung
Editors: Katja Buck, Mirjam van Reisen
Publisher: EMW - Evangelisches Missionswerk in Deutschland

Screenshot 2015-03-19 13.22.06
Decentralised Rural Energy to Meet Energy Needs of Rural Communities and Farmers: Simple, Accessible, Affordable and Sustainable
Editor: Mirjam van Reisen
Publisher: Hivos

Women Leadership Cover-10-7-14
Women's Leadership in Peace Building
Conflict, Community and Care
Editor: Mirjam van Reisen
Publisher: Africa World Press

The Human Trafficking Cycle: Sinai and Beyond
Authors: Mirjam van Reisen, Meron Estefanos & Conny Rijken
Publisher: Wolf legal publishers
For full list of publications


160629 unaccompanied minors cover

The ongoing and deepening tragic situation in Eritrea, which motivates these children to take such a hazardous
journey, and the desperation that underpins their situation, came as a shock, as did the vulnerability of these children to the trafficking networks.

The increased attention on Eritrean unaccompanied minor refugees underlines the need for a deeper understanding of the reasons for their vulnerability and the modalities by which they fall into the hands of trafficking gangs and (temporarily) even become part of them.

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160608 statement COI

8 June 2016
Published by EEPA

A statement addressing the Resolution that should should result in the UN Human Rights Council following the publication of the second report by the UN Commission of inquiry on the state of human rights in Eritrea


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infopack cover

May 2016
Language: English
Published by EEPA

A summary of a longer information pack that compiles recent information about Eritrea and its relationship with the European Union.  The summary provides links to a wide range of articles and opinions


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Eritrea: Von der Befreiung zur UnterdruckungBook
Edited by Katja Dorothea Buck and Prof. Mirjam van Reisen
Language: German
Published by EMW - Evangelisches Missionswerk in Deutschland e.V.
ISSN: 1430-6530
For further information and availability

 (Translated from German)

Little is known about the current Eritrea. When the country gained its independence in 1993, the hopes were high that the country would gain a better and peaceful future for all, after the 30-year liberation struggle against Ethiopia. The international community also saw great prospects for the country to develop as a first stable and independent democracy in the African continent.

Currently, all hopes and expectations have faded. Eritrea is one of the most repressive states in the world. The victorious freedom fighters from the past have formed a power hungry militarised regime.

The international community is not paying much attention to what is happening in Eritrea. Apparently, the country is not important enough in international politics. In the mean time, more and more Eritreans have fled the country. Every month, around 4000 people flee to Europe, facing great dangers on the road. Their distress and defenselessness makes them easy pray for human traffickers in transit countries. Tens of thousands of Eritreans have become victim to human traffickers in the last years, who kidnap them and take them to torture camps in the Sinai desert. There, they have to beg for large sums of ransom from their relatives. If they are freed, they still have to pay large sums of money to cross the Mediterranean Sea in dangerous boats.

The refugees who make it to Europe face a lack of understanding from authorities and the public alike. Why have they left their country, which is not in a state of war or civil war and which does not suffer from famine? This book wants to contribute to the understanding of the widespread human rights abuses in Eritrea and that the topic of human trafficking will grow in public awareness.  

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Women Leadership Cover-10-7-14Book
Edited by Prof. Mirjam van Reisen
Published by Africa World Press
ISBN: 978-1-59221-994-0
US$ 39.95

This book was published as part of the preparations for the 2014 International Colloquium on Women's Leadership in Peace Building.  Published at a critical time in human history in which social concerns are compounded by threats to world wide safety and survival. War, destabilization, economic constraints, human rights violations and state intervention have lead to unprecedented numbers of refugees in many regions of the world.

In 2014 the Ebola epidemic in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea transformed a health crisis into a peace and security challenge.  It confirmed what was already known, that peace and care are intrinsically related.  The well-being and care or people in affected communities and the means to provide care within communities is central to conflict-resolution.

The leadership that women offer in this context constitutes an important element of peace-building, as is women's ability to participate in governance. In an increasingly connected world women and men 'care' for others across borders and continents, linking families and communities through mobile phones and social media.

However, regional and civil conflict, challenges of changing hegemonic power and new threats to peace and well-being of peoples impact particularly on gender-relations and endanger women's safety.  In this rapidly changing reality, the philosophy of relations in the African worldview of Ubuntu, the Christian understanding of community and old customs and cultures of care, may be invaluable facilitators of peace.

This book builds on earlier work of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Elisabeth Rehn on Women, War and Peace (2002) and examines the relations between women's leadership and peace building.

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Screenshot 2015-03-19 13.22.06Briefing paper
Editor: Prof. Mirjam van Reisen
Publisher: Hivos
19 pages

Produced as a contribution to the debate on the EU's planning for its development cooperation support programme for the period 2014 to 2020, this briefing paper sets out the argument as to why EU development support should give sufficient priority to ensuring that remote rural communities in developing countries get access to affordable, reliable and relevant energy supplies.  Since 1.3 billion people do not have such access, the majority of whom live in remote locations with little expectation for getting access to energy networks that are primarily focused around towns and cities, the paper argues that the installation of off-grid, decentralised solutions using renewable energy technologies need to be supported.

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Book-cover2Research Report
Authors: Mirjam van Reisen, Meron Estefanos & Conny Rijken
Publisher: Wolf legal publishers

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EU Eritrea Fotor2012

Authors: Dr. Daniel R. Mekonnen, Galway University and Professor Dr. Mirjam van Reisen, Tilburg University

Publisher: Verfassung und Recht in Übersee VRÜ 45

20 pages

The European Union (EU) is a leading global actor in development cooperation. Its development cooperation is subject to binding treaty obligations which guide the scope and extent of its foreign policy instruments. This paper examines the scope of legality of EU-Eritrea development cooperation under the relevant treaty obligations of the EU, particularly under the legal framework of the Treaty of Lisbon. Concluding that EU aid to Eritrea is indeed contributing to sustaining dictatorship in the country, the authors argue in favour of a revised policy for EU-Eritrea development cooperation. The authors also call for the EU to strengthen positive aid measures, such as helping refugees and supporting democratic organisations of the Eritrean diaspora, while ending direct support to the Government of Eritrea, such as bilateral aid, until the Government of Eritrea can improve conditions so that essential criteria (respect for human rights, democratic accountability, and the rule of law) can be met, as stipulated by the main EU treaties and the Cotonou Agreement.


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De verbeelding van Marga KlompeBook
Authors: Prof. Erik Borgman and Prof. Mirjam van Reisen
Publisher: Klement
ISBN: 9789086871100
255 pages

Als generatiegenoot van Stéphane Hessel, de schrijver van de bestseller Neem het niet (2010), inspireert Klompé vandaag een nieuwe generatie door haar aandacht voor de menselijke persoon en de menselijke waardigheid, haar oog voor recht en diversiteit, haar inzicht in het belang van internationale samenwerking.

In dit boek worden centrale aspecten van de inzet van Marga Klompé opnieuw onder de loep genomen. Met geloof, politiek, zorgbeleid en feminisme als invalshoeken, onderzoeken de auteurs hoe haar verbeelding van een betere wereld en de rol die mensen kunnen spelen bij het realiseren daarvan, inspirerend is voor een nieuwe generatie.

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In Liefde en RechtvaardigheidBook
Editors: Prof. Erik Borgman, Iris Plessius and Prof. Mirjam van Reisen
Publisher: Veloren
Pages 165
ISBN 978-90-8704-332-2

Marga Klompé (1912-1986) leeft nog altijd voort in de herinnering als de eerste vrouwelijke minister van Nederland, als grondlegster van de Algemene Bijstandwet en de Wet op de Bejaardenoorden. Zij was een voorvechtster van vrede en internationale gerechtigheid en meende dat bijdragen aan een goede samenleving ieders opdracht was. Hierbij was haar rooms-katholieke geloof de grondslag.

Gedurende haar eerste jaar als lid van de Tweede Kamer, van augustus 1948 tot augustus 1949, hield Klompé een dagboek bij. Zij noteerde wat zij meemaakte en wie zij ontmoette. Ze maakte ook aantekeningen over haar inzet om ‘in Liefde en Rechtvaardigheid’ te leven en politiek te bedrijven. Dit bezielde, bij tijden ontroerende dagboek wordt in deze uitgave bij gelegenheid van haar honderdste geboortedag gepubliceerd, omgeven door enkele andere teksten die licht werpen op Klompés blijvende betekenis.

Erik Borgman doceert publieke theologie en bekleedt de Cobbenhagen-leerstoel van Tilburg University. Iris Plessius is historica en bereidt een promotie voor. Mirjam van Reisen bekleedt de Marga Klompé-leerstoel voor internationale sociale verantwoordelijkheid aan Tilburg University.

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EUSA Conference Paper ACP-EUConference Paper
Baltimore, 11 May 2013
Presenter: Mirjam van Reisen
Tilburg University
13th EUSA Conference

As the Cotonou Agreement expires in 2020, both the ACP and EU side need to start looking towards future options. This paper examines what common denominators might be emerging between the ACP and the EU on their common future, if any. Observations are also presented on which may be the key questions to consider in a frank and open examination of the future potential of the ACP – EU special relationship.

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The State of Girls in EU Development CooperationReport
Authors: Georgina Hrabovski and Joyce Haarbrinks, EEPA
Publisher: European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development
24 pages

Girls and boys are treated differently in most of the developing world, with girls suffering far worse than their male counterparts in a variety of spheres of life, which include their access to nutrition, to basic health care and education.  There are 250 million girls living in poverty in the developing world with limited means to change or control the decisions that affect them. Girls are often taken out of school and forced to marry at an early age; they also bear the heaviest burden of domestic chores and are regularly engaged in unpaid and hazardous labour practices.

The EPF report with contribution from EEPA explores the social and economic situation of girl worldwide while also investigating the EU’s attention to the issue of girl through its Official Development Assistance (ODA).

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ACP 3D - Future Perspectives of the ACP GroupReport
Author: Prof. Mirjam van Reisen
Publisher: Eminent Persons Group on the Future of the ACP
80 pages

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The Implementation of the EU Guidelines on Children in Armed ConflictChildren and young people are highly vulnerable to and disproportionately affected by the effects of conflict, state fragility and war. They make up the majority of population in conflict affected countries, with around 1 billion children estimated to currently live in conflict affected zones.

The present report investigates commissioned by War Child Holland and War Child UK, provides an overview and assessment of the European Union’s actions on the CAAC (Children Affected by Armed Conflict) issue, while also giving suggestions on how such action could be improved.

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Cover Human Trafficking in the SinaiBook
Authors: Mirjam van Reisen, Meron Estefanos and Conny Rijken
Publishers: Wolf Legal Publishers
134 pages
ISBN: 978-90-5850-945-1
€ 17.95

This report describes the horrific situation of trafficking of refugees in the Sinai desert, a crisis that started in 2009. The refugees include men, women, children and accompanying infants fleeing from already desperate circumstances in Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan. An estimated 95% of the refugees held as hostages in the Sinai are Eritreans. Smuggled across borders by middlemen, or kidnapped from refugee camps in Ethiopia and the Sudan as well as their surrounding areas, and then captured or sold, the refugees are held hostage close to the Israeli border in inhumane conditions and tortured for ransoms of up to USD 50,000. A large number of the refugees have died, either while being held hostage or after their release — often even after their ransom has been paid. A large number of refugees simply ‘disappear’, killed while being held or after release.

A summary is available here.

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Can you think of a group of almost half of the countries in the world that delivers crucial commodities and does not have a real say in global governance? Well, it exists. And the group now wants to be heard.

The BrokerThe future of the largest inter-regional cooperation between the EU and the ACP states in the world remains incertain; The EU is like an old man sailing uncertain seas, is sending signals that it might not extend The ACP-EU Cotonou Agreement. However,  schemes of international cooperation are changing rapidly and the question is not necessarily whether the EU wants to extend the treaty but whether the ACP really needs the EU.Trading with non-EU countries might prove more tempting than receiving aid from Europe. And being more independent, ACP countries feel, strengthens their presence in global governance.

In the Special Report published by the Broker entitled "The old man and the seas-The future of EU-ACP relations"', Prof Mirjam van Reisen, EU External Policy Expert, discusses the future of the ACP and its relationship with the European Union.

Within the report, Prof van Reisen explores and examines the future of the ACP-EU relationship in the context of the ACP’s effort to establish a presence in global governance; the ACP's opportunities to become a stronger, more independent group; and the new relationships the ACP is building with the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and other emerging economies.

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MDG 8The purpose of this study is to analyze the application of the Right to Development criteria for the evaluation of global partnerships for development in the context of MDG 8 to the Cotonou Partnership Agreement between EU and ACP countries. This report has been commissioned by the High-level Task Force on the implementation of the right to development of the Human Rights Council.

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cover Eritrea Conference ReportReport of the Conference 'Joining up EU and US Policy towards Eritrea and the Horn for the Promotion of Democracy and Human Rights', held in Brussels, 9-10 November 2009.

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Window of OpportunityBook
Author: Mirjam van Reisen
Publisher: African World Press
365 pages
US$ 34.95

 On 9 November 1989 the Berlin Wall fell, taking world leaders by surprise. A 'policy window' was opened leading to a redefinition of development cooperation in Europe and internationally.  A self-confident and assertive European Union, searching for its ambition, seized the opportunity to emerge from these events as a global player.

This book looks at the history and evolution of EU development cooperation policy, the factors that triggered the change and the forces that influenced the direction of that change.  It examines current issues in EU development cooperation policy to answer the important question of where the EU is headed in the future and when this policy wiondow will close for a new chapter in EU external relations history to open.

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Alliance2015 Special Report 2007Lost between "Ownership", "Division of Labour" and Mainstreaming

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Alliance2015 Scorecard2015-Watch - Scorecard 2007

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2015-Watch Report 4The EU's contribution to the Millennium Development Goals Halfway to 2015: Mid-term Review

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An Unhealthy PrognosisAn unhealthy prognosis? The EC's development funding for health

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Nepal: Looking Beyond KathmanduNepal: Looking beyond Kathmandu "Challenges and Opportunities for Peace-Building from Below"

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Aliance-2015 Expert MeetingExpert Meeting: Measuring the contribution of General Budget Support to social sectors (Summary Report)

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Lasting peace in AcehLasting peace in Aceh? Strenghtening civil society as an active mediator for peace

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Effective Advocacy Strategies towards the European Union for ConcordA study on effective EU advocacy strategies, looking at CONCORD’s role in these, involving 24 interviews and an assessment of five campaigns.

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2015-Watch Report 3The EU's contribution to the Millennium Development Goals Special focus: Education

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Unifem Conference ReportOwning Development: Promoting Gender Equality in New Aid Modalities and Partnerships

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To the Farthest FrontiersReport
Author: Mirjam van Reisen
Publishers: Eurostep and Social Watch
76 pages

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Accountability Upside DownReport
Author: Mirjam van Reisen with assistance from Maxi Ussar
Publishers: Eurostep and Social Watch
76 pages

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Lost Kids Lost FuturesReport
Authors: Mirjam ven Reisen and Ana Stefanovic
Publisher: International Federation of Terres Des Hommes
60 pages
ISBN: 2-9700457-1-0

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Invisible ChildrenReport
Author: Mirjam van Reisen
Publisher: Save the Children Sweden
80 pages
ISBN: 91-7321-055-2

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EU Global PlayerBook
Author: Mirjam van Reisen
Publisher: International Books
256 pages
ISBN: 978 90 5727 035 2

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