Rights in Exile Programme

Refugee Legal Aid Information for Lawyers Representing Refugees Globally

Ethiopia - COI

Click here to see the host countries of refugees originating from Ethiopia.

Dr Samuel A Bekalo

Email: samuelatayele90 [dot] freeserve [dot] co [dot] uk or samuelbekaloathotmail [dot] com

Dr Samuel A Bekalo has conducted research and published widely on Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia and Sudan. He has lived and worked in the region and regularly visits the area since the 1960s. He has written over 100 expert and documentation authentication reports on these countries. His scholarly reports are based on first-hand experience and benefit from his knowledge of Amharic, Oromo, Arabic, Tigrinya, and Kiswahili. In recent years, Dr Bekalo has worked as a Research Fellow at the International School of Education of the University of Leeds (UK), where he was involved in the capacity building project North-South Higher Education Institutions Link programme for Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan.

Dr John R Campbell

Department of Anthropology & Sociology
School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), London
Email: jc58atsoas [dot] ac [dot] uk

Dr Campbell has over a decade’s experience of writing country expert reports for Ethiopian and Eritrean asylum applicants in the UK and elsewhere. He has also done extended fieldwork in/on the British asylum system. He has addressed a range of issues in the past but his work currently focuses on issues of statelessness and nationality, particularly in relation to the thousands of Ethiopian-born ethnic Eritreans who were deported during the border war between Ethiopia and Eritrea, and the thousands of Ethiopian-born ethnic Eritreans who currently reside in Ethiopia.

Dr Laura Hammond

Senior Lecturer, Deptartment of Development Studies
School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London, UK
Email: lh4atsoas [dot] ac [dot] uk

Dr Hammond has conducted extensive research in areas of forced migration, diasporas, food security, and conflict. She has worked in the Horn of Africa - particularly Ethiopia and Somalia/Somaliland - for the past eighteen years, and has done consultancy for a wide range of development and humanitarian organizations, including UNDP, USAID, DfID, Oxfam, Medécins Sans Frontières, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the British Red Cross and the World Food Programme.  She is a member of the Independent Advisory Group on Country Information (IAGCI). She is also the author of This Place Will Become Home: Refugee Repatriation to Ethiopia (Cornell University Press: 2004) and several other book and journal articles.

Dr Tricia Redeker Hepner

Assistant Professor of Anthropology
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA
Email: thepneratutk [dot] edu

Dr Redeker Hepner has studied the socio-political dynamics of Eritrea and its diasporas for more than fifteen years. She is also an Eritrea Country Specialist for Amnesty International. Dr Hepner has provided expert testimony in hundreds of Eritrean asylum cases and has acted as a consultant for attorneys and legal aid providers in Canada, Europe, and the Middle East. Her active research agenda focuses on Eritrean refugees, transnational governance and repression, and rights-based organizing in the US, Europe, and Ethiopia. Two of her books include Soldiers, Martyrs, Traitors and Exiles: Political Conflict in Eritrea and the Diaspora (University of Pennsylvania Press) and Biopolitics, Militarism and Development: Eritrea in the Twenty-first Century, co-edited with David O’Kane (Berghahn Books).  Dr. Hepner earned her MA and PhD in Anthropology from Michigan State University and a Certificate in Refugee Studies from York University, Toronto.

Mr Ben Rawlence

Email: benrawlenceatgmail [dot] com 

Mr Rawlence is a Country of Origin expert on the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Eritea, and Somalia. He has written numerous articles on issues occuring in the region and also written two books including City of Thorns: Fear and Longing in the World’s Largest Refugee Camp (forthcoming, 2015) and Radio Congo: Signals of Hope from Africa’s Deadliest War. Mr Rawlence can speak Swahili. He worked as a researcher on Ethiopia for Human Rights Watch from 2009-2013 covering a range of issues from forced displacement to torture and rendition and political repression. He has a good understanding of the political dimensions of ethnic discrimination and the hidden nature of much of Ethiopia's state torture system.

Dr Ron Reminick

Associate Professor, Dept. Anthropology
Cleveland State University
Email: r [dot] reminickatcsuohio [dot] edu

Dr Ron Reminick is a psychological anthropologist with interpretive skills of a general order.

Dr Charles Schaefer

Chair of the International Studies Department and Associate Professor of African History
Valparaiso University, Indiana
Email: chuck [dot] schaeferatvalpo [dot] edu chuck [dot] schaeferatvalpo [dot] edu ( )

Dr Schaefer has made the Horn of Africa, and specifically Ethiopia and Eritrea, the focus of his academic career and humanitarian work. Travelling there frequently for long periods of time, he has cumulatively lived in Ethiopia for approximately 15 years, most recently in 2010. With extensive knowledge of Ethiopia’s human rights and socio-political situation, Dr Schaefer researched and wrote on the post-election evaluation of the May 2005 elections, and has written extensively on human rights, Ethiopian politics, elections, and electioneering. From 2006 through to 2009 he also held the position as Country Specialist for Ethiopia for Amnesty International – USA.

Dr Magnus Treiber

Department of Anthropology, University of Bayreuth, 95440 Bayreuth, Germany
Website: www.ethnologie.uni-bayreuth.de
Email: magnus [dot] treiberatethnologie [dot] lmu [dot] de

Magnus Treiber teaches at the University of Bayreuth, Germany, in the Department of Anthropology. Following his doctoral thesis on the life-world of young urbanites in Asmara/Eritrea (2005, University of Munich), he is currently engaged in a research project on “Dynamic Worlds of Imagination – Learning processes, knowledge and communication among young urban migrants from Eritrea and Ethiopia”, funded by the Bavarian State Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts in the interdisciplinary research network “migration and knowledge (formig)”. He can provide country of origin information for Eritrea and Ethiopia, and his current reseach is on Eritrean and Ethiopian migrants in Khartoum, Sudan.  Dr Magnus Treiber offers a brief explanation of the Kebele system of organising neighbourhoods in urban Ethiopia through which remarkable control of the population is achieved.

Dr Harry Verhoeven

Email: hv89atgeorgetown [dot] edu

Prof Harry Verhoeven teaches at the School of Foreign Service in Qatar, Georgetown University. Prof Verhoeven completed a doctorate at the University of Oxford, where he was a postdoctoral fellow from 2012 to 2014 and a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College from 2013 to 2014. His research focuses on conflict, development and the environment in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. He has published on hydropolitics, state-building and conflict in Ethiopia and the region. His research covers areas such as water security, famine, emerging powers and Islamism in Ethiopia and the region. A list of his publications can be found here: https://qatar.sfs.georgetown.edu/profile/harry-verhoeven.

Laura Young, JD, MPH

Email: lyoungatprorightsconsulting [dot] com

Laura is a US-trained human rights lawyer based in Nairobi, Kenya who works across sub-Saharan Africa as a consultant on governance and human rights for USAID, the UN, governments, and international NGOs. Laura has published numerous articles and reports focused on conflict dynamics, gender, minority rights, transitional justice, migration, health, and other human rights issues in the African context. Laura has provided expert input for immigration and asylum cases in both the US and UK, focused on LGBT, FGM/C, domestic violence, trafficking, access to health services (including mental health and HIV), ex-combatants, ethnic minorities, disability access, police protection, and other key issues.

Professor Ian Taylor

Email: ictatst-andrews [dot] ac [dot] uk

Ian Taylor is a Professor in International Relations and African Politics at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. He has worked for institutions such as the UNHCR, and has published extensively on Ethiopia - both academically and for consultancy reports. His work includes themes such as politics, democracy, development, conflict and sustainability.

Radio Erena/Radio Erythrée International Blog


Independent of any political organisation or government, Radio Erena offers news, cultural programmes, music and entertainment. The blogsite provides articles containing firsthand reports of the situation in Eritrea and Ethiopia which may be considered useful in the gathering of country of origin information. A network of contributors based in the United States, Italy, Britain and the Netherlands is providing the Paris-based staff with Tigrinya-language programmes that are broadcast via Arabsat’s Badr-6 satellite. Eritreans can tune into Radio Erena on the 11,785 Mhz frequency with vertical polarisation (SR 27500, FEC 3/4).

Publications and Further Reading