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Procedure : 2017/2648(RSP)
Stadium plenaire behandeling
Documentencyclus : B8-0262/2017

Ingediende teksten :


Debatten :

PV 06/04/2017 - 4.3
CRE 06/04/2017 - 4.3

Stemmingen :

Aangenomen teksten :


PDF 166kWORD 53k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0252/2017

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law

pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure

on Bangladesh, including child marriages (2017/2648(RSP))

Dita Charanzová, Johannes Cornelis van Baalen, Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Petras Auštrevičius, Urmas Paet, Marian Harkin, Louis Michel, Ivan Jakovčić, Marielle de Sarnez, Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Jozo Radoš, Hilde Vautmans, Pavel Telička, Frédérique Ries, Marietje Schaake, Gérard Deprez, Carolina Punset, Nathalie Griesbeck, Petr Ježek, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Cecilia Wikström, Martina Dlabajová, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Paavo Väyrynen, Nedzhmi Ali, Hannu Takkula, Valentinas Mazuronis, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Jasenko Selimovic, Filiz Hyusmenova on behalf of the ALDE Group
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

European Parliament resolution on Bangladesh, including child marriages (2017/2648(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

-having regard to its previous resolutions on Bangladesh, in particular that of 21 November 2013 on Bangladesh, of 16 September 2014 on human rights violations in Bangladesh, of 16 January 2014 on recent elections in Bangladesh and progress of the Bangladesh Sustainability Compact and of 25 November 2015 on freedom of expression in Bangladesh;


-having regard to its resolution of 24 November 2014 on the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child,


-having regard to the UN Human Rights Council resolution of 2 July 2015 on Strengthening efforts to prevent and eliminate child, early and forced marriage


-having regard to its resolution of 11 December 2012 on a digital freedom strategy in EU foreign policy and to its resolution of 13 June 2013 on the freedom of press and media in the world,


-having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,


-having regard to the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child of 1959,


-having regard to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989,


-having regard to the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy of 20 July 2015


-having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966,


-having regard to the United Nations Declarations on Human Rights Defenders,


-having regard to the United Nations Human Rights Committee’s observations on the report of Bangladesh of 7 March 2017,


-having regard to the EU Guidelines on the Rights of the Child,


-having regard to the EU Guidelines on Freedom of Expression Online and Offline of 12 May 2014,


-having regard to the EU Guidelines on the promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief of 24 June 2013,


-having regard to the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders,


-having regard to Rule 135 of its Rules of Procedure,


A.Whereas the UN recognizes child marriage as a violation of human rights, in which children lack the choice or capacity to give their full consent and are often subject to psychological and physical risks,


B.Whereas Bangladesh is a signatory to the UN Convention of 1989 that enshrines the rights of the child, including the right to life, to development, to non-discrimination, to education, and which should be respected by the authorities in all their policies and decisions; whereas all kind of violence, exploitation, poverty, social exclusion and discrimination based on religion, disability, gender sexual identity, age and ethnicity need to be strongly prevented and combatted by appropriate means;


C.Whereas according to UNICEF Bangladesh has the highest rate of child marriage in Asia and one of the highest rates in the world, with 52% of girls married before age of 18, and 18% married before age of 15;


D.Whereas at the Girl Summit in 2014 the Bangladesh government pledged to end marriage of children younger than 15 by 2021 and younger than 18 by 2041,


E.Whereas on 27 February 2017 the Bangladesh parliament approved a law allowing the marriage of children under 18 with no age limit under “certain circumstances”; whereas the new legislation will certainly increase even more the rates of child marriage,


F.Whereas according to the Bangladesh government the new measure was taken with the aim of notably giving the possibility to a pregnant unmarried girl to get married and thus allegedly protect children from discrimination in accessing services;


G.Whereas under the new rules child marriage is allowed “under special circumstances” which would also include in the case of pregnancy; whereas the voluntary termination of pregnancy in Bangladesh is a criminal offence except if the life of the women is in danger; whereas, in the case of rape the only option for pregnant child would be then to marry her eventual aggressor;


H.Whereas in 2015 Bangladesh was ranked 119 out 159 countries surveyed on the Gender Inequality Index within the United Nations Development Program; whereas in addition to the statistical data, gender inequalities and aggressions such as downy violence, sexual harassment, rapes and acid violence against women and girls are reported by different human rights organisations;


I.Whereas promoting and protecting the universality and indivisibility of human rights and fundamental freedoms is one of the key priorities of the EU's human rights policy,


J.Whereas in the past months NGOs and independent media reported enforced disappearances of people being directly or indirectly linked to opposition parties, including members of families of prominent opposition politicians, for which police officers and soldiers would be allegedly responsible,


K.Whereas on 25 April 2016 the editor for Bangladesh’s first and only LGBTI magazine, Xulhaz Mannan, and another young and prominent LGBTI human rights activist were brutally murdered in Dhaka,


L.Whereas in April 2016 an English language professor of the Rajshahi University, Rezaul Karim Siddique, and a student, Nazimuddin Samad, were attacked with machete and killed for respectively being accused of “calling for atheism” and having spoken against religious extremism via social media platforms;


M.Whereas these cases are not isolated and other journalists, bloggers and editors were prosecuted, threatened, harassed or/and murdered for having used their fundamental right to free speech on political, social and religious issues; whereas Islamic extremists groups have claimed responsibility for several killings,


N.Whereas Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has condemned some of the killings and expressed her Government's commitment to combat terrorism and violent extremism;


O.Whereas while the Bangladesh Constitution adopted in 2014 enshrines fundamental freedoms, including freedom of speech, the Bangladesh’s Penal Code under its Sections 295A and 298 and the Information and Communication Technology Act provide that any person who has “deliberate” or malicious” intent to “hurt religious sentiments” can be imprisoned, which both constitute a de facto blasphemy law,


P.Whereas a number of laws proposed in 2016 will potentially increase the existing limitations on freedom of speech and pluralism, such as the Distortion of the History of Bangladesh Liberation War Crime Act, The foreign Donation Regulation Act, which increases the control exercised on the donations received by NGOs and the Press Council Act which foresees provisions for closing newspapers; whereas the government increasingly uses the Information and Communications Technology act which arbitrarily restricts freedom of expression online;


Q.Whereas the EU has good, long-standing relations with Bangladesh, including through the Cooperation agreement on Partnership and Development;



1.Welcomes the fact that in the past few years Bangladesh has adopted several legislative and institutional measures with the aim of protecting children, notably the Children Act of 2013, Rights and Protection of Persons with Disabilities Act of 2013, Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) of 2013, National Child Labour Elimination Policy of 2010; is concerned nevertheless by the insufficient or inexistent implementation of these measures;


2.Condemns the adoption of the Child Marriage Restraint Act of 2017 which legalizes child marriage in certain cases; is extremely worried about the effect of the new legal framework heightening the risk for health consequences, maternal mortality, birth complications, diminishing girl’s chance for education, poverty, domestic violence, dependence and servitude;


3.Calls on the Bangladesh authorities and jurisdictions to revoke this act and instead actively consider alternatives when “special circumstances” occur; considers that every girl should be offered help continuing school, social service support and comprehensive reproductive health information and services;


4.Strongly believes that setting a legal, safe and affordable framework for termination of unwanted pregnancy and improving access to contraceptive measures for young people will considerably decrease the rate of child marriage, calls on the European Union to seek ways to support the Bangladesh authorities in establishing this framework;


5.Reaffirms that freedom of the press and media are fundamental rights and vital elements for democracy and an open society; calls in this respect the Bangladesh authorities to repeal all legal provisions related to blasphemy;


6.Urges that with general elections due in 18 months, it is critical that the Bangladesh government guarantees freedom of expression in order to insure free and fair elections;


7.Reminds the Bangladesh Government of its responsibility to ensure the security and safety of all citizens irrespective of their political views, affiliation, confession, gender and sexual orientation and to guarantee that the fundamental freedoms can be exercised without arbitrary limitations and censorship in the country;


8.Calls on the Bangladesh authorities to conduct independent investigations on the forced disappearances of members of opposition parties over the last few years and on the brutal murders of people who exercised their freedom of speech, notably journalists, authors, editors and secular activists;


9.Urges the Bangladesh authorities to investigate on arbitrary detentions, to abolish torture and other ill-treatments by fully implementing the 2013 Torture and Custodial Death Prevention Act and to insure the right to a fair trial to all accused people;


10.Reminds the competent Bangladesh authorities of their national and international legal obligations, and calls on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the Bangladesh Government to prioritise the protection and promotion of human rights and ensure accountability for human rights violations;


11.Calls on the Bangladesh authorities to ensure gender equality, non- discrimination and tolerance in all aspects among its population by preventing and combatting gender based violence; urges in this respect for thorough investigations, prosecutions, appropriate sanctions and full reparation in case of violence against women and girls, including indigenous and refugee women and girls;

12.Calls on the Bangladesh authorities to amend the Foreign Donations (Voluntary Activities) Regulation Act of 2014 to ensure that the work of civil society organizations is not subject to arbitrary control by the government, and that all decisions made under this Act are subject to an independent review process;


13.Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Government and Parliament of Bangladesh;


Juridische mededeling