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Procedure : 2016/2239(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0222/2017

Texts tabled :

A8-0222/2017

Debates :

PV 03/07/2017 - 22
CRE 03/07/2017 - 22

Votes :

PV 04/07/2017 - 6.14
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2017)0288

Texts adopted
PDF 213kWORD 54k
Tuesday, 4 July 2017 - Strasbourg Final edition
Addressing human rights violations in the context of war crimes, and crimes against humanity, including genocide
P8_TA(2017)0288A8-0222/2017

European Parliament resolution of 4 July 2017 on addressing human rights violations in the context of war crimes, and crimes against humanity, including genocide (2016/2239(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 9 December 1948,

–  having regard to Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations (Action with respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace, and Acts of Aggression),

–  having regard to the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of 10 December 1984,

–  having regard to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief, and the EU Guidelines on the promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief,

–  having regard to UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security of 31 October 2000,

–  having regard to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) of 17 July 1998, which entered into force on 1 July 2002,

–  having regard to the Kampala Amendments to the Rome Statute, adopted by the Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda in June 2010,

–  having regard to the United Nations Framework of Analysis for Atrocity Crimes, drafted by the UN Office of the Special Advisers on the Prevention of Genocide and the Responsibility to Protect,

–  having regard to the report of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights of 15 March 2015 on the human rights situation in Iraq in the light of abuses committed by the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and associated groups,

–  having regard to the UN General Assembly Resolution A/71/L.48 of December 2016, establishing an international, impartial and independent mechanism to assist in the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for the most serious crimes under international law committed in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011 (IIIM),

–  having regard to the special inquiry into the events in Aleppo by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, published on 1 March 2017,

–  having regard to Council Common Position 2001/443/CFSP of 11 June 2001 on the International Criminal Court(1),

–  having regard to Council Decision 2002/494/JHA of 13 June 2002 setting up a European network of contact points in respect of persons responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes(2),

–  having regard to Council Decision 2003/335/JHA of 8 May 2003 on the investigation and prosecution of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes(3),

–  having regard to Council Common Position 2003/444/CFSP of 16 June 2003 on the International Criminal Court(4),

–  having regard to the EU Guidelines on Promoting Compliance with International Humanitarian Law,

–  having regard to the agreement between the ICC and the European Union on cooperation and assistance(5),

–  having regard to Council Decision 2011/168/CFSP of 21 March 2011 on the International Criminal Court(6),

–  having regard to the joint staff working document of the Commission and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on advancing the principle of complementarity (SWD(2013)0026),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on the EUʼs comprehensive approach of 12 May 2014,

–  having regard to the Strategy of the EU Genocide Network to combat impunity for the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes within the European Union and its Member States, adopted on 30 October 2014,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on the EU’s support to transitional justice of 16 November 2015,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 23 May 2016 on the EU Regional Strategy for Syria and Iraq as well as the Daesh threat,

–  having regard to the statement of 9 December 2016 by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) on the occasion of the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime,

–  having regard to the European Union Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2015-2019,

–  having regard to its resolution of 17 November 2011 on ‘EU support for the ICC: facing challenges and overcoming difficulties’(7),

–  having regard to its resolution of 17 July 2014 on the crime of aggression(8),

–  having regard to its resolutions of 8 October 2015 on the mass displacement of children in Nigeria as a result of Boko Haram attacks(9) and of 17 July 2014 on ‘Nigeria – recent attacks by Boko Haram’(10),

–  having regard to its resolution of 16 December 2015 on ‘Preparing for the World Humanitarian Summit: Challenges and opportunities for humanitarian assistance’(11),

–  having regard to its resolutions of 24 November 2016 on the situation in Syria(12), 27 October 2016 on the situation in Northern Iraq/Mosul(13), of 4 February 2016 on the systematic mass murder of religious minorities by the so-called ‘ISIS/Daesh’(14), and of 11 June 2015 on ‘Syria: situation in Palmyra and the case of Mazen Darwish’(15),

–  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (A8-0222/2017),

A.  whereas the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, also known as ‘atrocity crimes’, are the most serious crimes against humankind and a reason for concern for the entire international community; whereas humankind has been convulsed by such crimes;

B.  whereas the international community has the duty to prevent atrocity crimes from taking place; whereas when such crimes happen they must not go unpunished and their effective, fair and rapid prosecution must be ensured, at national or international level and according to the principle of complementarity;

C.  whereas accountability, justice, the rule of law and the fight against impunity constitute essential elements underpinning peace and conflict resolution, reconciliation and reconstruction efforts;

D.  whereas genuine reconciliation can be based only on truth and justice;

E.  whereas the victims of such crimes have the right to remedy and compensation and whereas refugees who have been the victims of atrocity crimes should receive full support from the international community; whereas in this context it is important to adopt a gender perspective by taking account of the special needs of women and girls in refugee camps, during repatriation and resettlement, in rehabilitation and in post-conflict reconstruction;

F.  whereas the ICC plays a key role in the fight against impunity, in the restoration of peace, and in providing justice for victims;

G.  whereas the system of reparations for the victims of the crimes within the competences of the Court makes the ICC a unique judicial institution at the international level;

H.  whereas universal accession to the Rome Statute is essential for the full effectiveness of the ICC; whereas 124 countries, including all EU Member States, have ratified the Rome Statute of the ICC;

I.  whereas the Kampala amendments to the Rome Statute on the crime of aggression, considered as the most serious and dangerous form of illegal use of force, have been ratified by 34 countries, thus achieving the 30 acceptances required for its activation and opening the possibility for the Assembly of States Parties to adopt, after 1 January 2017, the activation of the Court’s treaty-based aggression-related jurisdiction;

J.  whereas in November 2016 Russia decided to withdraw its signature from the Rome Statute; whereas in October 2016 South Africa, Gambia and Burundi also announced their withdrawal; whereas the African Union (AU) on 31 January 2017 adopted a non-binding resolution including an ICC Withdrawal Strategy and calling on AU member states to consider implementing its recommendations; whereas in February and March 2017 respectively, Gambia and South Africa notified their decision to revoke their withdrawal from the Rome Statute;

K.  whereas cooperation among States Parties to the Rome Statute and with regional organisations is of the utmost importance, particularly in situations where the jurisdiction of the ICC is being challenged;

L.  whereas the ICC is currently conducting ten investigations in nine countries (Georgia, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, Libya, Kenya, Sudan (Darfur), Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and (two investigations) the Central African Republic;

M.  whereas, in accordance with the principle of complementarity as enshrined in the Rome Statute, the ICC only acts in instances where national courts are unable or unwilling to genuinely investigate and prosecute atrocity crimes, so that States Parties retain the primary responsibility for bringing to justice the alleged perpetrators of the most serious crimes of international concern;

N.  whereas in Council Common Position 2001/443/CFSP of 11 June 2001 on the ICC the Member States declared that the crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC are of concern to all Member States, which are determined to cooperate on the prevention of those crimes and on putting an end to impunity for the perpetrators thereof;

O.  whereas the EU and its Member States have been staunch allies of the ICC from its inception, offering continued political, diplomatic, financial and logistical support, including the promotion of universality and the defence of the integrity of the Rome Statute system;

P.  whereas the EU and its Member States have pledged to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) that they will strongly support the establishment of an effective mechanism for strengthening compliance with international humanitarian law; whereas Parliament has requested the VP/HR to report back on the objectives and strategy devised in order to deliver on this pledge;

Q.  whereas numerous atrocity crimes were committed on the territory of countries formerly forming part of Yugoslavia in the wars that took place between 1991 and 1995;

R.  whereas trial proceedings for the atrocity crimes committed on the territory of countries formerly forming part of Yugoslavia in the wars between 1991 and 1995 are progressing very slowly;

S.  whereas Syria acceded to the Genocide Convention in 1955 and to the Torture Convention in 2004;

T.  whereas in its resolution of 27 October 2016 Parliament recalled that human rights abuses perpetrated by ISIS/Daesh include genocide;

U.  whereas several UN reports, including those by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, the Special Adviser of the UN Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, the Special Adviser of the UN Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect, the Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as NGO sources,, have stated that acts committed by all sides may constitute atrocity crimes and that war crimes were committed by all sides during the fight for Aleppo in December 2016;

V.  whereas the ICC has stated that there is a reasonable basis to believe that crimes against humanity under Article 7 of the Statute have been committed in Nigeria by Boko Haram, including murder and persecution;

W.  whereas hundreds of executions in Burundi since April 2015 have led a report by the UN Independent Investigation on Burundi to conclude that various persons in Burundi should be prosecuted for alleged crimes against humanity;

X.  whereas civil society organisations, international lawyers and NGOs have warned that events which occurred in Burundi at the end of 2016 could amount to genocide;

Y.  whereas the international rules on war crimes and crimes against humanity are binding also on non-state actors or persons acting on behalf or in the framework of non-state organisations; whereas this should be reaffirmed even more today, when non-state actors are more and more present in war scenarios and promote and commit such serious crimes;

Z.  whereas under certain conditions, states can also be held accountable for breaches of obligations under international treaties and conventions over which the International Court of Justice has jurisdiction, including the 1984 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide;

AA.  whereas the International Court of Justice has the ability to establish state liability;

AB.  whereas, with the intention of intimidating and humiliating the enemy, rape and sexual violence are used by all parties in conflict as a tactic of war; whereas, moreover, during conflict gender violence and sexual abuse also increase dramatically;

AC.  whereas violence against women, both during conflict and post-conflict, can be seen as part of a continuum extending from the discrimination women experience in non-conflict times; whereas conflict exacerbates pre-existing patterns of discrimination based on sex as well as historically unequal power-relations between genders, and puts women and girls at heightened risk of sexual, physical and psychological violence;

1.  Recalls the EUʼs commitment to act on the international scene in the name of the principles that inspired its creation, including democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights, and in favour of the principles of the UN Charter and international law; reaffirms, in this context, that it should be of paramount importance for the EU to address and hold accountable those responsible for severe violations of human rights reaching the gravity threshold of crimes against humanity and genocide and grave breaches of international humanitarian law reaching the level of war crimes;

2.  Calls for the EU and its Member States to use all their political weight to prevent any act that could be considered a crime of atrocity from taking place, to respond in an efficient and coordinated manner in cases where such crimes occur and, to mobilise all necessary resources to bring to justice all those responsible, as well as to assist the victims and support stabilisation and reconciliation processes;

On the need to focus on the prevention of atrocity crimes

3.  Urges the Contracting Parties to the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948, the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of 1984 and to other relevant international agreements, including the EU Member States, to take all necessary action to prevent atrocity crimes within their territory, under their jurisdiction or committed by their citizens, as they have committed to doing; calls on all states that have not yet ratified the above conventions to do so;

4.  Emphasises the urgent need for the international community to step up its efforts to monitor and respond to any conflict or potential conflict that might lead to any act that could be considered an atrocity crime;

5.  Calls on the international community to establish instruments that can minimise the warning response gap in order to prevent the emergence, re-emergence and escalation of violent conflict, such as the EU’s early warning system;

6.  Calls for the EU to step up its efforts to develop a coherent and efficient approach to identifying and responding in a timely fashion to crisis or conflict situations that might lead to an atrocity crime being committed; underlines, in particular, the importance and necessity of the effective exchange of information and coordination of preventive actions between EU institutions, including EU delegations, common security and defence policy (CSDP) missions and operations and Member States, together with their diplomatic representations; welcomes, in this context, the Commission’s new initiative of a White Paper which would lead to a more effective external action of the EU; underlines the importance of post-conflict civilian missions and operations under the CSDP in order to support reconciliation in third countries, especially when these have been the scene of crimes against humanity;

7.  Considers that the EU should integrate into its comprehensive approach to external conflicts and crises the necessary tools for identifying and preventing any atrocity crime at an early stage; draws attention in this context to the Framework of Analysis for Atrocity Crimes drafted by the UN Office of the Special Advisers on the Prevention of Genocide and on the Responsibility to Protect; considers that the EU and its Member States should always adopt a strong stance in cases where crimes appear imminent and should use all peaceful instruments at their disposal, such as bilateral relations, multilateral fora and public diplomacy;

8.  Urges the VP/HR: to continue the cooperation with and training of the staff of the EU delegations and Member States’ embassies, as well as of civilian and military missions, in the fields of international human rights, humanitarian law and criminal law, including the capacity to detect potential situations involving war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and grave violations of international humanitarian law (IHL), inter alia by regular exchanges with local civil society; to ensure that EU Special Representatives uphold the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) whenever necessary and broaden the mandate of the EU Special Representative on Human Rights to include R2P issues; to further support the EU Focal Point for R2P in the European External Action Service (EEAS) in the context of the existing structures and resources, with it being tasked notably with raising awareness of the implications of R2P and ensuring timely information flows between all concerned actors over situations of concern, while also encouraging the establishment of national focal points for R2P in the Member States; and to further professionalise and strengthen preventive diplomacy and mediation;

9.  Emphasises the need for countries and regions at risk of conflict to have skilled and trustworthy security forces; calls for further efforts from the EU and the Member States to develop capacity-building programmes for the security sector, as well as platforms to promote a culture of respect for human rights and for the constitution, of integrity and of public service among local security and military forces;

10.  Stresses that addressing the root causes of violence and conflict, contributing to creating peaceful and democratic conditions, ensuring respect for human rights, including the protection of women, young people and minors, minorities and the LGBTI community, together with promoting interreligious and intercultural dialogue, are crucial to preventing genocide and crimes against humanity;

11.  Calls for the development, at international, regional and national levels, of educational and cultural programmes promoting an understanding of the causes and consequences of atrocity crimes for humankind and raising awareness of the necessity and importance of nurturing peace, promoting human rights and interreligious tolerance, and prosecuting and investigating all such crimes; welcomes, in this context, the organisation of the first annual EU Day against Impunity for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes;

On supporting the investigation and prosecution of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes

12.  Reiterates its full support for the ICC, the Rome Statute, the Office of Prosecutor, the Prosecutor’s proprio motu powers, and the progress made in initiating new investigations as an essential means of fighting impunity for atrocity crimes;

13.  Welcomes the meeting that took place on 6 July 2016 between EU and ICC representatives in Brussels in preparation for the 2nd EU-ICC round table meeting, held to allow relevant staff at the ICC and in the European institutions to identify common areas of interest, exchange information on relevant activities and ensure better cooperation between the EU and the ICC;

14.  Reaffirms that maintaining the independence of the ICC is crucial not only to ensure that it is fully effective, but also to promote the universality of the Rome Statute;

15.  Cautions that the execution of justice cannot rest on a balancing act between justice and any kind of political consideration, as such balance would not foster reconciliation efforts but diminish them;

16.  Reaffirms the paramount importance of universal adherence to the Rome Statute of the ICC; calls on the states which have not yet done so to ratify the Rome Statute, the Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the Court and the Kampala amendments to the Rome Statute, in order to support accountability and reconciliation as key elements in preventing future atrocities; reaffirms, equally, the crucial importance of the integrity of the Rome Statute;

17.  Notes with the utmost regret the recent announcements of withdrawal from the Rome Statute, which represent a challenge notably in terms of victims’ access to justice and which should be firmly condemned; welcomes the fact that both Gambia and South Africa have retracted their withdrawal notifications; strongly calls on the remaining country concerned to reconsider its decision; further calls on the EU to make all necessary efforts to ensure that no withdrawals take place, including through cooperation with the African Union; welcomes the fact that the ICC’s Assembly of States Parties has agreed to consider proposed amendments to the Rome Statute in order to address the African Union’s concerns raised during its special summit;

18.  Calls on the four signatory states which have informed the UN Secretary-General that they no longer intend to become parties to the Rome Statute to reconsider their decisions; notes, moreover, that three of the permanent members of the UN Security Council are not parties to the Rome Statute;

19.  Calls, furthermore, on all ICC States Parties to step up their efforts to promote universal accession to the ICC and the Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the Court; considers that the Commission and the EEAS, together with the Member States, should continue to encourage third countries to ratify and implement the Rome Statute and the Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the Court, and should also conduct an assessment of the EU’s achievements in this regard;

20.  Underlines the importance of ensuring sufficient financial contributions to the Court for its effective functioning, either in the form of States Parties’ contributions or through EU funding mechanisms such as the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) or the European Development Fund (EDF), with particular attention being paid to funding for civil society actors working on promoting the international criminal justice system and ICC-related issues;

21.  Welcomes the invaluable assistance provided by civil society organisations (CSOs) to the Court; is concerned at the reports of threats and intimidation directed at certain CSOs cooperating with the Court; calls for all necessary action to be taken to ensure a safe environment for CSOs to operate and cooperate with the Court and to address all threats and intimidation directed at them in that regard;

22.  Takes note of the progress made in the implementation of the Action Plan of 12 July 2011 to follow up on the Council decision of 21 March 2011 on the ICC; calls for an evaluation of the implementation of the Action Plan in order to identify possible areas in which the effectiveness of EU action could be improved, including when it comes to promoting the integrity and the independence of the Court;

23.  Urges all states having ratified the Rome Statute to fully cooperate with the ICC in its efforts to investigate and bring to justice those responsible for serious international crimes, to respect the authority of the ICC and to fully implement its decisions;

24.  Strongly encourages the EU and its Member States to use all political and diplomatic tools at their disposal to support effective cooperation with the ICC, especially in relation to witness protection programmes and the execution of pending arrest warrants, with particular regard to the 13 suspects who are fugitives; calls on the Commission, the EEAS and the Council to agree on the adoption of concrete measures for responding to non-cooperation with the ICC, in addition to political statements;

25.  Calls for the EU and its Member States to use all means towards third countries, including considering sanctions – in particular in the case of countries with situations under investigation by the ICC and countries under preliminary examination by the ICC – in order to bolster their political will to fully cooperate and to support their capacity to launch national proceedings on atrocity crimes; also calls on the EU and its Member States to offer full support to those countries in order to help them comply with the ICC requirements; calls on the Member States to fully comply with the Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP of 8 December 2008;

26.  Considers that victims of atrocity crimes should be provided with access to effective and enforceable remedies and reparations; highlights the special role of victims and witnesses in proceedings before the Court and the need for specific measures aimed at ensuring their security and effective participation in accordance with the Rome Statute; calls on the EU and its Member States to keep victims’ rights at the heart of all actions in the fight against impunity and to voluntarily participate in the ICC Trust Fund for Victims;

27.  Calls on the EEAS to ensure that accountability for atrocity crimes and support for the ICC is mainstreamed across the EU’s foreign policy priorities, including via the enlargement process, by systematically taking account of the fight against impunity; underlines, in this context, the important role of parliamentarians in promoting the ICC and the fight against impunity, including through interparliamentary cooperation;

28.  Calls on the Member States to ensure that coordination and cooperation with the ICC is included in the mandate of the relevant regional EU Special Representatives (EUSRs); reiterates its call on the VP/HR to appoint an EUSR on International Humanitarian Law and International Justice with a mandate to promote, mainstream and represent the EU’s commitment to the fight against impunity and to the ICC across EU foreign policies;

29.  Highlights the essential role of the European Parliament in monitoring EU action in this matter; welcomes the insertion of a section on the fight against impunity and the ICC in Parliament’s annual report on human rights and democracy in the world, and further suggests that Parliament should play a more proactive role by promoting and mainstreaming the fight against impunity and the ICC in all EU policies and institutions, in particular in the work of its committees responsible for external policies of the Union and its delegations for relations with third countries;

30.  Stresses that the principle of complementarity of the ICC entails the primary responsibility of its States Parties to investigate and prosecute atrocity crimes; expresses its concern that not all EU Member States have legislation defining those crimes under national law over which their courts can exercise jurisdiction; calls for the EU and its Member States to make full use of the ‘Advancing the principle of complementarity’ toolkit;

31.  Encourages Member States to amend Article 83 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union in order to add atrocity crimes to the list of crimes for which the EU has competences;

32.  Strongly encourages the EU to prepare and provide resources for the preparation of an Action Plan on the Fight against Impunity within Europe for crimes falling under international law, with clear benchmarks for the EU institutions and the Member States aiming to strengthen national investigations and prosecutions for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes;

33.  Recalls that states, including EU Member States, can individually bring proceedings against other states to the International Court of Justice over breaches at state level of obligations arising from international treaties and conventions, including the 1984 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide;

34.  Recalls its strong condemnation of the atrocities committed by the Assad regime in Syria, which can be considered as serious war crimes and crimes against humanity, and deplores the climate of impunity for perpetrators of such crimes in Syria;

35.  Deplores the widespread lack of respect for international humanitarian law and the alarming rate of loss of civilian lives and attacks against civilian infrastructure in armed conflicts around the world; urges the international community to convene an international conference to prepare a new international mechanism for tracking and collecting data, and for publicly reporting on violations in the course of armed conflicts; reiterates its request to the VP/HR to present, on an annual basis, a public list of alleged perpetrators of attacks on schools and hospitals, for the purpose of defining appropriate EU action to halt such attacks;

36.  Calls on the Member States to ratify the principal IHL instruments and other relevant legal instruments; acknowledges the importance of the EU Guidelines on promoting compliance with IHL, and reiterates its call on the VP/HR and the EEAS to step up their implementation, notably in relation to war crimes in the Middle East; calls on the EU to support initiatives aiming at spreading knowledge of IHL and good practices in its application, and calls on the EU to seize all bilateral tools at its disposal effectively in order to promote compliance with IHL by its partners, including through political dialogue;

37.  Stresses that Member States should refuse to provide arms, equipment or financial or political support for governments or non-state actors violating international humanitarian law, including by committing rape or other sexual violence against women and children;

38.  Calls, furthermore, for the EU and its Member States to support reform processes and national capacity-building efforts aimed at strengthening the independence of the judiciary, the law enforcement sector, the penitentiary system and reparation programmes in third countries directly affected by the alleged commission of such crimes, as committed to in the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2015-2019; welcomes, in this context, the EU’s Framework on Support to Transitional Justice 2015, and looks forward to its effective implementation;

On the fight against impunity of non-state actors

39.  Notes that international criminal law, and particularly the mandate and jurisprudence of the international criminal tribunals, have clearly defined the responsibility of individuals who are members of non-state groups in international crimes; stresses that this responsibility relates not only to such individuals but also to indirect co-perpetrators of international crimes; encourages all EU Member States to bring to justice state actors, non-state actors and individuals responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide;

40.  Emphasizes that the perpetration of violent crimes by ISIS/Daesh or other non-state actors against women and girls has been widely reported by the relevant international bodies, notes that the international legal community has been struggling to place those crimes within the international criminal framework;

41.  Reaffirms, in this context, its strong condemnation of the heinous crimes and human rights violations committed by non-state actors such as Boko Haram in Nigeria and ISIS/Daesh in Syria and Iraq; is horrified at the vast range of crimes committed, including killings, torture, rape, enslavement and sexual slavery, recruitment of child soldiers, forced religious conversions and systematic killings directed at religious minorities, including Christians, Yazidis and others; recalls that sexual violence can, according to the ICC, amount to a war crime and a crime against humanity; believes that the prosecution of the perpetrators should be a priority for the international community;

42.  Encourages the EU and its Member States to fight against impunity and to lend active support to international efforts to bring to justice members of non-state groups such as Boko Haram, ISIS/Daesh and any other actors committing crimes against humanity; calls for the development of a clear approach to the prosecution of ISIS/Daesh fighters and their abettors, including by using the expertise of the EU network for investigation and prosecution of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes;

43.  Emphasises that the EU and its Member States should support the prosecution of members of non-state groups such as ISIS/Daesh by seeking a consensus within the UN Security Council to confer jurisdiction to the ICC, as Syria and Iraq are not parties to the Rome Statute; underlines that the EU should explore and support, at international level and through all means, options to investigate and prosecute all crimes committed by all parties to the Syrian conflict, including ISIS/Daesh, such as the establishment of an International Criminal Tribunal for Iraq and Syria;

44.  Deplores the veto exercised by Russia and China as Permanent Members of the UN Security Council against referral of the situation in Syria to the ICC Prosecutor under Chapter VII of the UN Charter and against adoption of a measure to punish Syria for using chemical weapons; calls for the EU to support swift action to reform the functioning of the UN Security Council, notably as regards the use of the right of veto, and, particularly, the French initiative to refrain from using that right when evidence of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity occurs;

45.  Encourages an eventual call for the application of the principles defined in Chapter VII of the UN Charter with a view to compliance with the R2P principle, always under the auspices of the international community and with the authorisation of the UN Security Council;

46.  Welcomes the Commission of Inquiry on Syria set up by the Human Rights Council and the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) set up by the UN General Assembly to assist in the investigation of serious crimes committed in Syria; emphasises the need to set up a similar independent mechanism in Iraq, and calls on all EU Member States, all parties to the conflict in Syria, civil society and the UN system as a whole to cooperate fully with the IIIM and provide it with all information and documentation that they might possess to assist in the delivery of its mandate; thanks those EU Member States which have contributed financially to the IIIM, and calls on those who have not to do so;

47.  Calls for the EU to adequately fund organisations that work on open source investigation and digital collection of evidence with regard to war crimes and crimes against humanity, in order to ensure accountability and bring perpetrators to justice;

48.  Welcomes the EUʼs efforts to support the work of the Commission for International Justice and Accountability and of other NGOs that are documenting atrocity crimes; calls for the EU to provide direct support to Iraqi and Syrian civil society in gathering, preserving and protecting evidence of crimes committed in Iraq and Syria by any party to these conflicts, including ISIS/Daesh; calls for the collection and preservation of evidence, digital and otherwise, on war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed by all sides to the conflict as a key step in the fight against impunity and a fundamental priority; supports the British, Belgian and Iraqi initiative at UN level (the ‘Bringing Daesh to Justice Coalition’), aimed at gathering evidence of the crimes committed by ISIS/Daesh in Syria and Iraq in order to facilitate their prosecution internationally, and calls on the EU Member States to join or support the coalition; further supports the activities of the Cultural Heritage Initiative and its fact-finding activities in Syria and Iraq related to the destruction of archaeological and cultural heritage;

49.  Encourages the EU and its Member States to deploy all necessary actions to effectively sever the flow to ISIS/Daesh of resources ranging from guns, vehicles and cash revenues to many other types of assets;

50.  Urges the EU to impose sanctions on those countries or authorities that directly or indirectly facilitate the flow of resources to ISIS/Daesh and thus contribute to the development of its terrorist criminal activity;

51.  Emphasises that EU Member States should investigate all allegations and prosecute nationals of theirs and people under their jurisdiction who have committed, attempted to commit, or were complicit in atrocity crimes in Iraq and Syria or else refer them to the ICC in line with the Rome Statute; recalls, however, that prosecuting ISIS/Daesh members in the Member States can only be a complementary measure to international justice;

52.  Underlines the importance of the Cooperation and Assistance Agreement between the EU and the ICC; calls on the Member States to apply the principle of universal jurisdiction in tackling impunity, and highlights its importance for the effectiveness and good functioning of the international criminal justice system; also calls on the Member States to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity in their national jurisdictions, including when those crimes have been committed in third countries or by third-country nationals;

53.  Urges all the countries of the international community, including the EU Member States, to work actively on preventing and fighting radicalisation and to improve their legal and jurisdictional systems in order to avoid their nationals and residents joining ISIS/Daesh;

Gender dimension in addressing human rights violations in the context of war crimes

54.  Highlights the critical need to eradicate sexual and gender-based violence by addressing their widespread and systematic use as a weapon of war against women and girls; urges all countries to develop national action programmes (NAPAs) in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1325, together with strategies to combat violence against women, and calls for a comprehensive commitment to ensure the implementation of that resolution; calls for a global commitment to ensure the safety of women and girls from the outset of each emergency or crisis and in post-conflict situations through all available means, such as access to the full range of sexual and reproductive health services, including legal and safe abortion, for victims of rape in a war context; underlines, moreover, that women often continue to suffer the physical, psychological and socio-economic consequences of violence even after the end of a conflict;

55.  Considers that women should play a greater role in conflict prevention, human rights promotion and democratic reform, and stresses the importance of the systematic participation of women as an essential element of any peace process and post-conflict reconstruction; encourages the EU and its Member States to foster the inclusion of women in peace processes and national reconciliation processes;

56.  Calls on the Commission, the Member States and the competent international authorities to take appropriate measures such as enforcing military disciplinary measures, upholding the principle of command responsibility, and training troops and peacekeeping and humanitarian staff on the prohibition of all forms of sexual violence;

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57.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the Commission, the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the UN Secretary-General, the President of the UN General Assembly and the governments of the UN member states.

(1) OJ L 155, 12.6.2001, p. 19.
(2) OJ L 167, 26.6.2002, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 118, 14.5.2003, p. 12.
(4) OJ L 150, 18.6.2003, p. 67.
(5) OJ L 115, 28.4.2006, p. 49.
(6) OJ L 76, 22.3.2011, p. 56.
(7) OJ C 153 E, 31.5.2013, p. 115.
(8) OJ C 224, 21.6.2016, p. 31.
(9) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0344.
(10) OJ C 224, 21.6.2016, p. 10.
(11) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0459.
(12) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0449.
(13) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0422.
(14) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0051.
(15) OJ C 407, 4.11.2016, p. 61.

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