Human rights: child pregnancies in Paraguay; Palmyra; children in Nepal
MEPs state their concern at the high number of child pregnancies in Paraguay, calling for "access to safe and legal abortion" when the health and life of women or girls are in danger, "where there is severe foetal impairment and in cases of rape and incest". In separate resolutions they also call for the protection of the Palmyra site and draw attention to the situation of children in Nepal.
Paraguay: child pregnancy and abortion laws
MEPs call on Paraguay "to ensure that women and girls have access to safe and legal abortion, at a minimum, when their health and life are in danger, where there is severe foetal impairment and in cases of rape and incest" and express their strong concern at the high number of child pregnancies in Paraguay. They believe that the general prohibition on therapeutic abortion and abortion of pregnancies resulting from rape and incest, and the refusal to provide free health cover in cases of rape, "amounts to torture".
They call in their resolution on the Council to include the issue of safe and legal abortion in the EU guidelines on rape and violence against women and girls and ask the EU-CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) leaders, meeting in Brussels on 10 and 11 June, to include in the EU-CELAC Action Plan for 2013-2015 a calendar for measures to guarantee due diligence regarding the prevention, investigation and punishment of gender-based violence and adequate compensation for victims.
Syria: Palmyra and the case of Mazen Darwish
MEPs strongly condemn the gruesome, systematic and widespread human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law committed by the al-Assad regime, terrorists belonging to IS/Da’esh and other jihadi groups in Syria and condemn the IS/Da’esh’s seizure of Palmyra. They express their concern at the situation at the site of Palmyra and call for the mobilisation of all the resources needed to assist the refugees . They demand an immediate halt to the destruction of the cultural heritage of Syria and Iraq and urge EU member states to launch awareness-raising campaigns in order to discourage the illicit purchase and sale of cultural goods from the conflict areas.
Parliament calls on the Syrian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release and drop all charges against Mazen Darwish and all those detained, convicted and/or sentenced for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression and association, as well as all human rights defenders and political rights activists.
MEPs express serious concern at the severe lack of funding for UN appeals in 2014, which has led to the temporary suspension of World Food Programme assistance to Syrian refugees, and urge the international community to step up its funding and assistance.
The situation in Nepal following the earthquakes
Parliament expresses its deepest condolences to all those affected by this terrible tragedy, including the families of the more than 8 800 people who lost their lives in Nepal, India, China and Bangladesh . It applauds the efforts of Nepalese institutions and society and the swift aid provided by the Commission and member states and asks for special attention to be paid to the particularly vulnerable situation of children.
MEPs urge the Government of Nepal to resolve the remaining problems with customs procedures for humanitarian supplies and to lift any so-called ‘relief taxes’ being levied on humanitarian supplies by local police at Nepal’s borders. They stress that Nepal, as a post-conflict country, needs further domestic efforts and international support in its transition towards democracy.
The resolutions on Syria and Paraguay were adopted by a show of hands. The resolution on Nepal was adopted by 602 votes to 11, with 22 abstentions.
Procedure: Non-legislative resolutions