Parliament is deeply concerned by the rebel attacks in the east of DRC and their impact on the country and Great Lakes region and calls on the governments in the region to find a solution through dialogue. It also condemns the continuing caste discrimination, atrocities and untouchability practices in India and urges the authorities to protect Dalits and other vulnerable groups.
Human rights situation in Congo
In a resolution passed unanimously on Thursday, Parliament states its concern at the very grave and deteriorating situation in the east of DRC. It condemns the attacks by the rebel group M23 and others and calls on both Rwanda and Uganda to stop backing the rebels..It deplores the massive scale of sexual violence, particularly the rape of women and girls, and the recruitment of children. The perpetrators of human rights violations and war crimes must be punished under national and international law, say MEPs.
Parliament also calls on the DRC government to prevent irremediable damage to the Virunga National Park and notes that better access to and control over the DRC's natural resources are essential to the country's sustainable development.
MEPs call on the governments of the DRC and neighbouring countries to work together for lasting peace, economic development and respect for human rights in the region. They support the continuation of the UN stabilization mission, MONUSCO, while urging it to better guarantee the security of Congolese civilians.
Caste discrimination in India
Parliament notes, in another resolution, also adopted unanimously on Thursday, that despite efforts at all levels of government in India to eradicate caste discrimination and the clear stance taken against it by important public figures, this practice continues to be widespread and persistent. MEPs are alarmed by the large number of reported and unreported atrocities and the severe forms of exclusion affecting 170 millions Dalits and indigenous Adivasi. They urge the Indian authorities to implement, and amend if necessary, the existing legislation to effectively protect vulnerable groups in society.
Parliament calls for an EU policy on caste discrimination and wants the EU to endorse the UN Human Rights Council's guidelines for elimination of discrimination based on work and descent. It wants caste discrimination to be included in Member States' and EU dialogues with the Indian Authorities.