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  • Promote and defend freedom of belief
  • Empower International Criminal Court should prosecute ISIS/Daesh fighters
  • Counter migrants’ rights violations and human trafficking

The EU must do more to counter persecution based on religion, say MEPs in a resolution on the state of human rights worldwide in 2016, voted on Wednesday.

It should step up its efforts to safeguard freedom of thought and belief and promote inter-religious dialogue with third countries, say MEPs. They want ISIS/Daesh fighters to be prosecuted for the systematic killing of Christians, Yazidis and other religious minorities, which Parliament has described as genocide. They ask the UN Security Council to give the International Criminal Court (ICC), the powers to prosecute them.


Halt migrants’ rights violations and human trafficking


Parliament urges the EU to address human rights violations that migrants, refugees and asylum seekers face in EU and non-EU countries, as the victims of conflict, poverty, smuggling networks and trafficking in human beings. 

To this end, it advocates resettlement and family reunification schemes and the use of humanitarian corridors. It also urges the EU and its member states to discourage all forms of exploitation that lead to trafficking.


Free speech online

MEPs also note that private companies’ decisions on what content to take off the web are based on their terms of service rather than democratically approved laws. They call on the EU Commission to propose a directive to make takedown procedures more transparent.


Human rights clauses in all international agreements

Parliament advocates systematically including human rights clauses in the EU’s agreements with third countries, including those on trade and investment. The Commission should report regularly on partner countries’ respect for human rights, and EU companies operating in third countries should play a leading role in promoting international standards on business and human rights, it adds.


The resolution was passed by 443 votes to 95, with 84 abstentions.