with request for inclusion in the agenda for the debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 122 of the Rules of Procedure
on Human trafficking in Sinai, in particular the case of Solomon W.
on behalf of the ECR Group
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.
European Parliament resolution on Human trafficking in Sinai, in particular the case of Solomon W.
The European Parliament,
- having regard to its previous resolutions on Sinai and Egypt more generally, in particular that of 16 December 2010 on Eritrean refugees held hostage in Sinai,
- having regard to the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children to the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, ratified by Egypt in 2004,
- having regard to the EU-Egypt Association Agreement signed in Luxembourg on 25 June 2001 and in force since 1 June 2004, and in particular the Preamble and Article 2 thereof,
- having regard to the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of 28 July 1951 and the Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees of 31 January 1967, and the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials,
- having regard to the Barcelona Declaration of 28 November 1995,
- having regard to Rule 122 of its Rules of Procedure,
A. whereas a sizable criminal network smuggling sub-Saharan migrants through Egypt to Israel has been operating in Sinai since at least 2007,
B. whereas it is estimated that more than 30,000 people have sought refuge in Israel since 2009 via the Sinai desert,
C. whereas media reports continue to show that hundreds of asylum seekers and migrants from the sub-Sahara are being placed or sold into the hands of human traffickers operating in Sinai,
D. whereas the asylum seekers and migrants are forced to make additional payments to the traffickers above the agreed price for smuggling them into Israel; whereas the asylum seekers and migrants are almost always unable to do so, and are detained and subject to extortion, torture and physical and mental abuse, including incarceration, whipping, beating, rape, and murder, and whereas in addition many are forced to work under inhumane conditions for the human traffickers or subject to organ theft,
E. whereas it is reported that a group of people were kidnapped from the outskirts of a UN Refugee Camp in Sudan by human traffickers, and whereas a young refugee named Solomon W escaped from their detention in December 2011, and is now the subject of a $50,000 bounty funded by the traffickers,
F. whereas Egypt's security forces regularly arrest asylum seekers and migrants attempting to cross the border to Israel, and in 2011 shot and killed more than 20 unarmed asylum seekers or migrants attempting to cross the border,
G. whereas the Egyptian authorities do not allow the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) access to asylum seekers and migrants arrested in Sinai and do not attempt to identify potential trafficking victims among them,
H. whereas recent reports indicate that efforts by human rights organisations and the Freedom Project have resulted in the release by the human traffickers of many hundreds of detained asylum seekers and migrants in Sinai,
1. Calls on the Egyptian authorities to immediately rescue migrants held for ransom and abused by human traffickers in the Sinai and to take immediate and effective steps to combat trafficking and smuggling in the Sinai;
2. Urgently calls in this regard that the Egyptian authorities intervene immediately to resolve the situation of Solomon, and take broader action to assist the hundreds of other asylum seekers and migrants who travel to Egypt and beyond to escape persecution in their homelands;
3. Calls on the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the European Commission to promote greater political dialogue and urgency amongst the governments of the region to tackle the scourge of human trafficking;
4. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, and the Government and Parliament of Egypt.