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Document selected : B7-0238/2014

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PV 13/03/2014 - 14.16
CRE 13/03/2014 - 14.16

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to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on Parliament’s position for the 25th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (2014/2612(RSP))

Marie-Christine Vergiat. Patrick Le Hyaric, Jacky Hénin, Willy Meyer, Nikola Vuljanić, Kyriacos Triantaphyllides, HadTakis Hadjigeorgiou, Alda Sousa, Marisa Matias on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

European Parliament resolution on Parliament’s position for the 25th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (2014/2612(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1953 European Convention on Human Rights,

–       having regard to the United Nations Millennium Declaration of 8 September 2000 (A/Res/55/2) and the resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly,

–       having regard to its previous resolutions on the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC),

–       having regard to its urgent resolutions on human rights and democracy,

–       having regard to the 25th session of the HRC, taking place from 3 to 28 March 2014 at the United Nations Office in Geneva,

–       having regard to the visit to Spain by Pablo de Greiff, the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence – and to the final report which he will present in September 2014 – and in particular his statements at the end of the visit in which he called on the Spanish Government to repeal the 1977 amnesty law, to protect the rights of victims and to cooperate with international initiatives on the issue,

–       having regard to Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Action Programme of the International Conference on Peoples and Development (Rio+20) and the Beijing Action Platform,

–       having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas, 60 years after the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the fight against discrimination and for the full realisation of all human rights – social, economic, cultural, civil and political – remains a daily struggle;


B.   whereas economic, social and cultural rights are an integral part of human rights and whereas their observance leads, as a minimum, to full implementation of the eight Millennium Development Goals from the year 2000, namely: to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensure environmental sustainability, and develop a global partnership for development; whereas an ambitious timetable was set for these goals to be achieved by 2015, but whereas today they are very far from being achieved;


C.  whereas, as a result of the financial crisis in the OECD countries, the world may be facing the most serious slowdown in economic activity since the 1930s; whereas the WHO has estimated that, as a result of increases in the cost of foodstuffs and energy, more than 100 million people have been driven back into poverty; whereas what is commonly known as the ‘financial and economic crisis’ is, in fact, a global systemic crisis affecting all sectors of society and having an impact in all areas: political, social, environmental, food, energy, etc.;


D.  whereas the European Union and its Member States should guarantee respect for human rights in all their policies, both internal and external, and ensure that they are consistent, in order to enhance and render credible the position of the EU and its Member States in the HRC;


E.   whereas, despite its shortcomings, the HRC is an important forum for the discussion of human rights and the fight against human rights violations;


F.   whereas a delegation from Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights will travel to Geneva for the 25th regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, following the practice of previous years for previous HRC sessions and, before that, for those of the UN Commission on Human Rights;


G.  whereas nine Member States now have a seat on the Human Rights Council: Austria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Romania and the UK;


H.  whereas the work done by the EU and its Member States with and in the HRC should be enhanced, not only to promote an indivisible vision of human rights but also to take better account of the HRC recommendations and better implement them in the Union’s human rights policy, both internally and externally;


I.    having regard to the agenda of the 25th session, in particular point 3 (promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development) and point 7 (human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories);


The work and organisation of the HRC


1.   Reiterates its call on EU Member States actively to oppose any attempt to undermine the universality, indivisibility and interdependence of human rights, and actively to encourage the HRC to address discrimination on all grounds in the same way;


2.   Warns against politicising the HRC; emphasises the importance of its country-specific resolutions in addressing serious human rights violations; underlines the importance of evaluating human rights situations in an objective, transparent, non-selective, constructive and non-confrontational manner, on the basis of reliable information obtained by means of interactive dialogue, and in keeping with the concepts of universality and equal treatment for all states; calls on the Member States to contribute actively to the implementation of these agreed principles concerning the HRC;


3.   Underlines the importance of tackling the root causes of political instability in certain states by means of development policies that are in line with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and other socio-economic, political and cultural measures which can create an environment conducive to preventing the resurgence of conflict, and which aim to eliminate poverty, foster economic, social and cultural development, create institutional and administrative capacities, improve the quality of life of the population and consolidate the rule of law solely by peaceful means;


4.   Takes note of the list of candidates to be presented by the Consultative Group for the 18 mandates of the Human Rights Council, and welcomes the priorities given by the Council to the various topics: the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of states on the full enjoyment of all human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights; extreme poverty and human rights; adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and the right to non-discrimination in this context; contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences; the right to food; the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography; the rights of indigenous peoples; the situation of human rights in Myanmar; the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967; the situation of human rights defenders; the situation of human rights in Somalia; the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons; the situation of human rights in the Central African Republic; arbitrary detention; enforced or involuntary disappearances; the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination; the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice;


5.   Welcomes the selection and appointment of the five independent experts of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;


6.   Calls on the HRC to implement without delay the call by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, for an independent international investigation into the killing of oil workers in Kazakhstan, noting that the human rights situation in that country (which is one of the 47 members of the HRC) has deteriorated further since the brutal police repression of peaceful demonstrators and oil workers, their families and supporters in Zhanaozen on 16 December 2011, which, according to official figures, left 15 people dead and over 100 injured; calls on Kazakhstan, as a member of the HRC, to guarantee human rights, repeal Article 64 of its penal code on ‘inciting social discord’, end the repression of, and administrative burdens on, independent media, release political prisoners – including Vadim Kuramshin, a lawyer for human rights defenders, Roza Tuletaeva, a union activist, and Vladimir Kozlow, an opposition politician – and drop all requests for the extradition of opposition politicians;


The Annual Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General


7.   Welcomes the fact that the High Commissioner’s report on the issue of human rights in Cyprus has been referred to the Council; reiterates its condemnation of the recurrent human rights violations resulting from the continuing occupation of 37% of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus, and of Turkey’s ongoing violation of international humanitarian law with regard to Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots over a 40-year period; is particularly concerned about the situation of refugees, people living in enclaves and the families of disappeared persons; condemns the denial of access to, and use of, land; condemns the imposition of austerity measures by Turkey against Turkish Cypriots in areas under its military control, in violation of their basic economic and social rights; calls on the EU delegation and on EU Member States to denounce these ongoing violations, condemn the presence of Turkish troops and settlers and call for an immediate end to the occupation of Cypriot territory by the Turkish army and to the policy of seeking to alter the demography of the Republic of Cyprus; stresses that these violations constitute war crimes; calls on Turkey to authorise access to all military areas and to archives of battles with the aim of determining the fate of disappeared persons;


8.   Stresses that the HRC has on several occasions called for a full and transparent inquiry into allegations of war crimes in Sri Lanka, but that so far the Sri Lankan Government has given no indication of a willingness to comply; condemns, once again, the brutal murder by the Sri Lankan army of up to 70 000 civilians, mainly Tamil speakers, in the final weeks of the civil war in Sri Lanka; echoes the criticisms by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, of the Sri Lankan Government’s failure to investigate allegations of war crimes; is extremely concerned at the continuing impunity in Sri Lanka; calls on the HRC to establish, at its 25th session, an independent international investigation into war crimes, but considers that in order for such an investigation to be fully independent, credible and transparent it must also involve trade unions and human rights organisations and be accountable to all the victims of the conflict and their families; expresses its deep concern at the increasing militarisation of Sri Lankan society, in particular in the north and east of the island, and calls for an immediate end to the military acquisition of land and for the army to withdraw from this part of the island; supports the Tamil people’s right to self-determination;


9.   Welcomes the preliminary conclusions on Spain of the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence as a first step by the High Commissioner for Human Rights in support of the victims of the Spanish dictatorship; urges the Spanish Government to implement the Special Rapporteur’s recommendations as soon as possible, by repealing the 1977 amnesty law, and to show responsibility with regard to the victims of the Spanish civil war and the dictatorship by acting as guarantor for the truth and the democratic memory of its own people;


Promotion and protection of all human rights, whether civil, political, economic, social or cultural, including the right to development

Economic, social and cultural rights

10. Welcomes the importance that the 25th session of the HRC has attached to promoting and protecting economic and social rights and to the question of the interdependence of human rights; emphasises once again the need to regard economic, social, cultural, civic and political rights as being of equal importance; stresses that high unemployment rates, the increase in poverty and social exclusion, increasingly problematic access to affordable public services in the fields of health, education, housing, transport and culture, and the deteriorating quality of such services constitute major challenges; points out that privatisation and liberalisation have played a part in making some of these entitlements less accessible, that this trend needs to be reversed, and that better wealth distribution, decent wages and high-quality employment are important ways of solving these problems; observes, similarly, that the austerity plans put in place both by EU Member States and in other countries, including under pressure from the EU, have merely aggravated inequalities and poverty;


11.  Emphasises that in 2013 the richest 10% owned 86% of the world’s wealth (2013 Global Wealth Report finding), that the crisis has served to confirm the dangers inherent in the current economic and political system and that it has aggravated already alarming social inequalities, inflating incomes at the top end of the scale, which have skyrocketed by comparison with average earnings; considers that this 25th session of the HRC should make the question of global wealth distribution – which is the main impediment to the realisation of economic and social rights – its number one priority, and that the EU delegation and EU Member States should take all requisite steps in pursuit of that aim;


12. Welcomes the importance that has been attached to ‘housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living’; calls on the EU delegation and EU Member States to promote universal non-discriminatory access to good-quality housing as a fundamental right and to conduct an evaluation of access to housing in the EU (particularly since the onset of the crisis and the introduction of austerity measures), with a view to undertaking to resolve this endemic problem, which has been further aggravated in recent years; reiterates the need for requisitioning of empty homes and for a freeze on evictions as means of tackling the current crisis in certain Member States;


13. Welcomes, likewise, the report on the ‘right to food’ and the fact that the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food has been extended for three years to enable him to continue to address the impact of the world food crisis on the realisation of this right; points out that the UN member states should do more to encourage access to essential natural resources and land, and to promote food sovereignty and food security as means of reducing poverty and unemployment; deplores the fact that a significant number of people do not have, or no longer have, access to certain resources, including basic commodities such as water, due to the hoarding of these resources by companies or private entities, which are supported by the political authorities in the countries concerned, causing food shortages and increases in the price of foodstuffs; calls, therefore, on the EU delegation and EU Member States to take the necessary measures to ensure that the monopolisation of resources, especially land, by European undertakings, in particular, is halted, and to put forward proposals in international and regional forums and conferences (World Bank, WTO, Unctad, IMF, OECD, etc.) for recognising basic public goods and including them in a specific UN convention; calls, furthermore, on the EU and its Member States to support UN General Assembly Resolution No 64/292 of 28 July 2010 on the human right to water and sanitation, and to do their utmost to have it implemented and made binding;


14. Emphasises that EU policies on migration, as well as support for undemocratic regimes on the pretext of ‘good governance’ and partnership agreements of a purely economic nature, undermine human rights and, indeed, the Union’s international credibility; reiterates its call on the EU Member States to implement democracy and human rights clauses in all international agreements, of whatever nature, and to guarantee respect for human rights in their own internal and external policies, without which the position of the EU in the HRC and in any other international forum dealing with human rights would be weakened;


15. Emphasises the importance of the discussion on ‘the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of states on the full enjoyment of human rights’, and is alarmed by the fact that ‘debt servicing’ is an issue for most countries today and has become a pretext for the introduction of austerity plans which are termed ‘structural adjustment plans’; restates, all the more firmly in the current context of economic and social crisis, its position that the debt not only of third-world countries but also of all countries in extreme difficulty (including EU Member States) should be written off so as to avoid worsening the crisis and to ensure that people can properly enjoy their economic, social and cultural rights;


16. Considers that, in view of its responsibilities and those of some of its Member States in the economic, social and political situation that led to the popular uprisings in the ‘Arab Spring’ countries, the European Union has a duty to help the institutions in those countries to carry out audits of their debts, and particularly their European debts, in order to ascertain what proportion of those debts was illegitimately incurred and did not benefit the people of those countries, and that it also has a duty to do its utmost to ensure that those debts are swiftly written off; urges the EU and its Member States once more to make further significant efforts to facilitate the return of assets misappropriated by the former regimes to the people of Arab Spring countries within a reasonable timeframe; is concerned that the partnership guidelines seem to follow the same lines as previous discussions;


Civil and political rights


17. Welcomes the attention given to the issue of ‘human rights and arbitrary deprivation of nationality’; calls on the EU delegation and on the EU Member States represented in the HRC to address this issue, broadening it to include the question of regularising the status of migrants and the denial of residence permits to migrants; calls, likewise, on the EU and its Member States to investigate the incidence of this phenomenon in the EU and to work resolutely to put an end to the problem;


18. Calls on all states to combat torture, including in EU Member States; calls on the EU delegation and EU Member States to include in the debate on torture and other inhuman and degrading punishments and treatments the question of banning trade in products which can be used for purposes of torture, both inside and outside the EU;


19. Emphasises the importance of continuing the work on global practices relating to secret detentions in the context of countering terrorism; calls on the EU Member States to follow up the existing reports effectively, in line with Parliament’s previous stances on the issue, especially its resolutions on the use of European countries by the CIA for the transportation, illegal detention and torture of prisoners;


20. Calls on the EU delegation and EU Member States to reaffirm their opposition to the death penalty and their advocacy of its universal abolition and of an immediate moratorium in those countries where it is still on the statute book; is concerned to see that a certain number of countries which had suspended capital punishment have started to carry out executions once again;


21. Takes note of the report on ‘Freedom of religion or belief’ and points out that such freedom implies as much the right to believe or not believe as the right to promote or to change one’s religious convictions; re-emphasises its attachment to secularism, i.e. the strict separation of political and religious authority, as a fundamental characteristic of certain states and cultures, implying a rejection of all religious interference in the functions of government and of all political interference in religious affairs other than for purposes of upholding the rules on safety and public order (including respect for others’ freedom) and a guarantee that everyone (whether believer, agnostic or atheist) will enjoy to an equal degree freedom of conscience and the right to express their beliefs publicly;


Rights of peoples, groups and individuals


22. Stresses once again the inalienable right of peoples to self-determination and to choose their own political, economic and social policies without external interference; calls on the EU and its Member States, on the occasion of the 25th session of the HRC, resolutely to further that right rather than continuing to pursue the current policies;


23. Expresses its concern about the deterioration, in various forms and at various levels throughout the world including in the EU, of the situation of human rights defenders, activists, organisations and institutions and with regard to journalists;


24. Takes note of the importance attached, at this 25th session of the HRC, to children’s rights and of the intention, following the adoption of Resolution 7/29, to devote at least one day a year to these issues; welcomes the fact that the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography has been extended for three years; likewise welcomes the extension for three years of the mandate of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on violence against children;


25. Calls on the EU and its Member States to work, as a priority, towards practical action by the HRC to put an end to human rights violations affecting civilians, particularly women and children, in wars and situations of violent conflict; calls for priority action to be taken, in particular, to halt the recruitment of child soldiers and to protect them;


Interdependence of human rights and thematic issues relating to human rights


26. Welcomes the particular attention paid to ‘the role of the public service as an essential component of good governance in the promotion and protection of human rights’; sees the trend in a number of countries, particularly in the EU, towards liberalisation under the pretext of ‘good governance’ or of austerity plans as extremely worrying; stresses that such policies are at odds with the absolutely fundamental rights of access to education, employment, healthcare, transport, housing and social security (including pension provision), to services such as gas and electricity and to food, etc.; calls therefore on the EU delegation and on the EU Member States to work resolutely to safeguard these rights through the development of universally accessible public services, rather than continuing to pursue the current policies;


27. Welcomes the attention paid to the prevention of genocide, and considers that action in this regard can be effective only when those responsible for genocide in the past are identified;


28. Considers, similarly, that the report on human rights and the environment is extremely important because it is essentially related to the right of peoples to their natural resources, to land and to a sustainable environmental system; considers therefore that universal ratification and implementation of the Kyoto process, and of other international conventions enabling people actually to exercise these rights, is of fundamental importance;


29. Is greatly concerned about the deterioration, with regard to human rights and civil liberties, which is being brought about under the pretext of fighting terrorism and, increasingly, serious crime, without these concepts being clearly defined, and which is also happening in the EU or by means of specific agreements with certain states where human rights standards are not applied; is particularly concerned about the violation of standards relating to data protection and respect for privacy;


30. Finds it regrettable that the international community has still not entered into negotiations for the conclusion of an international agreement on the protection of personal data, for which Convention 108 of the Council of Europe could serve as a model; calls on the EU delegation and EU Member States to work to devise such a framework, in cooperation with their international counterparts;


31. Condemns the substantial use being made – in the field of what are dubbed ‘security’ policies – of private military or security undertakings to exercise sovereign powers which only states have the authority to wield, and calls on the European Union and its Member States to step up their efforts to put an end to these practices; considers that, in this field and under the responsibility of states, private military and security undertakings should apply human rights standards, particularly with regard to data protection and respect for privacy; considers that, where public-service tasks are transferred, both states and undertakings should be held responsible for breaches of human rights and humanitarian law committed by the staff of such undertakings;


Human rights situations requiring the attention of the Council


32. Notes the Council’s decision to extend the mandate of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic established pursuant to Resolution S-17/1 to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law in Syria since March 2011, and calls on the Commission of Inquiry to continue its work; condemns in the strongest possible terms the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian population; deplores the failure of the Geneva II conference; emphasises that the destiny of Syria must rest firmly in the hands of the Syrian people; supports a political solution to the conflict accepted by the Syrians, without any kind of foreign intervention, that would allow for an inclusive national dialogue aimed at addressing the Syrian people’s legitimate aspirations and concerns in relation to democratic changes;


33. Notes that the human rights situation in Iran is continuing to deteriorate; notes that repression directed against peaceful demonstrators and dissidents (including students, academics and human rights defenders), women’s rights activists, lawyers, journalists, bloggers and members of religious orders is commonplace there; stresses that the international community has a fundamentally important role to play in safeguarding peace; is seriously concerned about the ongoing erosion of human rights in Iran, the growing number of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, the persistently high incidence of executions, including of minors, and of torture, unfair trials and the fixing of exorbitant sums for bail, as well as the severe restrictions on freedom of information, expression, assembly, religion, education and movement; welcomes the Council’s decision to extend for a year the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for human rights in Iran;


34. Recognises the ongoing political and civil reforms of rights which are taking place in Myanmar/Burma but urges the authorities there to step up their efforts, notably by releasing political prisoners, and to tackle inter-community violence as a matter of urgency; expresses its deep concern regarding the violence in Rakhine State, which is a long-standing consequence of the discriminatory policies against the Rohingyas; welcomes the fact that the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar has been extended for a further year;


35. Regrets that the situation in Latin America, particularly Honduras and Paraguay, has not been included in this discussion; calls for proper monitoring of the human rights situation in these two countries following the coups d’état, and for an all-out effort to re-establish democracy and the rule of law there; calls on the EU delegation and the Member States to seek a condemnation of the coups d’état, not to recognise the ‘de facto’ governments and to demand that the guilty parties be brought to trial; calls, likewise, for an inquiry into the attempted coups d’état in other Latin American countries (e.g. Ecuador or Venezuela) and for all those responsible, including third countries, to be identified;


36. Observes that Colombia remains one of the most dangerous countries in the world in which to engage in trade union and political activity and that human rights violations, including those against students, opposition party activists, farmers, women and children, continue almost without exception to go unpunished; opposes, therefore, ratification of the free trade agreement with that country; strongly condemns the fact that the intelligence service (DAS), which is directly answerable to the President of the Republic, has undertaken systematic bugging and illegal actions intended to discredit senior judges, opposition parliamentarians and human rights defenders; recalls that the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights, people residing in Europe and NGOs have also fallen victim to these actions; requests that these serious offences do not go unpunished; calls on the European Union to apply the recommendations concerning Colombia made in the report of the Committee against Torture;


37. Regrets similarly that the issue of human rights in Turkey has not been placed on the agenda; is concerned, more particularly, about the deterioration in the democratic situation in that country and the rise in repression of democrats, elected office-holders and political activists, trade unionists, journalists, human rights defenders and artists; notes that this repression is particularly directed against Kurds; calls on the EU delegation to ensure that this subject is raised at the 25th session of the HRC and that explicit support is lent to the resumption of discussions on the peace process;


Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories


38. Welcomes the particular attention devoted to the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories during this 25th session of the HRC, particularly the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people and the establishment of an independent and viable state within the 1967 borders; urges the EU delegation to condemn all forms of settlement expansion, notably in Palestine but also in the West Bank and East Jerusalem;


39. Condemns the continuing policy of expanding the settlements and of occupation conducted by Israel in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in defiance of international law; strongly condemns the Prawer Plan, which has been conceived to expel Bedouin communities from their ancestral lands in the Negev Desert and the displacement policy pursued by Israel against the Bedouins; stresses that this policy constitutes a seizure of Palestinian land, deprivation of the use of farmland and destruction of communities; denounces this policy designed to destroy the possibility of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, which UN resolutions have called for; urges the delegations from Member States and the EU to denounce this Israeli policy, demand an immediate end to it and take all necessary measures to bring this about;


40. Recalls the importance of the United Nations report on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories, which states that ‘Israel’s policy in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip seems to be leading to apartheid, because of the systematic oppression of the Palestinian people and the de facto expropriation of their land’, the violation by Israeli forces of the fundamental rights of Palestinians, and ethnic cleansing in East Jerusalem, with the attempt by the Israeli authorities to Judaise the city of Jerusalem in order to appropriate it for themselves; stresses that, after six years of inquiries on the ground, the rapporteur Richard Falk has announced alarming findings about the situation of the Palestinians, and strongly condemns the Israeli occupation; stresses that he propounds a solution with the aim of punishing the state for these actions: a boycott of its goods;


41. Welcomes the publication of Amnesty International’s report condemning the acts of violence perpetrated by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank and recalling the brutal Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories; stresses that, according to various reports, the treatment of the Palestinians by the Israeli army is tantamount to a war crime; condemns the complicity of representatives of the medical profession with the Israeli army in the maltreatment of Palestinian prisoners;


42. Condemns the situation of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons; calls on Israel to put an immediate end to the practice of mass imprisonment, administrative detention, transfers of political prisoners outside the occupied territories, depriving them of family visits, maltreatment and torture, and the denial of adequate and appropriate medical treatment, which constitute flagrant breaches of international law; reiterates its condemnation of all forms of torture and maltreatment; calls on Israel to immediately guarantee its compliance with the United Nations Convention against Torture, to which that state is party; condemns the detention and maltreatment of children and calls for the immediate release of women and children who are incarcerated;


43. Condemns the situation of Palestinian prisoners; calls for their release and recalls its resolution of 14 March 2013 calling on the Israeli Government to respect the rights of Palestinian prisoners and protect their health and lives; is concerned about the fate of Palestinian prisoners held without charge; stresses that these detainees should be charged and face trial, with judicial guarantees in accordance with international standards, or be promptly released; expresses deep concern about the situation and health of Palestinian detainees on extended hunger strike; calls on Israel to give these prisoners unrestricted access to appropriate medical care;


44. Calls for an arms embargo against Israel, in view of the human rights violations committed by that country; calls on the EU and its Member States to cease all cooperation with Israel involving the EDA and under the Horizon 2020 programme;


45. Is particularly concerned about the situation of the Palestinian refugees who are besieged in the Yarmouk camp and other camps in Syria, and demands that all parties raise the siege and allow free access to humanitarian aid and free movement of the population;


46. Notes that the Western Sahara conflict is a decolonisation issue; observes that, under international law, Morocco has no sovereignty over Western Sahara and is regarded as an occupying power; condemns the persistent violation of the human rights of the Sahrawi people; calls for the protection of the fundamental rights of the people of Western Sahara, including freedom of association, freedom of expression and the right to demonstrate; demands the immediate release of all Sahrawi political prisoners; stresses the need for international monitoring of the human rights situation in Western Sahara; urges Morocco and the Polisario Front to continue negotiations with a view to achieving a peaceful and lasting solution of the conflict in this region and reiterates the right of the Sahrawi people to self-determination, which should be decided through a democratic referendum, in accordance with United Nations resolutions 34/37 and 35/19;


Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and the associated intolerance – follow-up to and application of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action


47. Condemns racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic and xenophobic violence and violence against migrants, which have reached alarming levels in certain Member States, in the absence of strong action by the authorities; is alarmed at the rising tide of hate speech and stigmatisation of minorities and of groups of people and is concerned about their growing influence in the media and in many political movements and parties, since such discourses are reflected at the highest level of political responsibility in some Member States and have led to restrictive legislation;


48. Deplores the fact that discrimination against women was not considered at that conference; stresses that universal access to health and reproductive health care must remain a political priority, including free access to sex education, contraception and the right to abortion; stresses that eradicating violence against women and girls and combating sexual exploitation and trafficking in human beings must be a priority and have the objective of bringing about equality between men and women; calls therefore on the HRC and the international community to implement the ICPD+20, Beijing +20 and Rio +20 processes; stresses, likewise, that it is important for EU Member States to apply the recommendation made by the HRC in 2002 concerning international protection in relation to persecution on grounds of sex, particularly in the context of immigration policies;


49. Deplores, likewise, the fact that issues relating to the rights of LGBTI people were not considered at that conference; condemns the violence and discrimination to which LGBTI people are subject around the world; condemns in particular the forced sterilisation of transgender people, which persists in a certain number of countries, including EU Member States, and calls for an immediate end to this breach of human rights; calls on the international community to consider ways of adapting family law to the development of family forms in the contemporary world, including the possibility of marriage and adoption for people of the same sex; stresses that lesbians often suffer discrimination on a multiple basis (both as women and as lesbians) and that action to promote equality for LGBTI persons must go hand in hand with action to promote the equality of women and girls in order to achieve equality and non-discrimination;


Technical assistance and capacity-building


50. Notes the point concerning technical cooperation in the field of human rights in Afghanistan; calls on the EU delegation those of its Member States to condemn the fact that the NATO occupation of Afghanistan has not improved the human rights situation in the country; calls on the HRC to seek the establishment of a committee of inquiry under the aegis of the UN and the opening of a war crimes trial under the jurisdiction of the ICC to deal with atrocities and murders of civilians committed in Iraq and Afghanistan;


51. Condemns, likewise, the armed intervention in Libya under cover of NATO, and stresses that the situation, far from stabilising, seems on the contrary to be deteriorating since the ‘official end’ of the war, bringing about a partitioning of the country, inability of the state to prevent violence, a rise in racist crimes and the absence of justice and democracy; hopes that the HRC will be able to carry out an independent and impartial inquiry into the human rights situation in the country, identifying the responsibilities of all forces which have participated in the conflict; calls for an immediate end to cooperation between the Eurobam mission for assistance with border control and the Libyan authorities, which is training military and police forces and making high-technology equipment available to them to prevent any migrants and refugees from fleeing from a country where guerrilla warfare is widespread and where the rights of migrants and refugees are not protected; calls for support measures, coordinated by civil society and the authorities, to be taken as a matter of urgency with a view to establishing a national system for asylum and the reception of migrants which respects the rights of asylum-seekers, refugees and migrants;


52. Deplores the aggravation of the humanitarian and human rights situation in the Central African Republic since the beginning of the French intervention in December 2013; condemns the numerous atrocities affecting the whole population, particularly women and children; deplores the displacement of people and sanitary conditions; calls on the international community and donors to provide more support for humanitarian aid; urges the new transitional Head of State, Catherine Samba-Panza, and the transitional government to do everything in their power to halt the violence and assuage tension before the conflict degenerates into genocide;


53  Notes the point concerning assistance to Côte d’Ivoire; considers, there too, that an objective and impartial assessment of human rights developments in the country must be made, particularly those which have occurred since the occupation of the country by the French army;


54. Welcomes the special attention devoted to Haiti at this 25th session of the Human Rights Council; deplores the humanitarian situation in the country, which remains appalling, and the fact that the damage caused by the hurricanes of 2010 has still not been repaired; stresses that the extreme poverty in the country has intensified the devastating impact of natural disasters, causing the most serious humanitarian crisis in decades; condemns once again the debt and the colossal cost of servicing it imposed on the country by France and the international institutions (first and foremost the International Monetary Fund), which is responsible for its underdevelopment; welcomes the international solidarity displayed in providing aid for Haiti, and particularly regional solidarity, evidenced notably by Cuba’s sending of doctors and specialised personnel, who have treated tens of thousands of people for cholera, the financial support through the ALBA Humanitarian Fund for Haiti, the continued energy assistance through Petrocaribe and the establishment of a special plan for direct supplies of fuel for humanitarian assistance vehicles, agricultural initiatives to supply food and production plans, and the reforestation campaign; calls for an inquiry to be opened into the fact that certain aid, particularly from the European Union, may never have reached Haiti, and an inquiry into the effectiveness of the aid distribution network; calls also for an overview of the aid actually provided;

55. Notes the Council’s decision to establish for one year a mandate for an independent expert on the human rights situation in Mali to help the Malian Government in its efforts to promote and protect human rights, and the request that the independent expert report to it at its 25th session; calls for a complete assessment of the atrocities and crimes committed in Mali by all the forces on the ground; calls on the European Union delegation and those of its Member States to undertake to promote peaceful solutions to conflicts rather than unilateral armed interventions such as that in Mali;


56. Welcomes the decision by the Human Rights Council to organise at its 25th session a high-level dialogue on the lessons learned and the persistent challenges in combating sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo and to enable countries which are undergoing conflict or are in post-conflict situations to share their experiences on the subject; calls on the HRC to condemn all acts of violence and all breaches of human rights in eastern DRC and the Great Lakes region, to express its solidarity with all the population groups afflicted by the war and to seek a commitment by all forces involved in the fighting in eastern DRC to respect human rights and international humanitarian law and to cease all attacks on civilians;



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57. Mandates its delegation to the 25th session of the HRC to voice the concerns expressed in this resolution, calls on the delegation to report to the Subcommittee on Human Rights on its visit, and considers it appropriate to continue sending a European Parliament delegation to relevant sessions of the HRC;


58. 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 governments and parliaments of the Member States, the UN Security Council, the UN Secretary-General, the President of the 64th UN General Assembly, the President of the UN Human Rights Council, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the EU-UN working group set up at the initiative of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.



Last updated: 7 March 2014Legal notice