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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 115 of the Rules of Procedure
by Eva-Britt Svensson
on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group
on Trafficking of women and children in Cambodia

Eljárás : 2005/2505(RSP)
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European parliament resolution on trafficking of women and children in Cambodia

The European Parliament,

-having regard to its previous resolutions on Cambodia, and particularly to its resolutions of 12 February 2004, 3 July 2003 and 13 March 2003,

-having regard to the Cooperation Agreement between the EC and Cambodia which entered into force on 1 November 1999

-having regard to the EC-Cambodia Strategy Paper 2000-2003, and the EC Cambodia National Indicative Programme 2002-2004

-having regard to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child,

-having regard to the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and children and the UN Convention Against Organised Crime,

-having regard to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which entered into force in 2002,

-having regard to the European Union directives on the Protection of Human Rights approved by the European Council of July 2004,

-  having regard to Rule 115/5 of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the trafficking of humans and sexual exploitation are a form of modern-day slavery and constitute flagrant violations of fundamental human rights; whereas the trafficking and exploitation of humans is a social and international plague carried out by organized criminal networks operating across international borders; whereas it is a lucrative business for the traffickers,

B.  concerned by the impunity granted in most of the cases by those committing sexual abuses against children and women and considering that NGOs have a vital role to play in prevention and protection of victims, particularly given the fact that victims often fear and distrust the relevant authorities,

C.  whereas the majority of victims are women and children; whereas trafficking is increasing mainly because of poverty, unemployment, the vulnerability of women and children, deteriorating social conditions in countries of origin, the high profits and low risks experienced by traffickers and the existing demand for women and children for the purpose of prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation,

D.  considering the information given by the NGO AFESIP (Agir pour les Femmes en Situation Précaire) and the Department of Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection of the Ministry of Interior (AHTJP) concerning incidents of sexual exploitation, especially of minors, taking place at the Chai Hour II Hotel, and the arrest and detention of 8 individuals by the police,

E.  whereas the government of Cambodia does not guarantee the protection of Somaly Mam, an activist for the protection of children sold to prostitution, who has been the recipient of numerous death threats,

F.  whereas the Government of Cambodia has ratified the Statute of the International Criminal Court and the UN Convention against organised crime; whereas the efforts made to combat organised crime and trafficking in human beings need to be intensified and increased,

G.  Whereas the Local Presidency of the European Union on behalf of the EU-Heads of Missions in Phnom Penh have called upon the Government of Cambodia to explain the attack on the AFESIP shelter, ensure that the case is thoroughly investigated and those responsible brought to justice,

1.  Believes that the trafficking and sexual exploitation of humans violates and impedes fundamental and basic human rights, and must be fought at all levels;

2.  Reiterates its concern about child prostitution in the country and the trafficking in human beings to, within and from Cambodia for the purpose of forced labour including prostitution, begging and adoptions;

3.  Believes that such violations put at risk the lives and health of women and children victims of trafficking and jeopardizes the progress in the attempts to combat international organized crime and trafficking networks and abusers;

4.  Stresses its commitment to combating trafficking and the sexual exploitation of human beings, especially the prostitution of minors in Asia as well as everywhere in the world,;

5.  Requests urgently that the Cambodian authorities adopt all necessary measures to prevent trafficking in women and child prostitution and bring those responsible to justice;

6.  Urges the government of Cambodia to make an independent inquiry into the facts of this case, investigate the reason as to why the 8 men arrested were released without charge, attempt to locate and rescue the 91 women and children taken from the AFESIP shelter and offer them sanctuary and care and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice;

7.  Urges the Cambodian authorities to guarantee the safety of Somaly Mam whose life has been threatened;

8.  Calls on countries where Human Rights organizations and NGOs dedicated to the rescue and protection of victims of sexual exploitation are stationed and active, to support and facilitate their work as well as guarantee the safety of their workers;

9.  Calls on Member States to intensify their efforts and increase their involvement in the fight against trafficking of humans especially minors, and adopt the necessary measures to make sexual tourism punishable by law;

10.  Calls on the Commission to support the organizations defending human rights in Cambodia, especially those dedicated to the protection of victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking;

11.  Urges the Commission to include children’s rights in its human rights policy programme, in the framework of the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights,

12.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Government of Cambodia, the governments of the ASEAN member states, the President of AFESIP and Somaly Mam;