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Procedura : 2014/2515(RSP)
Ciclo di vita in Aula
Ciclo del documento : B7-0033/2014

Testi presentati :

B7-0033/2014

Discussioni :

PV 16/01/2014 - 12.1
CRE 16/01/2014 - 12.1

Votazioni :

PV 16/01/2014 - 13.1

Testi approvati :

P7_TA(2014)0044

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 138kWORD 61k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0033/2014
14.1.2014
PE527.223v01-00
 
B7-0033/2014

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law

pursuant to Rule 122 of the Rules of Procedure


on the situation of rights defenders and opposition activists in Cambodia and Laos (2014/2515(RSP))


Barbara Lochbihler, Reinhard Bütikofer, Nicole Kiil-Nielsen, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

European Parliament resolution on the situation of rights defenders and opposition activists in Cambodia and Laos (2014/2515(RSP))  
B7‑0033/2014

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to European Parliament resolutions of 7 February 2013 on Laos as well as of 26 October 2012 and of 17 February 2011 on Cambodia

-    having regard to the Statement by the Spokesperson of High Representative Catherine Ashton following the elections in Cambodia, 29 July 2013

-    having regard to the Local EU Statement on the new legislature in Cambodia of 23 September 2013 and on violence surrounding labor disputes of 8 January 2014

-    having regard to the report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia, Surya P. Subedi, of 5 August 2013 and his report of 24 September 2012 on "A human rights analysis of economic and other land concessions in Cambodia"

-    having regard to the Press statement by the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Cambodia of 3 January 2014 and of 7 January 2014 announcing a new fact-finding mission

-    having regard to the report "Bittersweet harvest - A Human Rights Impact Assessment of the European Union‘s Everything But Arms Initiative in Cambodia" by Equitable Cambodia and Inclusive Development International

-    having regard to the Statement by the spokesperson of High Representative 21 December 2012 on Sombath Somphone and on the expulsion of nine North Koreans from Laos of 5 June 2013

-    having regard to the European Development Partners’ Statement 19 November 2013 at Lao PDR’s Round Table Meeting

--  having regard to its report on the Future of EU-ASEAN Relations of 15 January 2014

–   having regard to Rule 122 of its Rules of Procedure,

 

On Cambodia

A. Whereas in recent years the human rights situation in Cambodia has been confronted with serious challenges particularly as a result of systematic land expropriations by the government, the ruling party and private actors with official support and protection

B.  Whereas massive corruption continues to deprive many Cambodians of their economic and social rights and activists, notably those working on land rights issues and illegal logging, labour union members, journalists and opposition party members have been the targets of extrajudicial killings, criminal conviction or harassment

C. whereas a granting of pardon allowed the long-time leader of the opposition Sam Rainsy to return from exile to the country, however his right to vote and run in the 28 July 2013 national elections was not restored and therefore conditions for free and fair elections were not met

D. whereas after the announcement of the election results peaceful mass protests started despite massive deployment of security forces, leaving two people dead and many injured

E.  whereas at the beginning of January security forces cracked down on peacefully demonstrating garment factory workers in Phnom Penh who were asking for an increase of their minimum wage to USD 160 per month; whereas four civilians were shot dead, at least 39 people injured and 23 arrested, including human rights defenders Vorn Pao (IDEA) , Theng Savoeun (CCFC), and Chan Puthisak (Boeung Kak Community)

F.  whereas all arrested have been charged with intentional violence under the Penal Code, in contravention to the fact that the Cambodian Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of assembly, association and peaceful Demonstration in articles 37 and 41

G. Whereas the garment sector accounts for an estimated 80 % of Cambodia’s export earnings, producing clothes for many well-known global brands, much of it for the European market and whereas the majority of the factories are reportedly owned by foreigners

H. Whereas according to ILO estimates wages of the textile workers even after increase do not cover their basic minimum needs and whereas the situation of the textile industry in Cambodia is similar to the one in other countries with globally rising wages, material and energy costs which are not reflected in the prices paid by the consumers in Europe and elsewhere

I.   Whereas many international companies, including European, have allegedly been involved in land-rights violations, as for example a recent Oxfam study has established in link with the sugar production for the soft drink industry and whereas Coca-Cola has pledged in November 2013 "zero tolerance" towards land grabs

1.  expresses its concern about the violent repression of peaceful protests and politically motivated charges against opposition politicians; urgently appeals to the authorities to stop the use of excessive force, as well as the arbitrary arrests of civilians and calls for the immediate release of all people detained for their non-violent political and social activism

2.  follows with concern alleged threats against human rights organizations which advocate against racial discrimination, like the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, including by the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party

3.  calls on the government to identify those responsible for the violence against protesters and to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice and urges the government to provide compensation to those injured and to the families of the people who have been killed

4.  calls on the Cambodian government to immediately restore the full exercise of the right to freedom of assembly (including the right to strike) in respect of the Cambodian Constitution and domestic law as well as all ratified international human rights instruments,

5.  urges the Cambodian government to recognize the legitimate role played by the political opposition in contributing to Cambodia’s overall economic and political development and calls on the Cambodian authorities to drop the court summonses issued to Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) leaders, Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha, and union leader Rong Chhun of the Cambodia Independent Teachers Association (CITA) and the Cambodian Confederation of Unions (CCFU);

6.  believes that it would be in the interest of the future peaceful and prosperous development of the country to set up an independent and internationally-assisted investigation into allegations of fraud and irregularities of the July 2013 elections and calls for an electoral reform in order to create the conditions for free and fair elections in the future 

7.  calls on the Cambodian Government and parliament to pass and implement laws to ensure the justice system functions independently from political control and corruption;

8.  calls on the government to establish a National Human Rights Institution and to fully cooperate with the UN special procedures, and to allow notably a visit by the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, and the Special rapporteur on Freedom of Peaceful Assembly

9.  considers that the era of underprized garment production will have to come to an end and warmly welcomes initiatives such as the recently started Garment Industries Transparency Initiative (GITI) conceived as a joint approach of governments, business sector and civil society in both producing and consuming countries aimed at finding agreement on comprehensive, jointly monitored labor standards (minimum wages, the right to organize and actively participate in trade unions, a ban on child labor, job security and physical security at the place of work)

10. calls on the EU institutions, the Member States and European and multinational companies to actively support these and similar initiatives and to engage in ethical and socially responsible corporate practices including guaranteeing fair labor standards and living wages, recognizing the right to unionize and engage in collective bargaining, and ensuring safe and humane working conditions for all workers,

11. Expects that other companies follow Coca Cola's path and calls on the European Commission in the framework of the EBA initiative to include in the criteria for exporters from least developed countries, seeking to take advantage of EBA privileges, the obligation to testify that they have not grabbed people’s land, or destroyed homes and forests; suggests further to establish a mechanism to enable affected people to bring complaints against beneficiary companies that abuse their rights and seek remedial action in the form of restitution or termination of the preferential arrangements for the violating firm

 

On Laos

A. Whereas the government still has not reacted to the strong international call to clarify the whereabouts of famous human and environmental rights activist and civil society leader, Sombath Somphone who was disappeared on 15 December 2012

B. Whereas Sombath Somphone, winner of the 2005 Magsaysay Award and short-listed for the Sakharov Price, has been working on issues of land confiscation and assisting victims in denouncing such practices and was the co-chair of the 9th Asia-Europe People's Forum held in Vientiane in October 2012 ahead of the ASEM 9

C. Whereas the lack of reaction by the government raises suspicions that the government could be involved in his abduction and represents a considerable burden for enhancing relations with Laos

D. Whereas another nine activists who had reportedly planned peaceful demonstrations calling for democracy and respect for human rights, Kingkeo, Somchit, Soubinh, Souane, Sinpasong, Khamsone, Nou, Somkhit and Sourigna have been detained in 2009 and their whereabouts since that time remain unknown, as is the fate of the environmentalist Somphone Kantisouk who was forcibly disappeared in 2007

E.  Whereas the recent report by Global Witness has drawn the attention to the continuing problem of land grabbing and destruction of forests at high speed in Laos to make room for additional plantations such as for the Vietnamese rubber company Hoang Anh Gia Lai(HAGL) which led the Deutsche Bank to give up its shares

F. Whereas reportedly 30% of Laos' land has been concessioned to foreigners for development, giving rise to fear about the mounting number of landless in a country that is still struggling with a high degree of malnutrition

G. Whereas hydropower projects such as the planned Don Sahong dam risk endangering the livelihoods and food security of millions of people

1. Calls on the Laotian government to clarify the whereabouts of Sombath Somphone and the other disappeared and to accept international technical support if needed and strongly hopes to see all of them well and liberated soon

2. Calls on the ASEAN governments to encourage the AICHR to become active on the issue

3. Calls on the EEAS and the Member States to continue raising the case of Sombath Somphone with the Laotian government

4. Calls on the Laotian government to ratify the UN Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance

5. Urges the government to invest into long term and sustainable strategies for the preservation of the countries' remaining natural treasures and to apply thorough environmental and social impact assessments before allowing big agricultural and infrastructural projects to go ahead

6. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, ....

 

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