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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Security and human trafficking in Sinai

11.3.2014 - (2014/2630(RSP))

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

Charles Tannock, Geoffrey Van Orden, Adam Bielan on behalf of the ECR Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0254/2014

Postopek : 2014/2630(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on Security and human trafficking in Sinai


The European Parliament,


-     having regard to its previous resolutions on Sinai and Egypt more generally, in particular of 15 March 2012 on human trafficking in Sinai, in particular the case of Solomon W. and of 5 February 2014 on the situation in Egypt,

-     having regard to Resolution 2133 (2014) of the UN Security Council of 27 January 2014,

-     having regard to the statement of the High Representative of the EU of 17 February 2014 on the terrorist attack 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 Brussels Declaration on Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, adopted on 20 September 2002,

-      having regard to Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings of 2005,

-      having regard to Article 2, Article 6.1, Article 7, and Article 17 (‘Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks’) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

-      having regard to the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 protocol thereto,

-     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 UN estimations suggest that many thousands of asylum seekers and migrants from the sub-Sahara enter Sinai each month, while many hundreds are being placed or sold into the hands of human traffickers operating in Sinai,

C.  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,

D.  whereas it is reported that 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,

E.   whereas terrorist activity remains a serious problem in Sinai, despite renewed efforts to tackle the problem by Egyptian police and military forces in recent months,

F.   whereas on 14 February 2014 a bus carrying many passengers in Taba was bombed by terrorists, killing 3 passengers and the driver, and wounding 17 others,

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; Underlines the wider problems that can be caused by payment of ransoms, which can be used to fund wider criminal and terrorist-related activity, and therefore the importance of tackling this particular problem;

2.   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;

3.   Strongly condemns the continuing violence in Sinai, in particular the targeting of civilians; expresses its solidarity with the victims and acknowledges the legitimate need to combat terrorism and ensure public safety; expresses concern that continuing unrest may have a destabilising effect on Egypt as a whole, at this important stage in its transition following the uprising of Egyptian society in 2011;

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.