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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Iraq: kidnapping and mistreatment of women

25.11.2014 - (2014/2971(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 135 of the Rules of Procedure

Gérard Deprez, Marielle de Sarnez, Juan Carlos Girauta Vidal, Fernando Maura Barandiarán, Pavel Telička, Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Marietje Schaake, Louis Michel, Petr Ježek, Ivo Vajgl, Johannes Cornelis van Baalen, Dita Charanzová, Jozo Radoš, Javier Nart, Ivan Jakovčić on behalf of the ALDE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0295/2014

Postup : 2014/2971(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on Iraq: kidnapping and mistreatment of women


The European Parliament,

- having regard to its previous resolutions, in particular "On the situation in Iraq" (2014//2716(RSP)) in July 2014 and "On the situation in Iraq and Syria, and the IS offensive, including the persecution of minorities" (2014/2843(RSP)) in September 2014;


- having regard to the UN issued Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic "Rule of Terror: Living under ISIS in Syria" in November 2014[1][1];


- having regard to the UN Report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq on the protection of civilians in the Non International Armed Conflict in Iraq: 5 June – 5 July 2014, published on October 2;

- having regard to the EU guidelines on the promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief adopted on 24 June 2013;

- having regard to the statements by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) on Iraq;


A.  whereas Iraq continues to face serious political, security and socioeconomic challenges, and whereas its political leadership is extremely fragmented and plagued by violence and sectarian politics, to the severe detriment of the Iraqi people’s legitimate aspirations for peace, prosperity and a genuine transition to democracy; whereas Iraq is facing the most severe wave of violence since 2008;


B.  Whereas former military of the Iraqi army are fighting with IS and the army itself is plagues by corruption which hampers its effective response to IS;

C.  whereas the jihadist al-Qaeda splinter group Islamic State (IS) – formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) – conquered parts of north-western Iraq, including Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, followed by summary executions of Iraqi citizens, the imposition of a harsh interpretation of Sharia law, the destruction of the Shiite, Sufi, Sunni and Christian places of worship and shrines, and other atrocities against the civilian population which particularly impact women and children;


D.  whereas the conquest of the territories in Iraq and Syria was followed by the imposition of the harsh interpretation of the Sharia law; whereas serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law have been committed in areas under the control of IS and associated groups, including targeted killings, forced conversions, abductions, selling of women, slavery of women and children, recruitment of children for suicide bombings, sexual and physical abuse and torture; whereas Christian, Yazidi, Turkmen, Shabak, Kaka’e, Sabaeans and Shi’a communities as well as many Arabs and Sunni Muslims have been targeted by IS[2][2];


E.  whereas according to recent reports, women have committed suicide after being raped or forced to marry IS militants, and men too have committed suicide after being forced to watch their wives and daughters being raped;


F.  whereas, while some women appear to have been sold to individual men, others are held in IS rest houses in urban areas in the governorate and are suffering under systematic sexual violence and enslavement[3][3];


G.  whereas the attacks on Yazidi women and girls now being held inside Syria are violations of international humanitarian law and amount to the war crime of sexual slavery, sexual violence, rape and forced pregnancy[4][4];


H.  whereas, by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights reported on October 2 Islamic State was holding up to 2,500 Yazidi civilians, mostly women and children[5][5];


I.  whereas Human Rights Watch, estimates that 3,133 Yazidis have been kidnapped and killed by the Islamic State, or who had been missing since the IS assaults of early August; whereas this list includes 2,305 people believed to have been abducted - 412 of them children [6][6];


J.  whereas, in October 2014 UN researchers stated that an estimated 5-7,000 women are also being held in makeshift detention centres, where they are being taken away and either sold into servitude or handed to jihadists as concubines. The town of Tal Afar alone is thought to hold around 3,500 women and children in five detention centres[7][7];


K.  whereas IS and other jihadist extremists in Iraq and Syria have caused refugee flows to fill refugee camps in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, where woman and girls in particular are experiencing tough humanitarian conditions and are extremely vulnerable to harassment, sexual violence, forced marriage and others abuse;


1.  Calls on the Commission and EU Member States to adopt immediately specific actions to address the situation of women and girls in Iraq and Syria, to guarantee their freedom and respect of their most fundamental rights, as well as to adopt measures to prevent exploitation, abuse and violence against women and children, in particular the forced marriage of girls; is particularly concerned the increase of all forms of violence against women, who are imprisoned, raped, sexually abused and sold by the members of IS[8][8];


2.  Calls on Iraqi Government to ratify the Rome Statute which allows the International Criminal Court to pursue these crimes. 


3.  Expresses concern for the increasing number of cases of recruitment of children and young people in Iraq and Syria; encourages the Commission to engage with partners – including international organisations – to prepare a comprehensive programme to address the need to protect children and women affected by armed conflict[9][9];


4.  Condemns that with the advance of the Islamic State, violence and murders against LGBT Iraqis have been taken place with total impunity; notes that while LGBT Iraqis are not the only group at risk in the current crisis and conflict, their situation is extremely vulnerable, given limited family and community support and government protection; notes that LGBT Iraqis remain marginalized and at risk in refugee communities or in certain host societies; calls on the Iraqi government and EU Embassies to establish protected spaces within Iraq for LGBT Iraqis and to expedite direct resettlement of those LGBT individuals fleeing due to safety concerns;


5.  Calls on all regional actors to do everything in their power to prohibit men to engage in forced marriages, in particular with regards to underage girls and refugees;


6.  Calls on additional efforts to work with the Iraqi authorities to address the systemic corruption that prevents the army from fighting IS in full strength;


7.  Calls on all regional actors to do everything in their power to stop all activities by official or private bodies to propagate and spreading of extreme Islamist ideologies in words and acts; calls on the international community, especially the EU, to facilitate a regional dialogue on the problems facing the Middle East and include all significant parties, in particular Iran and Saudi Arabia;


8.  Underlines that the EU should develop a comprehensive policy approach to the region that includes specific programs to address the particular threats coming from Jihadist extremists targeting women and girls;


9.  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 Council, the Commission, the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Government and Council of Representatives of Iraq, the Regional Government of Kurdistan, the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the United Nations Human Rights Council.