Procedure : 2015/2559(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0140/2015

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 12/02/2015 - 4.6
CRE 12/02/2015 - 4.6
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


PDF 130kWORD 69k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0136/2015

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on the humanitarian crisis in Iraq and Syria, in particular in the IS context (2015/2559(RSP))

Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Ignazio Corrao, Laura Agea, Tiziana Beghin, Piernicola Pedicini, Valentinas Mazuronis on behalf of the EFDD Group

European Parliament resolution on Humanitarian crisis in Iraq and Syria in particular in the IS context (2015/2559(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to its previous resolutions on Iraq and Syria,

–       having regard to the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions of 15 December 2014 and 20 October 2014,

–       having regard to the remarks of 22 December 2014 by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, in Baghdad,

–       having regard to the statements of 25 January and 1 February 2015 by the Vice‑President / High Representative on the execution of Japanese hostage Haruna Yukawa and on the murder of Kenji Goto in Syria,

–       having regard to UN Security Council resolutions 2139, 2165 and 2191,

–       having regard to the Geneva Conventions and the additional protocols thereto of 1977,

–       having regard to the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child and the additional protocol thereto of 2000,

–       having regard to the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC),

–       having regard to the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator’s Security Council briefing on Syria,

–       having regard to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child combined second to fourth periodic reports of Iraq under the Convention on the Rights of the Child,

–       having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.     whereas a report by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on the condition of children in Iraq highlights several cases of mass executions of boys and reports of beheadings, crucifixions and the burying alive of children, targeting especially, but not only, children belonging to minorities;

B.     whereas boys under the age of 18 are increasingly being used by IS as bomb-makers, informants or human shields; whereas, in particular, children who are mentally challenged have been used as suicide bombers; whereas IS has committed systematic sexual violence, including by means of the abduction, sexual enslavement and selling on the market of children;

C.     whereas IS trains children of eight years of age or even younger to become child soldiers;

D.     whereas violence continues to cause ongoing displacement in central, western and northern areas of Iraq; whereas people who cannot reach the Kurdish-controlled regions of the north or who cannot afford to live there because of overcrowding are fleeing to the south;

E.     whereas about 50 000 displaced families, or 2 500 000 people, in the southern areas of Basrah, Thi Qar, Qadissiya, Missan, Wassit, Muthanna, Najaf, Kerbala and Babel are currently receiving aid under the UN World Food Programme (WFP); whereas at the same time, but at the same time it remains unclear how many are not; whereas those receiving the aid are entirely dependent on it and are becoming vulnerable; whereas there is great concern that this level of assistance is not going to be sustainable as funds are going to dry up in March 2015;

F.     whereas there has been a dramatic worsening of the humanitarian situation in Syria and Iraq; whereas overall more than three million Iraqis have been internally displaced, of whom 2.1 million in the last year alone, with an estimated 330 000 people living in sub‑standard shelters; whereas by mid-2014 the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimated that 10.8 million Syrians had been affected by the conflict and were in need of humanitarian assistance, including 7.6 million internally displaced persons; whereas these figures are expected to grow steadily in 2015 in the absence of a comprehensive political solution;

G.     whereas 3.8 million people have fled Syria, becoming refugees in neighbouring countries; whereas the countries most affected are Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt;

H.     whereas Iraqi Christians, Turkmen, Yazidis and other minorities have faced persecution at the hands of IS since the group’s bloody rampage began across northern Iraq in 2014, with an estimated 800 000 members of Iraq’s religious minorities having been displaced;

I.      whereas to date 25 tented camps have been opened across Iraq to cope with the massive population displacements; whereas a further 11 are under construction;

J.      whereas according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), funding shortfalls have directly affected the scale and type of programmes that the agency maintains (including as regards shelters) to help survivors of violence and human rights abuses; whereas only 53 % of the agency’s required USD 337 million for the 2014 Iraq response has been received, and whereas the agency has received the go-ahead to proceed on projected funding for just 31 % of the USD 556 million it requires for 2015;

K.     whereas the UNHCR set its financial requirements for 2015 at USD 362 million; whereas any shortfalls will affect a wide range of activities and in the end penalise the people who are in need; whereas it is estimated that an overall response for the people in Syria would require USD 2.9 billion for 2015;

L.     whereas humanitarian organisations are continuing with their efforts to help people in desperate need, but the situation on the ground is extremely difficult, so much so that it is unsafe to operate inside the country; whereas many local NGOs in Raqqa have put humanitarian activities on hold, with some having been shut down due to a lack of agreement with armed groups on the ground and because of the difficulty in accessing Islamic-State‑controlled areas of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor;

M.    whereas cross-border deliveries from Turkey and Jordan into Syria continue to increase and as of 26 January 2015, 56 shipments had been made under the provisions of UN Security Council resolutions 2165 and 1291;

N.     whereas in 2014 numerous requests for humanitarian convoys went unanswered, or were denied or subject to conditions that could not be accommodated;

O.     whereas the conflict and the breakdown of state healthcare have left swathes of Islamic State-occupied Syria and Iraq vulnerable to outbreaks of infectious diseases, putting further pressure on the civilian population;

P.     whereas images have been circulating on social media which show WFP aid boxes rebranded with Islamic-State-in-Syria labels;

Q.     whereas Kurdish officials fighting IS have been calling for greater support for their fight; whereas Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has emphasised that despite needing assistance, Iraq will not accept any foreign troops on its soil; whereas almost 1 000 Kurds have been killed in the fight against IS since June 2014 and another 5 000 wounded, with a further 38 believed to be in the hands of IS as hostages;

R.     whereas IS generates funding by smuggling oil, imposing taxes on locals, plundering archaeological treasures and holding hostages to ransom; whereas the Iraqi Government continues to pay salaries and pensions to tens of thousands of government civil servants even though they live and work in cities controlled by IS; whereas, according to certain estimates, IS confiscates up to 50 % of the salaries of these employees;

1.      Strongly condemns the murders of Haruna Yukawa, Kenji Goto and Moath al-Kasasbeh by IS; expresses grave concern for the safety of others still being held captive by the extremists; expresses its deep sympathy and condolences to the families of these victims and to the families of all victims of the conflict;

2.      Condemns in the strongest possible terms the systematic human rights violations and abuses and violations of international humanitarian law resulting from the acts committed by IS and associated terrorist groups which amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity; calls on the Iraqi Government to ratify the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court (ICC) in order to allow the ICC to prosecute those responsible for the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by IS;

3.      Condemns in the strongest possible terms the selling of abducted Iraqi children on the market as sex slaves, the killing of young people, including by crucifixion or burying alive, and the use of children as human shields or soldiers; stresses that these acts are not only forbidden under international law but are also abominable and cowardly;

4.      Urges the Iraqi authorities to take all necessary measures to rescue children under the control of IS, to prosecute the perpetrators of crimes and to ensure the safety and protection of children and their families; stresses that the aforementioned acts amount to crimes against humanity and, as such, should be prosecuted; strongly believes that the international community, including the EU and the UN, should provide all necessary help for the protection of young people, including the potential development of joint on‑the‑grounds initiatives, such as the construction of trauma recovery centres for children;

5.      Stresses, once again, that there can only be a political solution to the crisis in Syria and Iraq; calls for the implementation of humanitarian ceasefires to allow for the delivery of humanitarian assistance to people in need; strongly supports UN Special Envoy Staffan De Mistura’s proposal to ‘freeze’ the conflict in Aleppo; invites the Syrian Government and the opposition to be constructive and to take all measures that could marginalise IS; supports the Geneva II talks, the Moscow plan and any other initiatives that could facilitate talks between Syria and various other actors;

6.      Calls on the UN Security Council to consider the creation of a UN mission with the mandate of protecting humanitarian activities and creating safe zones, including humanitarian corridors, for the protection of the population endangered by IS, Jabhat al‑Nusra, the Hamza movement, Ahrar al‑Sham and other affiliated groups;

7.      Believes that one of the principal causes of the crisis is the policies of exclusion that have created an environment in which radical organisations such as IS have been able to gain ground; believes that the best strategy to contrast IS would be for the governments concerned to make a genuine effort to build pluralistic societies through inclusionary policies that allow for differences of views, ethnicities and beliefs, and in which every citizen is treated equally;

8.      Commends the role of Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and the Kurdistan Regional Government in accepting refugees; calls on the international community to increase the level of direct financial support provided to the host countries in order to improve the conditions of the refugees who are now particularly threatened by the cold winter;

9.      Is extremely worried that despite all the efforts of the international community, need continues to exceed response; stresses that more funds are urgently needed in order to scale up cross-border operations targeting rural parts of Dar’a, Quuneitra, Idleb and eastern Aleppo; commends the commitment by Member States, since the EU is the biggest donor of financial aid, but believes that in the face of an unprecedented situation, further efforts are needed; calls for the EU to use all its available mechanisms to confront the crisis: calls for the organisation of a new International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria and Iraq and urges the international community to donate generously to alleviate the humanitarian suffering of the people affected by the crisis; believes that the UN should help in coordinating the financial and humanitarian assistance coming from different sources in order to improve its efficacy;

10.    Is extremely worried that UN Security Council resolution 2149 (2014) continues to be ignored; urges, once again, all actors on the ground to respect it by enhancing access to humanitarian assistance, ceasing attacks against civilians and lifting sieges on populated areas;

11.    Asks the Syrian Government to lift the administrative constraints placed on international NGOs; underlines the fact that such NGOs have experience and are well equipped, making them crucial partners in the efforts in Syria;

12.    Is worried by the fact that infrastructure for essential services continues to come under deliberate and indiscriminate attacks, thereby preventing the delivery of aid to areas in needs; calls on all parties to the conflict to refrain from attacking hospitals and medical personnel on the ground; recalls that such attacks are clearly against Geneva Conventions I and IV;

13.    Condemns the removal from government security forces of all surgical items, diarrhoea kits, midwifery kits and reproductive health kits from an interagency convoy destined for Al Wa’er, in breach of international humanitarian law; urges government forces and other actors to leave unhindered access to medical convoys in war zones, in accordance with international humanitarian law;

14.    Reaffirms that all parties to the conflict in Syria and in Iraq must ensure the safety and security of personnel from the UN and its humanitarian partners, without prejudice to their freedom of movement and access;

15.    Condemns the manipulation of WFP relief bags inside Syria; urges all parties to the conflict to respect humanitarian principles and allow humanitarian workers to deliver food to the most vulnerable people; calls for an investigation to be launched on how this material has arrived in the hands of IS;

16.    Strongly believes that one of the priorities of the international community should be to financially starve IS; asks international companies and all other actors that may be involved to refrain from buying smuggled oil or doing anything that could facilitate such smuggling; believes that an exhaustive international investigation, under the auspices of the UN, should be launched to identify buyers of illegal oil coming from Islamic-State‑controlled areas and wealthy donors who support IS and that steps should be taken to put sanctions on them;

17.    Believes that the Iraqi Government could take a number of steps in order to reduce the funding received by IS through its confiscation of civil servants’ salaries, inter alia by putting these salaries into an escrow account, to be paid out when employees permanently flee Islamic-State-controlled territories, obliging each individual to collect their income personally from the Iraqi Government or persuading Sunni tribes to demand that IS reduce its cut;

18.    Reiterates its condemnation of violence against, and murders of, LGBT people in the region, which have been taking place with total impunity; points out that the situation of LGBT people in the region is particularly vulnerable, given limited family and community support and government protection and that their safety remains at risk in refugee communities and in certain host societies; calls on the Iraqi Government, the EU delegation to Iraq and the embassies of Member States in the region to provide protection for LGBT people and to expedite the direct resettlement of those LGBT individuals fleeing because of safety concerns;

19.    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, the United Nations Security Council, the United Nations Human Rights Council and all the parties involved in the conflict.

Legal notice - Privacy policy