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Il-Ħamis, 21 ta' Mejju 2015 - Strasburgu Edizzjoni riveduta

5.2. Il-gażiba tar-rifuġjati Rohingya, inklużi l-oqbra tal-massa fit-Tajlandja
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  Przewodniczący. – Kolejnym punktem porządku dnia jest debata nad siedmioma projektami rezolucji w sprawie dramatycznej sytuacji uchodźców należących do mniejszości etnicznej Rohingya, w tym kwestii masowych grobów w Tajlandii (2015/2711(RSP)).


  Ignazio Corrao, autore. Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, il popolo rohingya per le Nazioni Unite è la minoranza più perseguitata al mondo, una vera zavorra di cui tutti gli Stati che si trovano attorno si vogliono in un certo qual senso disfare. Questo popolo vive tra le persecuzioni dei buddisti in Myanmar/Birmania e la fuga attraverso le barchette del mare – qualcosa che vediamo in maniera molto simile nel Mediterraneo – dal Golfo del Bengala verso gli Stati vicini, Stati che respingono o Stati come la Thailandia, che dispone trattamenti disumani, torture nella giungla del Sud al confine con la Malaysia.

Noi con questa risoluzione accogliamo con favore l'atteggiamento che, invece, è cambiato da parte della Malaysia e dell'Indonesia, che stanno accogliendo questi profughi, e intendiamo mandare un messaggio forte nei confronti dei paesi come la Thailandia e la Birmania, che si incontreranno in un summit tra otto giorni, perché cambino atteggiamento nei confronti di questo popolo e tutelino quei diritti minimi, perché è una situazione davvero tragica.


  Barbara Lochbihler, Verfasserin. Herr Präsident! Im Süden Thailands gibt es viele versteckte Lager, in denen Menschenhändler Flüchtlinge festhalten, foltern, sie in sklavenähnliche Arbeitsverhältnisse verkaufen oder sie zwingen, ihre Familien anzurufen und um Lösegeld zu bitten. Thailands Polizeichef beschreibt diese Lager, in deren Nähe nun ca. 30 Massengräber entdeckt wurden, als Gefangenenlager.

Seit die thailändische Regierung dem Menschenschmuggel den Kampf angesagt hat, werden die herkömmlichen Fluchtrouten stärker kontrolliert, und es ist schwierig, die Flüchtlinge an Land zu bringen. So verstärkt sich der Strom an Flüchtenden, von denen viele über das Meer nach Malaysia kommen wollen. Es sind Rohingyas aus Myanmar und Bangladesch; 2014 waren es mindestens 25 000 Menschen. Derzeit sollen ca. 8000 Menschen seit Wochen oder Monaten in schlechten Booten ohne Wasser und Essen auf hoher See treiben. Malaysia und Indonesien haben einigen Booten trotz extremer Erschöpfung der Menschen verweigert, an Land anzulegen. Es ist bewundernswert, dass indonesische Fischer auf eigene Initiative Bootsflüchtlinge gerettet haben.

Wir fordern die Regierungen von Malaysia, Indonesien und Thailand auf, bei der nun anstehenden Konferenz eine Politik zu beschließen, die die Flüchtenden aus Lebensgefahr rettet und ihnen Asyl gewährt. An die thailändische Regierung appellieren wir außerdem, den Menschenhandel weiter zu bekämpfen, damit die sklavenähnliche Ausbeutung ein Ende nimmt. Dabei muss aber der Opferschutz eine zentrale Rolle spielen.

Die Lage der Rohingyas in Myanmar ist verzweifelt. Wir fordern deshalb von der Regierung Myanmars, ihre Politik gegenüber den Rohingyas grundsätzlich zu überdenken und zu ändern. Sie müssen eine Staatsbürgerschaft bekommen, und die Regierung muss aktiv gegen Diskriminierung und Verfolgung vorgehen.


  Dita Charanzová, author. Mr President, the problem of migration in the Mediterranean cannot be treated in isolation. The crisis of the Rohingya refugees starkly reminds us of this. It is time we adopted a comprehensive approach to tackle the problem of migration globally.

Men, women and children fleeing sectarian violence in Burma and poverty in Bangladesh are dying in camps and abandoned at sea. I welcome efforts to immediately relieve the suffering of the Rohingya. Providing humanitarian aid and states offering temporary protection are critical to the hundreds of migrants at immediate risk.

The solution of providing temporary protection, however, will not solve the problem of migration in the long run – not in the Straits of Malacca nor in the Mediterranean. We must first put an end to the networks of smugglers that take cruel advantage of human suffering and desperation. To truly address the problem of migration for good we must engage with countries to take responsibility for the safety and well-being of their citizens. Burma must change its approach towards minorities and recognise the Rohingya as lawful citizens.


  Charles Tannock, author. Mr President, the last few weeks have seen much debate in Europe about our own migrant challenges in the Mediterranean, and the plight of those fleeing their countries from persecution and economic disaster in the Middle East and in North Africa.

The long-suffering and persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority in Burma is now creating the same pattern of push and pull factors in South-East Asia. But I am pleased to note that in the last few days we have seen both Indonesia and Malaysia agree to take up to 7 000 people on a temporary basis, and even today, in the last few hours, the President of Gambia has announced his intention to offer permanent refugee status to all of the Rohingya refugees.

In the longer term, however, the only way to solve the problem is to remove the factors that are forcing people to attempt such perilous journeys. The economic discrimination and persecution against the Rohingya in Burma is a well-documented and long-standing issue and more must be done to tackle it.

I am pleased that the opposition party in Burma of Aung San Suu Kyi has now issued a statement calling for an end to discrimination and to denial of citizenship. We in the European Union should do more to press for changes in our dealings with Burma-Myanmar as it looks to open up its markets and seeks EU aid and investment.


  Marie-Christine Vergiat, auteure. Monsieur le Président, les charniers ouverts ces dernières semaines en Thaïlande ont révélé au monde entier le triste sort des migrants dans ce pays, internés dans des conditions exécrables, mourant de faim, d'épuisement ou de maladie, quand les familles ne peuvent pas payer leur rançon.

La répression de ces trafics pousse ces malheureux par milliers à prendre la mer. À bord, hommes, femmes, enfants, essentiellement des Bangladais, et surtout des Rohingyas qui fuient la Birmanie et les persécutions. Ils sont rejetés de toutes parts. Le HCR parle de 25 000 personnes depuis janvier, un flux sans précédent dans cette région depuis la guerre du Viêt Nam. Près de 3 000 migrants ont atteint les côtes malaisiennes, indonésiennes et thaïlandaises ces derniers jours et près de 8 000 seraient en perdition en pleine mer, en quête de refuge.

Là-bas, comme ici, les autorités nationales fuient leurs responsabilités. Depuis 2013, l'Union européenne n'a consacré que 325 000 euros au camp de réfugiés des Rohingyas en Thaïlande, une somme dérisoire.

L'Union doit agir de tout son poids pour que les Rohingyas, ces damnés de la terre, cessent d'être persécutés en Birmanie, leur pays; pour qu'ils cessent d'être victimes de prédateurs et puissent être accueillis dans de bonnes conditions, là où ils cherchent refuge.


  Jeroen Lenaers, author. Mr President, we are shocked by the discovery of these mass graves in jungle camps in Thailand of Rohingya refugees who were murdered or simply left to die of disease and starvation. The resolution rightly calls on the Thai Government to conduct an immediate and credible investigation into these mass graves.

At the same time, there needs to be a regional solution to the humanitarian crisis at sea with thousands of refugees stranded in very dire conditions. I welcome the commitment by Indonesia and Malaysia to actually take care of these stranded migrants, but we also have to call on all the countries in the region to take their responsibility and at least to participate in the summit in Bangkok at the end of May.

We also have to address the root causes of this crisis, and this is the continued persecution and discrimination of Rohingya refugees in Myanmar. The government must change its policy and must make sure that it does all that is necessary to respect the fundamental rights of all people on its territory.


  Josef Weidenholzer, Verfasser. Herr Präsident! Das Kapitel der Rohingya ist eines der tragischsten Kapitel unserer Gegenwart. Die Vereinten Nationen bezeichnen sie als die meistverfolgte Bevölkerungsgruppe. Sie verdienen daher unsere ganze Aufmerksamkeit, und sie verdienen unsere vollen Anstrengungen. Wenn das nicht gelingt, wird es für die Region sehr schwierig werden. Es ist der Prüfstein für den Erfolg des Demokratisierungsprozesses in Myanmar. So wie für Europa die Mittelmeerflüchtlinge gleichsam das Spiegelbild für unsere Menschlichkeit sind, so sind die Bootsflüchtlinge der Prüfstein für die Region.

Eine humanitäre und menschenrechtskonforme Lösung des Rohingya-Problems ist vordringlich. Der wichtigste Beitrag kann wohl nur in der Region selber geleistet werden. Hier muss es zu einer Lösung kommen, hier muss es zu einer Anerkennung der Rohingya als Bevölkerungsgruppe kommen.

Wir als Europäische Union haben auch die Möglichkeit, im Rahmen unserer Programme einzuwirken. Wir sind für einige der Nachbarstaaten der größte Handelspartner, wie etwa für Bangladesch, und können daher auch unmittelbaren Einfluss nehmen.


  Csaba Sógor, on behalf of the PPE Group. Mr President, as is the case with the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean, we can state that the exodus by boat of Myanmar’s Muslim residents is not a new phenomenon. In 2009, for example, many Rohingya refugees were rescued after 21 days at sea. Similar root causes behind this mass movement of people can also be distinguished, namely poverty, violence and persecution. Here as well, the most vulnerable groups are victims of human trafficking, of which the recent discovery of mass graves in Thailand is a gruesome testimony. The last parallel is the potential loss of credibility, not only for the ASEAN countries involved who are benefiting from the GCP scheme, but also for the EU if it decides to ignore these violations of international human rights law.

The European External Action Service should put pressure on Myanmar to grant genuine citizenship to the Rohingya and should encourage all countries concerned to develop a solid cooperation scheme that aims at tackling the human trafficking networks.


  Marc Tarabella, au nom du groupe S&D. Monsieur le Président, si l'Europe fait actuellement face à une crise des migrants, comme cela a été rappelé, avec un afflux constant en provenance des rives de la Méditerranée, nous devons aussi nous tourner vers l'Asie du Sud-Est, qui connaît une situation comparable.

En effet, en tant que vice-président de la délégation interparlementaire avec les pays de l'ASEAN, il est de mon devoir de mettre le doigt sur ce calvaire que vivent les Rohingyas. Cette minorité, qui est d'ailleurs considérée comme la plus persécutée au monde et qui vit principalement en Birmanie, est apatride. En effet, la Birmanie refuse de lui accorder la nationalité et la citoyenneté.

Face à la misère et aux persécutions rencontrées en Birmanie, les Rohingyas fuient par milliers vers la Thaïlande et la Malaisie. Des passeurs sans scrupules n'hésitent pas à les abandonner en mer après leur avoir promis un avenir qui n'est finalement pas meilleur. Débarqués sur leur nouvelle terre d'asile, ils se retrouvent bien souvent dans des camps, où ils sont régulièrement battus, voire pire encore. La découverte des fosses communes en Thaïlande nous montre l'urgence de la situation. Il est largement temps que les pays d'Asie du Sud-Est s'unissent afin de stopper ces mouvements migratoires qui conduisent tant de gens vers la mort plutôt que vers un avenir meilleur. Les Rohingyas doivent être reconnus comme une ethnie à part entière et doivent pouvoir bénéficier des mêmes droits que le reste de la population birmane.

Il convient de saluer enfin la récente décision de la Malaisie et de l'Indonésie de mettre fin au refoulement des bateaux et d'accepter de fournir de l'aide aux 7 000 migrants permanents, toujours en mer. Pourvu que d'autres pays emboîtent le pas de ces deux pays et puissent suivre leur exemple de manière à instaurer une solidarité dans cette partie du monde.


  Amjad Bashir, on behalf of the ECR Group. Mr President, let me begin by thanking colleagues from all political groups for their help in giving the tragic plight of Rohingya refugees the attention it deserves.

As legislators, it is our duty to denounce governments that are responsible, both directly and indirectly, for the current situation. Recent news is a testament to Myanmar’s appalling civil rights record and unworthy of a nation that is seeking to be part of the international community.

Firm action should be taken until Myanmar finally passes legislation that will help minorities in that country come out of the Middle Ages and into the 21st century. While Europe faces issues of its own closer to home, there is a common understanding that we have a moral responsibility when it comes to saving human lives. Myanmar’s neighbours should not beat around the bush but should fulfil their obligations under international maritime law to rescue Rohingya refugees.


  Gérard Deprez, au nom du groupe ALDE. Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire, ceux qui ont vu les reportages sur les sévices dont sont victimes les Rohingyas, en Birmanie: des gens brûlés vifs, des décapitations, des viols, des exactions de toutes sortes; ceux qui savent que les autorités birmanes non seulement ne font rien pour les protéger mais les persécutent en les privant de citoyenneté; ceux qui ont vu cela et qui sont au courant savent aussi que le premier responsable du calvaire des Rohingyas, c'est la Birmanie.

Il faut rappeler la Birmanie à l'ordre. Il faut exiger du gouvernement birman qu'il se conforme à la déclaration des droits des personnes appartenant à des minorités nationales ou ethniques. Il faut exiger du gouvernement birman qu'il stoppe le blocage de l'accès des organisations humanitaires aux camps des réfugiés rohingyas sur le territoire birman.

Enfin, Monsieur le Commissaire, si vous vouliez m'écouter, j'aurais une question. M'autorisez-vous à vous poser une question, Monsieur le Commissaire?

En 2012, nous avons décidé de réintégrer la Birmanie dans le système des préférences généralisées, ce qui lui permet d'exporter ses produits sans droits de douane ni quotas sur le marché européen à l'exception des armes et des munitions. Si la Birmanie continue de violer de manière aussi systématique les droits humains, la Commission a-t-elle l'intention de remettre en cause cette réintégration?


  Jean Lambert, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. Mr President, I have visited some of the camps for the Rohingya people in Bangladesh, where people have been eking out an existence for at least a couple of decades. What we have seen going on in Burma/Myanmar, as many have said here, has basically been a form of ethnic cleansing, where we see the Rohingya who have been there for generations instrumentalised by the government and allowed to vote at times when it has been convenient in sham elections; now, when maybe it is not so convenient, the white cards that had allowed Rohingya people to vote have been removed.

Rohingya people there need the State’s permission to marry and to have children. They have had no protection from sectarian violence and, indeed, they have been victims of state violence and eviction. So it is not surprising that many of them have fled across the borders, where again they find themselves at risk of being instrumentalised. It is clear, as others have said, that the source of this problem lies in Burma/Myanmar. They have not even taken back the 200-300 people that they have recognised as their citizens from the camps in Bangladesh.

So I would add my voice and that of my Group to those who are saying we need to do more with the Burmese Government to actually make them live up to their responsibilities and to take back, take charge of and give citizenship to these people who they have persecuted for so long.


  Jiří Pospíšil (PPE). Pane předsedající, já naváži na slova svých předřečníků. Já si myslím, že se všichni shodneme na tom, že je třeba velmi tvrdě ze strany Evropského parlamentu odsoudit násilí, které se děje proti Rohingyům. Ale nemělo by to být pouze formální odsouzení, to je, podle mého názoru, málo.

Hlásím se k těm kolegům, kteří říkají, že by to v případě, že Barma a ostatní země nezmění svoji politiku, mělo mít vliv na naše vztahy, vztahy Evropské unie a zemí Evropské unie s těmito státy. Mělo by to mít i konkrétní ekonomický dopad, a to zvláště na Barmu, která zde byla zmiňována, která je původcem všeho zla. Je třeba to takto jasně říci, je nepochopitelné, že Rohingyové nemají občanství. Tady to bylo zmiňováno některými kolegy, je nepochopitelné, že lidé, kteří se narodili v Barmě a jejich předkové tam po staletí žijí, nemají občanství této země. Zkrátka s takovýmto státem těžko můžeme obchodovat a mít dobré vztahy.

Stejně tak okolní země, Thajsko, Indonésie, Malajsie, pokud nebudou respektovat principy uprchlického mezinárodního práva, nevyšetření zločiny převádění obyvatel, zločiny obchodování s lidmi, musí být sankcionovány ze strany Evropské unie. Není možné zůstat pouze u slov.


  Goffredo Maria Bettini (S&D). Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, la proposta di risoluzione solleva il dramma dei rohingya, respinti dalla Birmania e rifiutati dai paesi della regione, tranne un certo impegno della Thailandia, che va comunque molto migliorato.

Nessuno li vuole, vengono perseguitati e maltrattati. Sono apolidi, non persone ma fantasmi.

Certamente l'Europa fa bene a richiamare paesi lontani alle loro responsabilità. Ma l'Europa sarebbe più autorevole in questo richiamo se questo dramma dei barconi al largo dei mari con dentro esseri umani non si verificasse anche al centro del Mediterraneo.

Oggi l'Indonesia e la Malaysia hanno deciso di accogliere i disperati, ma gli Stati europei sulle quote dell'accoglienza dimostreranno la stessa disponibilità? Speriamo.


  Cristian Dan Preda (PPE). Monsieur le Président, la découverte des fosses communes en Thaïlande ainsi que la situation effroyable des réfugiés rohingyas à la dérive en Asie du Sud-Est sont un désastre humanitaire. Des milliers de migrants seraient encore pris au piège par des passeurs depuis des semaines.

On ne peut s'empêcher ici de faire le parallèle avec la crise des réfugiés à laquelle nous faisons face en Méditerranée. Que cela soit en Asie du Sud ou en Méditerranée, la seule solution possible est une solution régionale. Il faut donc encourager tous les pays de la région à prendre part à la conférence de Bangkok, la semaine prochaine, pour tenter de parvenir à un mécanisme de solidarité intégré. Il ne faut plus se renvoyer la balle et se désengager du problème comme le fait malheureusement la Birmanie.

L'accord conclu hier entre la Malaisie, l'Indonésie et la Thaïlande, qui prévoit une assistance humanitaire et l'accueil temporaire des migrants, est un développement positif mais la solution durable passe évidemment par l'octroi de droits civiques aux Rohingyas, persécutés en Birmanie.

J'ajouterai un mot parce que j'avais proposé de ne pas déplacer au matin le débat des urgences en donnant comme argument qu'il y a plus de monde l'après-midi. Nous en avons la preuve aujourd'hui: nous sommes moins nombreux que l'après-midi. Il faut revenir au débat des urgences l'après-midi.


  Przewodniczący. – Dziękuję bardzo Panie Pośle! Przekażę Pańskie uwagi Prezydium Parlamentu Europejskiego.

Pytania z sali


  Marijana Petir (PPE). Gospodine predsjedniče, u posljednje tri godine više od 140 tisuća Rohingya čamcima je napustilo Mijanmar i Bangladeš, a u prva tri mjeseca ove godine njih više od 25 tisuća. Prošlog vikenda 2 tisuće izbjeglica iskrcalo se na obale Indonezije i Malezije, a njih oko 8 tisuća je zatočeno usred mora.

Pozdravljam promjenu odluka vlada Indonezije i Malezije koje su počele prihvaćati izbjeglice i dale im privremenu zaštitu. Pozivam na hitno rješavanje uzroka ovih problema što podrazumijeva da Mijanmar mora promijeniti svoju politiku koja je dovela do kršenja ljudskih prava i sektaškog nasilja, a Tajland treba zaustaviti krijumčarenje ljudima, provesti istragu i spriječiti nastajanje novih masovnih grobnica.


  Doru-Claudian Frunzulică (S&D). Mr President, we all know that Rohingya are one of the most persecuted populations in the world. They continue to be smuggled through Thailand and from other countries in the region by human traffickers and held captive in inhuman conditions in jungle camps in the south of Thailand, where they are tortured, starved and beaten to death. We must cooperate with these countries to put an end to these atrocities and to this extremely serious violation of human rights.

I strongly encourage Myanmar to grant full citizenship to its Rohingya minority and grant them equal access to services. Moreover, I find it unacceptable that refugees are pushed back into the sea. This is a violation of international law and human rights law and we should take it into consideration in the next talks with Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.


  Νότης Μαριάς ( ECR). Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η ανακάλυψη μαζικών τάφων με πρόσφυγες Ροχίνγκια στη νότια Ταϊλάνδη έχει συγκλονίσει τη διεθνή κοινή γνώμη. Η περιοχή αυτή είναι το σταυροδρόμι του εμπορίου ανθρώπων και των δουλεμπόρων που οδηγούν τους πρόσφυγες σε φυλακές-στρατόπεδα όπου επικρατούν απάνθρωπες συνθήκες.

Οι Ροχίνγκια είναι μια εθνοτική μειονότητα μουσουλμανικού θρησκεύματος, η οποία καταπιέζεται από το βουδιστικό κράτος της Μιανμάρ, όπου η κυβέρνηση, υπό τον έλεγχο του στρατού, καταπατά τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα. Για άλλη μια φορά, χάνονται ζωές για θρησκευτικούς λόγους. Εδώ, τα θύματα είναι μουσουλμάνοι. Σε άλλες περιοχές οι Τζιχαντιστές είναι οι θύτες.

Όμως, όπως έχουμε επισημάνει ξανά, τα αίτια της φτώχειας και της ανέχειας δεν είναι θρησκευτικά ή εθνοτικά. Οφείλονται στην οικονομική εκμετάλλευση των λαών από τις μεγάλες διεθνείς πολυεθνικές επιχειρήσεις.

Άμεση, λοιπόν, διακοπή διαπραγματεύσεων της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης με την Ταϊλάνδη προκειμένου να ληφθούν μέτρα για να σταματήσει το ανθρώπινο εμπόριο, να ληφθούν μέτρα στην περιοχή, γιατί και στην Ασία μπορεί να έχουμε μια νέα Λαμπεντούζα.


  Ivan Jakovčić (ALDE). Gospodine predsjedniče, gospodine povjereniče, Europa mora nastaviti sa svojom jasnom politikom u Aziji, upravo u ovom slučaju kada govorimo o patnji stotine tisuća ljudi, kad govorimo o masovnim grobnicama, kad govorimo o najvećim mogućim zločinima i kad govorimo u stvari o tome da se naprosto jedan čitav narod želi zatrti.

Uvjeren sam da Europa ima svoje mehanizme i dobre namjere koje sada iskazuju Indonezija i Malezija u odnosu na one namjere koje zaista nisu prihvatljive i koje trebamo odbaciti kao što to čine nažalost Burma i Mijanmar i Tajland. Mislim da smo u situaciji da tim zemljama kažemo: imate susjede, imate prijatelje, imate nas kao prijatelje, izvolite učiniti ono što očekujemo od vas jer je to minimalno poštovanje ljudskog dostojanstva.


  Fabio Massimo Castaldo (EFDD). Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, a me sembra veramente incredibile questa vicenda. Qualcuno ha ben definito il popolo rohingya come il popolo meno voluto al mondo e una delle minoranze più perseguitate. Hanno sicuramente ragione: grazie a una legge del 1982, in Birmania non possono prendere la cittadinanza, non possono viaggiare senza permesso ufficiale né possedere terreni e devono firmare addirittura un impegno a non avere più di due figli. Questo mi sembra una palese violazione, totale e massiccia, dei diritti umani fondamentali che dovrebbero essere riconosciuti a ogni popolazione. Peraltro si trovano poi costretti a fuggire appunto nei paesi limitrofi e quindi quello che accade è lo sfruttamento di lavoratori minori e la tratta di vite umane in Thailandia in modo vergognoso, in campi che spesso non sono lontani dalle immagini che abbiamo visto sui libri di storia per quanto riguarda i campi di concentramento nazisti.

Io penso che da parte nostra il messaggio da mandare alla Birmania, alla Thailandia debba essere chiarissimo: le uniche cose che non devono avere cittadinanza in questi Stati sono l'odio razziale, la discriminazione, lo sfruttamento e ogni forma, appunto, di mancato rispetto dei diritti dell'uomo.

Se non siamo coerenti con noi stessi, se non siamo forti su questo punto e continuiamo a privilegiare le relazioni commerciali, è difficile che questa catastrofe trovi una soluzione. Cerchiamo di essere coerenti nelle nostre relazioni.


(Koniec pytań z sali)


  Christos Stylianides, Member of the Commission. Mr President, there is no doubt that the plight of the Rohingya refugees is very painful for all of us.

The European Union watches with great concern the unfolding humanitarian crisis involving thousands of Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants and human trafficking victims adrift on the Andaman Sea. The situation definitely calls for urgent action by all countries involved, in line with their international obligations and international human rights standards. The priority has to be on saving lives and not putting more lives at risk.

I therefore welcome the outcome of the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand on 20 May, which clearly recognised the serious humanitarian dimension of the crisis, including their commitment to provide at least temporary shelter to persons still at sea. We also understand that a further regional conference will take place in Thailand on 29 May. Dealing with this crisis requires a regional response to tackle transnational organised crime, human smuggling and trafficking networks. It must include addressing the root causes of the problem. The EU encourages ASEAN to play an active role in addressing the issue.

One of the root causes is, of course, the status and welfare of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar and the under—development of Rakhine State, where most of the Rohingya originate. The situation needs to be urgently addressed by the government of Myanmar. Only an improvement in the overall human rights situation, including the status of the Rohingya, can put an end to the exodus of this minority, which has been going on for a number of years and has recently increased dramatically.

The European Union has been at the forefront of calling for a durable solution for the Rohingya. Over the years, the situation in Rakhine State has dominated our political dialogue with Myanmar, including at high-level meetings and in the EU-Myanmar human rights dialogue. We continue to table resolutions on the human rights situation in Myanmar in the EU and in the General Assembly of the UN Human Rights Council, with a strong focus on the situation in Rakhine State.

The EU is also a key provider of humanitarian assistance and development cooperation, benefiting Rakhine State in Myanmar as well as areas hosting the Rohingya in Bangladesh. We encourage the countries in the region to jointly address the scourge of human trafficking. It was deeply troubling to learn about the discovery of mass graves in the southern part of Thailand and victims of human trafficking kept caged in camps for ransom. Human beings should not be reduced to commodities.

The European Union has consistently called upon Thailand to combat human trafficking, including forced labour on fishing vessels, and the European Union stands ready to work together with the countries concerned in addressing this issue.

Thank you for this debate and the very strong resolution. All your comments have been noted. I will soon discuss this matter with Vice-President and High Representative Federica Mogherini to make our action more effective on this matter because it is necessary to be more active in this very painful situation regarding the Rohingya refugees.


  Przewodniczący. – Zamykam debatę.

Głosowanie odbędzie się po ostatniej debacie.

(Nastąpiła przerwa w debacie)

Oświadczenia pisemne (art. 162)


  Eduard Kukan (PPE), in writing. It is extremely worrying that we hear of the plight of a nation only once their faith becomes tragic. The Rohingya are being stripped of their basic human rights, trafficked, tortured and mass-murdered. Let there be no mistake: the roots of desperate migration, just like that of Rohingya refugees, or Libyan refugees, or Syrian refugees, lie in the oppressive regimes that these people flee.

However, there is a huge degree of responsibility that lies within the international community. And that applies to the western international community, as to the Asian international community. What we are witnessing now in the south-east Asian seas, ʽthe human ping-pongʼ, must find a political solution. A solution that will end the long-lasting gambling with human lives and recognise the rights of the Rohingya people not only in Burma/Myanmar, but in the region as well. The upcoming elections in Burma/Myanmar in autumn 2015 will be a test not only for the governing party and the opposition, but also for the minority groups, such as the Rohingya. We should make sure that they are able to participate in the elections.

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