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RC-B9-0242/2019

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PV 19/12/2019 - 2.2
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Il-Ħamis, 19 ta' Diċembru 2019 - Strasburgu Verżjoni proviżorja

2.2. L-Afganistan, b'mod partikolari l-allegazzjonijiet ta' abbuż sesswali ta' subien fil-Provinċja ta' Logar
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  Πρόεδρος. – Το επόμενο σημείο στην ημερήσια διάταξη είναι η συζήτηση επί έξι προτάσεων ψηφίσματος σχετικά με το Αφγανιστάν και συγκεκριμένα τις καταγγελίες για σεξουαλική κακοποίηση αγοριών στην επαρχία Logar (2019/2981(RSP)).

 
  
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  Ryszard Czarnecki, autor. – Panie Przewodniczący! Panie Komisarzu! Cieszę się, że ponad podziałami politycznymi zabieramy głos w tej ważnej sprawie, sprawie bolesnej, bo zawsze wykorzystywanie seksualne młodzieży to coś, co jest rzeczą okropną. I w moim przekonaniu głos Parlamentu Europejskiego w kontekście bardzo licznych przypadków w Afganistanie w prowincji Logar musi wybrzmieć bardzo mocno.

Chciałbym, żebyśmy wywierali presję na władze tego kraju, który otrzymuje od nas olbrzymią pomoc humanitarną i ekonomiczną, aby zrobił wszystko, aby tego typu sytuacje nie miały miejsca w przyszłości, aby ograniczyć możliwości wykorzystywania seksualnego młodych ludzi, to bowiem oznacza dla nich piętno na całe życie.

W tej sprawie powinniśmy działać solidarnie. Cieszę się, że jest to wspólne stanowisko przedstawicieli różnych grup politycznych, i cieszę się, że pan komisarz Borrell też będzie mógł w tej sprawie zająć stanowisko jako komisarz o największym doświadczeniu w Komisji Europejskiej i były przewodniczący Parlamentu Europejskiego.

 
  
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  Erik Marquardt, Verfasser. – Herr Präsident! Ich habe immer so ein bisschen das Problem, dass wir, wenn wir im Europäischen Parlament über Afghanistan sprechen, dann eigentlich nur über die Schattenseiten sprechen.

Ich weiß, dass Afghanistan Schattenseiten hat. Aber es ist eben auch so, dass man vielleicht ab und zu über die glücklichen Seiten sprechen sollte: über glückliche Familien, über das tolle Essen, über schöne Sonnenuntergänge in Kabul. Ich weiß, dass das heute nicht das Thema ist. Aber ich finde es so ein bisschen traurig, dass dieses Land – das eben zwei Seiten hat – oft nicht mit beiden Seiten dargestellt wird.

Ich war 2016 und 2017 als Fotojournalist in Afghanistan, und natürlich blieb mir die Schattenseite dort nicht verborgen. Aber ich habe dort auch viele tolle Menschen kennengelernt: viele Menschen, die sich auch für Menschenrechte und Demokratie eingesetzt haben. Man muss sagen, dass es Menschen wie Mohammad Musa Mahmudi und auch Ehsanullah Hamidi sind, die sich unermüdlich dort für Menschenrechte einsetzen, denen unser Dank gebührt. Umso schlimmer ist es, dass diese Menschenrechtsverteidiger vielleicht teilweise schlechter geschützt werden als die Verbrecher, die dort Verbrechen gegen Kinder verüben.

Die beiden Menschenrechtsverteidiger wollten Kinder vor sexuellem Missbrauch schützen, und auf dem Weg zu einem Treffen mit dem EU-Botschafter sind sie verhaftet worden. Es ist wichtig, dass wir deswegen dieses Thema hier auf die Tagesordnung rufen, dass wir in der Entschließung zwar anerkennen, dass die Behörden dort jetzt Schritte einleiten wollen, um Menschenrechtsverteidigerinnen und -verteidiger besser zu schützen, auch um diese Vorwürfe unabhängig zu untersuchen. Aber es ist eben wichtig, dass wir dort dranbleiben, dass wir dort genau hingucken, dass diese Verbrechen nicht ungestraft bleiben, dass die Sicherheit von Menschenrechtsverteidigern geschützt wird und dass wir auch sagen: Wer von uns Finanzhilfen bekommen will, der muss sich für Menschenrechtsverteidiger einsetzen, und der darf nicht unbestraft lassen, wenn Kinder missbraucht werden.

Wir sprechen verschiedene Punkte in der Entschließung an, und ich bin sehr dankbar, dass es möglich war, auch so eine breit geeinte Entschließung hier im Parlament zu finden, um ein starkes Signal zu setzen. Vielen Dank auch die an die Kollegen dafür.

 
  
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  Kati Piri, author. – Mr President, this is the brutal picture that shocked us all. Local Afghani elites buy or kidnap boys from poor families. They dress them up as women, make them dance and then abuse them sexually. This is ‘bacha bazi’, but we should not mince words: this is sex slavery and it is absolutely reprehensible.

Last month’s report showed just how bad the situation is. In Logar, at least 136 boys, and probably thousands more, were systematically abused, by their teachers and local authorities – by the people to whom they look up the most – and it did not end there. Several boys were killed, of which five by their families because of the shame they supposedly brought to their communities.

The Afghan authorities must therefore immediately suspend all alleged perpetrators of ‘bacha bazi’. They need to conduct an independent investigation into all allegations and hold perpetrators to account. This abhorrent practice must be rooted out once and for all.

 
  
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  Marisa Matias, Autora. – Senhor Presidente, nós subscrevemos e apoiamos totalmente esta resolução. Os casos de abuso sexual de menores são uma das realidades mais atrozes e, no caso do Afeganistão, uma guerra que devia ter sido evitada e não foi trouxe consequências avassaladoras não só para o país, mas também para a região.

O caso dos 136 jovens é, infelizmente, apenas um dos exemplos, já que entre 2015 e 2018 mais de 14 mil crianças foram abusadas no Afeganistão.

Esta fotografia é, no entanto, mais ampla e, por isso, queríamos apelar aos colegas para apoiarem as alterações que apresentámos à resolução. Como disse, apoiamos totalmente esta resolução, mas, no quadro de uma fotografia mais ampla, não podemos ignorar que o relatório do inspetor-geral especial dos Estados Unidos afirmou e demonstrou que as tropas estrangeiras, sobre a alçada dos Estados Unidos, tinham explicitamente sido aconselhadas a não intervir nestes casos de violações e de abusos contra menores.

Sabemos também hoje que as tropas americanas estavam a par dos abusos das forças de segurança afegãs. Sabemos também hoje, por via da Human Rights Whatch, que houve violações cometidas por grupos paramilitares apoiados pelos Estados Unidos.

Agora que toda a gente sabe e que sabemos isso, nós gostávamos de incluir nesta resolução a necessidade de uma investigação independente para que não permaneça a impunidade. Gostaríamos também de incluir nesta resolução um apelo aos Estados—Membros para que parem de deportar menores afegãos que, quando regressam ao país, o que enfrentam é riscos de tortura e de violação dos direitos humanos, como aliás esta resolução demonstra.

 
  
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  Petras Auštrevičius, author. – Mr President, crimes against children are the worst possible form of crime. It destroys and takes away childhood from Afghan kids. Moreover, it affects their life and their future. And their future is the future of Afghanistan, which we work hard to create.

Over the past days, we observed President Ghani’s commitment to investigate dreadful events in the schools of Logar province. We express our appreciation to this reaction and look forward to the concrete results.

All perpetrators must be brought to justice and schools return to being a safe place for kids. One of the main tasks of our common efforts in reconstructing Afghanistan is about a secure future for the country’s young generation.

We will continue our support for eradicating the practice of bacha bazi and promoting and protecting the rights of children in Afghanistan.

 
  
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  Željana Zovko, author. – Mr President, a couple of weeks ago we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and with this debate we can conclude that there is still a lot of work to be done to protect children around the world.

I would like to express my grave concerns regarding the allegation of sexual abuse in several schools in Logar Province. The protection of the lives and welfare of children should be central to every society, especially during times of armed conflict. In addition, I also strongly regret the arbitrary detention of the human rights defenders who reported the alleged exploitation and violation.

The Afghan authorities should ensure in all circumstances that human rights defenders are able to carry out their human rights work. Following up on these cases, I call upon the Attorney General’s Office to launch an independent and impartial investigation into the allegation of abuse, as well as the arbitrary detention of the human rights defenders.

The EU delegation and EU Member States with diplomatic missions in Kabul should continue following developments in these cases and fully implement the EU guidelines for the promotion and protection of the rights of children in armed conflicts. Furthermore, it is paramount for the European Union to increase the scrutiny and monitoring of EU financial assistance to Afghanistan. This way, we can ensure that the budget provided will support the conducive environment for the protection of children and human rights defenders.

 
  
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  Isabel Santos, em nome do Grupo S&D. – Senhor Presidente, a situação aqui discutida do aviltante costume bacha bazi na província de Logar, no Afeganistão, só merece o mais vivo repúdio. Sob a capa de uma pretensa tradição fechou-se os olhos durante demasiado tempo a uma gritante violação dos direitos das crianças e das mais básicas regras dos direitos humanos.

Os passos, finalmente dados, pelo governo afegão para a erradicação deste costume mostram-se insuficientes e continuam a chegar relatos de crianças abusadas e de defensores dos direitos humanos atacados e arbitrariamente detidos.

É tempo de exigir que sejam libertados e protegidos todos quantos lutam pelos direitos das crianças e que se garanta a total erradicação desta prática de abusos. Que seja colocado um fim à impunidade e se garanta o acesso das crianças à justiça e à sua não extradição quando se refugiam noutros países.

Sabemos que as mentalidades demoram a mudar e, por isso, exige-se a mobilização da sociedade afegã, dos ativistas, das autoridades, dos líderes religiosos. Todos são necessários no combate a este flagelo e exige-se uma mudança legislativa, mas também uma intervenção por via da educação de modo a proteger as gerações futuras.

 
  
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  Christine Anderson, im Namen der ID-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! Der Missbrauch von Kindern in Afghanistan ist entsetzlich, der sexuelle Missbrauch eines jeden Kindes ist entsetzlich. Leider ist diese Form des Missbrauchs nicht ungewöhnlich in islamischen Ländern und letztlich nichts anderes als Ausdruck der dort vorherrschenden Kultur.

Das Problem hier allerdings ist, dass das Europäische Parlament es sich wieder einmal anmaßt, mit erhobenem Zeigefinger die Missstände anderer Länder anzuprangern. Wir hören wieder Sonntagsreden und leere Sprechblasen von Betroffenheitsbekundungen. Da kann man sich dann auch wieder richtig gut fühlen und seine moralische Überlegenheit beweisen. Aber an der Lebensrealität dieser Kinder ändern sie rein gar nichts.

Allein die Benennung des höchst problematischen Umgangs mit der Sexualität im Islam ist ja hierzulande bereits ein Hinweis auf Rassismus. Wenn aber die kausale Ursache eines Problems nicht einmal mehr benannt werden darf, dann tun Sie hier bitte nicht so, als sei Ihnen am Schicksal dieser Kinder gelegen. Ihre öffentlich zelebrierte moralische Überlegenheit, die Sie wie einen Popanz vor sich hertragen, ist nichts anderes als der Heiligenschein der Scheinheiligen.

 
  
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  Clare Daly, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group. – Mr President, I very much welcome the resolution from the point of view of reopening the debate on the appalling practices of bacha bazi, the systemic child abuse and slavery which has long been well known in parts of Afghanistan. And isn’t the saddest thing about this discussion the fact that it isn’t a revelation, it isn’t new? We’ve all known about this for a very long time. In fact, we know that even attempts to have the situation exposed and dealt with have been interfered with. American soldiers even, who tried to stop the process, were themselves disciplined for that, while such behaviour was engaged upon in military compounds where the US was present.

So for me, this exposes the nonsense that we’re constantly exposed to: that the US intervention in Afghanistan was all about bringing human rights, women’s rights, education, when the knowledge of this practice took place under their eyes and they did nothing. This makes them complicit in that practice. And of course the cases should be investigated. Of course the victims must be supported and protected. But, you know, I do think we need to draw the conclusions from that. It’s a sad irony, I find, that we are condemning – appropriately so – the physical rape and enslavement of children when the country itself has been raped and pillaged by foreign intervention and its population enslaved.

Afghanistan was recently ranked as the most violent country in the world, yet we send hundreds of young people back there every year. Parliament deems it too unsafe for us to visit, but we’re quite happy to send children back there every year. Shame on us. But more than that, we should be supporting their right to live in dignity and respect in their own country, free from interference. So I support the initiatives to bring peace to that country. But we should start by supporting the human rights defenders and civil rights defenders who are active in that state, and not the official echelons of power.

 
  
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  Robert Biedroń (S&D). – Mr President, imagine a young boy, about 13 years old. He goes to school to get an education that every child deserves. Imagine that the teacher, whom the boy trusts, lures the boy into a dark room and rapes him. The boy is very brave and speaks out about his story, but when he goes to a police station, he is raped again. The boy’s family is so ashamed that they threw him out of their house. But at least, they did not kill him.

This is not an isolated incident. It is a reality for hundreds of confirmed cases in the Afghani province of Logar, where teachers and local authority officials have been implicated in the sexual abuse ring. And now, imagine that we would not do anything about it.

 
  
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  Evin Incir (S&D). – Herr talman! Den här debatten och den här resolutionen handlar om det absolut värsta man kan tänka sig – det är bottenlöst. Just därför tycker jag att det är viktigt att vi har den här debatten och resolutionen och att vi lyfter detta till den högsta möjliga nivån.

Sexuella övergrepp, våldtäkt, sexuell exploatering, slavhandel och mord av barn, av unga. Det är sjukt. De utbredda och pågående övergreppen av pojkar i Logarprovinsen i Afghanistan är en skam, och jag vill uttrycka mitt fulla stöd och min solidaritet med offren. Vi måste göra upp med den tystnadsplikt och det stigma som råder kring detta fenomen, och den avskyvärda så kallade leken med pojkar måste få ett slut.

De ansvariga måste ställas till svars i alla led, rättssystemet måste fungera, de utsatta offren, alltså barnen, måste få det stöd och den hjälp som de är i behov av och har rätt till. Barn måste få vara barn och växa upp i trygghet och frihet. Ingen människa är en annan persons ägodel. Övergreppen måste få ett slut.

 
  
 

Διαδικασία «Catch-the-Eye»

 
  
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  Jiří Pospíšil (PPE). – Pane předsedající, ta situace v Logaru je opravdu šílená. My bohužel můžeme tragédii mladých lidí v Logaru popsat, vyjádřit solidaritu, ale bohužel nebudeme schopni toto vyřešit. Je ale na nás a je to i dotaz na pana vysokého představitele, jaké tlaky, i ekonomické, můžeme vyvinout na afghánskou vládu, aby se alespoň pokusila seriózně tento problém řešit. Zatím jsou tu určité přísliby od ústavních činitelů Afghánistánu, ale to je málo. My se s tím nemůžeme takto smířit, je třeba, aby naše zahraniční politika vůči Afghánistánu toto téma jasně obsahovala, abychom chtěli po Afghánistánu, aby trestní právo, které už upravuje v Afghánistánu otázku násilí na dětech, bylo reálně vymáháno a vedle této trestněprávní linie, aby Afghánistán rozjel státní osvětovou kampaň, která na tento šílený fenomén bude upozorňovat a bude před ním varovat.

To jsou možnosti, jak aspoň nepřímo můžeme pomoci, aby obětí tohoto šíleného násilí do budoucna ubývalo. Ale bez našeho tlaku a tlaku celosvětové veřejnosti, obávám se, se situace v Afghánistánu nezlepší.

 
  
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  Maria Grapini (S&D). – Domnule președinte, stimați colegi, recentul raport al Secretariatului ONU arată că peste 12 000 de copii au fost uciși sau mutilați, că violul și că agresiunea asupra copiilor în Afganistan există și, din păcate, măsurile care au fost luate, chiar prin schimbarea Codului Penal, printr-o nouă lege din 2019 privind protecția drepturilor copilului, nu am reușit, nu s-a reușit a se proteja copiii.

Cred că este important să votăm această rezoluție, dar aș ruga colegii să voteze amendamentul 1 în care, în mod în special, acuzăm trupele străine din Afganistan, sub controlul, sub conducerea SUA, care nu au intervenit în cazurile de abuzuri asupra copiilor și vreau să atrag atenția că abuzuri asupra copiilor avem și în statele membre. Avem minori agresați; recent, în țara mea, un cetățean olandez a agresat două fetițe. Sigur, s-a sinucis după ce a fost descoperit, dar trebuie să fim atenți cu copiii noștri, viitorul, generațiile care vor fi în lume și în Europa.

 
  
  

ELNÖKÖL: KLÁRA DOBREV
alelnök

 
  
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  Elnök asszony. – Sok szeretettel üdvözlöm Önöket és Önökön keresztül 500 millió európai polgárt, akiket képviselnek.

 
  
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  Mick Wallace (GUE/NGL). – Madam President, the notion of children being sexually abused has to be one of the most horrific things that we can imagine. We come from Ireland, where the sexual abuse of a lot of young people by some members of the Catholic Church has left an incredible trail of destruction. The fact is that, back in Ireland, it was known. People knew it was happening, but people were pressured into silence.

It’s not credible in Afghanistan that the powers that be, the government of the day, didn’t know. The EU does want to help to restructure Afghanistan after the destruction by the Americans and others, and the Russians before them. But, if we are going to play a positive role, we have got to be very straight with the authorities there and let them know that the likes of this cannot be acceptable because, if we too stay silent, things will be slower to change. You have a positive role to play in Afghanistan and you should use your influence and potential to actually drive this home and shout loud that this is too much and too bad.

 
  
 

„A catch the eye” eljárás vége.

 
  
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  Josep Borrell Fontelles, Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Madam President, for sure, there are, in our developed and affluent societies, cases of child abuse, and we could also discuss about the war in Afghanistan, and why we Western people have been there for almost 20 years. What were the causes? The consequences? We can talk about all that, we know. But today, what brings us here, in this specific case, is the part of the iceberg which is out of the water, because the data about child abuses in Afghanistan are, unhappily, much, much, much, much bigger than one could compare with our societies. The data we have shows very clearly that the Logar case is the part that you see from the iceberg.

Between 2015 and 2018, the United Nation’s Task Force verified 40 000 grave violations against children throughout the country. 40 000! Many of them were of serious concern. This represents 80% of the civilian casualties. 80% of the civilian casualties are children, and not withstanding monitoring and verification constraints, the recruitment and use of 274 children and the perpetration of sexual violence against many others, the abduction of 2013, 800 attacks on schools and hospitals – well, I will not continue. It’s clear that it’s not exactly the same problem as here.

In Afghanistan, in 2017 they wanted to revise the penal code, which entered into force in 2018, explicitly criminalising the so-called bacha bazi. But it’s very difficult to change the habits, the influence of powerful people. Impunity is very widespread, and victims face stigma and exclusion from society. We have to do new fighting, because this Child Protection Act had to be approved by a presidential decree, and later the lower house of the parliament refused it, arguing that they did not have a quorum to approve one article. And in December 2019, yesterday, there were still discussing it.

The Law on Protection of Child Rights was rejected four times by the parliament in the last four years. It shows how strong the resistance is to change laws, and mainly habits, in a society which, unhappily, presents such kind of behaviour that we have to fight and we have to help to fight. We have to help to fight, trying to improve the rights of children in Afghanistan. We are doing as much as we can and we will continue doing so, knowing that, at the end, to change a society is much more difficult – a longer-standing endeavour than just publishing a law in a paper.

We have organised recently a public debate entitled ‘Children of Afghanistan – They Deserve a Better future’ that drew wide interest from officials and the general public. In addition, our annual rights dialogue between the European Union and the Afghan Government systematically includes a chapter on the specific situation of children, where such matters as children in armed conflict, child marriage and violence against children are addressed.

For sure, there are also cases of abuses inside the armed forces, and the EU addresses this matter in a systematic manner, paying attention to the minors recruited by the army and security forces and the behaviour of soldiers and policemen towards the civilian population. We have a police advisory project which includes a gender segment, which is also meant to benefit the young people.

As you can see, this is a great problem. We are trying to help the Afghan authorities and society to fight against it, and I think it’s very important that the European Parliament echoes these events in order to fight against them.

 
  
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  Elnök asszony. – A vitát lezárom.

A szavazásra a viták végén kerül sor.

 
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