During this week’s Plenary Session in Strasbourg, the European Parliament voted on the general budget of the European Union for 2011.
Several amendments regarding specific criterion for the EU’s funding of development programs were decided. Parliament confirmed by a majority vote the EU’s refusal to fund development programs, NGOs or governments that participate in forced abortions, sterilizations or infanticide. All amendments that sought to affirm the non-funding of such programs were adopted.
The key amendment, which was adopted by a majority of 372 to 279 votes with 21 abstentions, confirms that no other partner of an EU development program is allowed to support or participate in human rights abuses, such as coercive abortion:
The European Parliament stresses that Community assistance should not be given to any authority, organization or programme which supports or participates in the management of an action which involves such human rights abuses as coercive abortion, involuntary sterilization or infanticide, especially where such actions apply their priorities through psychological, social, economic or legal pressure, thus finally implementing the specific Cairo ICPD prohibition on coercion or compulsion in sexual and reproductive health matters; calls on the Commission to present a report on the implementation of the EU’s external assistance covering this programme.
One amendment- proposed by the socialist group that asked to remove an important reference to “coercive abortion, female genital mutilation and forced sterilisation or any cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” – was rejected.
The European Union is the largest donor of development assistance to countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Parliament used an opportunity in today’s vote to condemn human rights abuses which are sadly often associated with family planning programmes in the form of forced abortions, sterilization’s and even infanticide.
Sophia Kuby, 22 de octubre de 2010
European Dignity Watch
Place des Acacias 10 1040 Brussels Belgium