CHAPTER III

DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND HUMANITARIAN QUESTIONS

    1. Welcoming the OSCE's Helsinki +40 process as an opportunity to review the implementation of Human Dimension Commitments, including the regress in whole regions of the OSCE with regard to human rights and fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of assembly, freedom of the media, freedom of expression, democratic commitments, the rule of law, equality and non-discrimination,
    2. Recalling that the 1975 Helsinki Final Act addressed issues such as the peaceful settlement of disputes, refraining from the threat or use of force, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief, for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion, as well as other key human security commitments,
    3. Stressing the crucial significance of upholding the universality, indivisibility and interdependence of human rights in efforts to achieve a security community,
    4. Deeply concerned that the OSCE's field operations are continuously reduced in their capacity to monitor and report on human rights issues, in particular in participating States which demonstrate non-compliance with their Human Dimension Commitments,
    5. Welcoming the Swiss Chairmanship's pledge in connection with Helsinki +40 to continue reinforcing co-operation with civil society,
    6. Recalling the 2013 OSCE PA Istanbul Declaration's call for the OSCE and the OSCE PA to create a civil society board, comprised of representatives of leading NGOs working on OSCE issues,
    7. Recalling the reaffirmation, contained in the Istanbul Declaration that the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary should be respected,
    8. Recalling the concern expressed in the 2007 OSCE PA Kyiv Declaration regarding the introduction of new legislation in a number of participating States placing further restrictions and constraints on the activities of human rights defenders, in particular by making them subject to unnecessary bureaucratic burdens,
    9. Concerned that people have disappeared in Turkmenistan's prisons and that their families have not even been able to find out if they are alive or dead, in some cases for more than a decade,
    10. Expressing concern at the rise of nationalistic and xenophobic trends across the political spectrum in the OSCE area, at the impact of socio-economic hardship and at serious shortfalls pertaining to governance, which all exacerbate public indignation and increase citizens' mistrust of and estrangement from national and supranational decision-making centres,
    11. Deploring discrimination and hate crimes against migrant workers both East and West of Vienna,
    12. Deeply concerned that, 10 years after the Berlin Declaration, which set out concrete measures to combat anti-Semitism, attacks targeting Jews and their property as well as Jewish religious, educational and communal institutions continue,
    13. Expressing deep concern that restrictive migration policies in an increasing number of countries in the OSCE area often circumvent and/or violate international human rights standards, show insufficient solidarity and burden sharing and hinder global efforts to elaborate a comprehensive and effective migration management strategy,

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly:

    1. Endorses the adoption by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe of a resolution confirming the definition of political prisoners;
    2. Calls on OSCE participating States to ensure, through the effective implementation of and, if necessary, reform of national legislation, dignity and security for all asylum seekers and migrant workers;
    3. Reiterates its call for the safe and dignified return of all internally displaced persons to their places of living, ensuring access to international humanitarian aid when needed, with the goal of gradual rapprochement of the societies of Georgia and Abkhazia, Georgia, and South Ossetia, Georgia;
    4. Strongly condemns any act of hate crime against any migrant, and calls on participating States to ensure that such crimes are fully investigated and victims protected, regardless of their legal status in the host country, be it East or West of Vienna;
    5. Calls on the participating States to participate robustly in the commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the Berlin Declaration with a focus on improving implementation of OSCE commitments to combat anti-Semitism, including the collection and reporting of data on hate crimes and the promotion of education about the tragedy of the Holocaust;
    6. Reaffirms the Berlin Declaration in its unequivocal condemnation of all manifestations of anti-Semitism and its unambiguous statement that international developments or political issues, including those in Israel or elsewhere in the Middle East, never justify anti-Semitism;
    7. Commends the pioneering anti-trafficking work of the OSCE to date, and stresses the need for stronger cross-dimensional, inclusive and outreaching victims-based action in order to effectively address traffickers' complex modus operandi and the increasing varieties of this threat, including child sexual and/or labour trafficking and organ trafficking, by strengthening national anti trafficking legislation and further promoting awareness, networking and co operation at all levels and with civil society;
    8. Encourages all participating States to follow Ukraine's example in multi-lateral co operation in hosting the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission as an important tool to monitor and report on human rights in a participating State;
    9. Reiterates its call on all the OSCE participating States to comply fully with their commitments regarding human rights, fundamental freedoms, democracy and the rule of law;
    10. Calls upon the authorities of Ukraine to carry out a fact-based, comprehensive and open investigation, with the participation of human rights organizations, of all fatalities during the recent events in Ukraine, in particular the tragedy that took place in Odessa on 2 May 2014;
    11. Stresses the need to step up efforts, at the level of participating States and the OSCE, to effectively address persisting violence and discrimination against women across the OSCE area and further promote women's participation in political and public life and decision-making, in accordance with the relevant recommendations made at the 2013 OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, including the early adoption of an OSCE Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security and of an addendum to the 2004 Gender Action Plan for the Promotion of Gender Equality;
    12. Also stresses the need for participating States to work towards improved access to health services for all, without discrimination;
    13. Emphasizes that the OSCE should reduce its reliance on the consensus rule, and further develop such human rights protection tools such as the Moscow Mechanism, to inter alia monitor gross human rights violations;
    14. Strongly encourages participating States to benefit from the Helsinki +40 process to promote the Human Dimension values at the core of the Helsinki Final Act;
    15. Strongly urges participating States to co-operate with international institutions like the OSCE, to help ensure that, in the future, there will be no political prisoners in the OSCE area;
    16. Urges all OSCE participating States to encourage the reform of INTERPOL to avoid the political use of Red Notices, which are currently being used in some countries to round up political opponents instead of for legitimate law enforcement purposes;
    17. Encourages participating States to develop baseline data and indicators in order to monitor national implementation of the 2004 OSCE Action Plan for the Promotion of Gender Equality;
    18. Calls on participating States to improve their legislation, administrative procedures and policies in the sphere of economic and social rights and to implement them in such a way that ensures they are effectively enforced;
    19. Stresses the crucial role of parliaments in ensuring States' strict compliance with international human rights standards, in their efforts to frame comprehensive and effective migration management and integration policies, with a view to maximizing the benefits of legal migration, in accordance with labour market needs, and curbing illegal migration;
    20. Calls on participating States to ensure access to justice for all those detained, and to ensure that people are not detained indefinitely, under arduous conditions and without adequate legal counsel, and to consider establishing a special rapporteur on cases of indefinite detention or lack of rule of law in the OSCE area;
    21. Expresses concern at the misuse of administrative procedures and legislation to detain, imprison, intimidate or otherwise silence human rights defenders and critics in numerous OSCE participating States, including Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation;
    22. Asks the Government of Turkmenistan to provide information on the health and whereabouts of, and access to, persons who have disappeared in Turkmenistan's prisons, including former Foreign Ministers Boris Shikmuradov and Batyr Berdiev;
    23. Encourages all participating States to avoid the expulsion, return (non refoulement) and extradition of migrants and asylum seekers to States where there is a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights, or substantial grounds for believing that they would be in danger of being subjected to torture or ill-treatment;
    24. Strongly urges the Republic of Belarus immediately to release and rehabilitate all political prisoners;
    25. Repeats its call for the Ministerial Council to adopt full, effective, and long-term mandates for OSCE field operations;
    26. Strongly urges the Permanent Council to re-open the Field Missions in Belarus and Georgia, and to return the monitoring and reporting mandates to the status of the OSCE field operations in Azerbaijan and Ukraine, and to open an OSCE field mission in Mongolia;
    27. Expresses deep concern at the situation of Mr. Anar Mammadli, an Azerbaijani civil society representative and human rights defender, who was recently sentenced to prison in a court case with clear political overtones, and urges the competent Azerbaijani authorities to seek ways to restore justice for Mr. Mammadli, enabling him and other citizens who have been victims of politicized court cases to continue their work defending human rights and the rule of law;
    28. Urges the Government of Azerbaijan to once again let the OSCE open an office in Baku, and also urges the Government of Azerbaijan to upgrade the mandate of the Project Co ordinator in Baku.