CHAPTER III

DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND HUMANITARIAN QUESTIONS

    1. Recalling that the 1975 Helsinki Final Act indicates that the participating States recognize the universal significance of human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for which is an essential factor for the peace, justice and well-being necessary to ensure the development of friendly relations and mutual co-operation among all States,
    2. Alarmed at the increasing numbers of refugees, forcibly displaced persons and asylum seekers worldwide, mainly as a result of conflicts and human rights abuses, but also due to other interconnected negative factors, such as economic hardship, climate change, population growth and food shortages, which are also on the rise,
    3. Concerned about the regression of human rights and fundamental freedoms in some OSCE regions, and the continuing non-compliance of some participating States with their human dimension commitments,
    4. Recalling that in the 2010 OSCE Astana Declaration the OSCE Heads of State and Government emphasized the important role of civil society and the media and agreed that commitments in the human dimension need to be fully implemented,
    5. Welcoming the Ukrainian Chairmanship's pledge in connection with Helsinki +40 to continue promoting media freedom, reinforcing co-operation with civil society, promoting youth education on human rights issues and combating trafficking in human beings,
    6. Noting the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly resolution entitled "Implementation of the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons" adopted at the Belgrade Annual Session in 2011,
    7. Recalling the 2012 OSCE PA Monaco 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,
    8. Welcoming the adoption by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in October 2012 of a resolution confirming the definition of political prisoners,
    9. Recalling the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly resolutions entitled "Improving Election Observation in OSCE participating States" and "Freedom of Movement in the OSCE Region" adopted at the Monaco Annual Session in 2012,
    10. Recalling the affirmation in the Monaco Declaration that there should not be any political prisoners, retribution on political opponents or selective justice in the OSCE area,

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly:

    1. 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;
    2. Stresses the universality, indivisibility and interdependence of human rights, which also means that human rights and fundamental freedoms must carry equal weight when dealing with human rights violations resulting from intra- or inter-State conflicts or new or protracted conflicts in the OSCE area;
    3. Welcomes the recent constitutional amendments and ongoing judicial reforms in Georgia to ensure a better balance between the executive and legislative branches and strengthen the independence of the judicial system;
    4. Emphasizes that the OSCE relies on the consensus rule but has also adopted tools such as the Moscow Mechanism, which should be used in response to clear, gross and uncorrected human rights violations as mentioned in the Prague Document on Further Development of CSCE Institutions and Structures (30 and 31 January 1992);
    5. Stresses that all OSCE activities, including in the the area of the Human Dimension, must be carried out in full conformity with the principle of sovereign equality of the OSCE participating States and other fundamental principles enshrined in the Helsinki Final Act of 1975;
    6. Reiterates the important role that parliamentarians play in leading OSCE election observation missions and calls on ODIHR to support the leadership of the Parliamentary Assembly in election observation missions, as called for in the 1997 Co operation Agreement;
    7. Welcomes the decision by the Ukrainian Chairmanship to conduct a comparative analysis of electoral legislations in all OSCE participating States in 2013 and calls upon the OSCE/ODIHR and the OSCE PA to continue this process;
    8. Reiterates its call for countries that hold the Chairmanship to fully respect their commitments regarding human rights and to provide a model example to the OSCE region;
    9. Stresses the urgent need to uphold freedom of the media in the OSCE area and to promote sound interaction between the political system and media representatives so as to encourage good governance and combat corruption through appropriate legislation that will ensure journalists' fundamental human rights and the unimpeded performance of their duties, as well as through the fostering of a culture of international standards and ethics for journalists;
    10. Calls upon the OSCE to monitor human rights in participating States and to act swiftly when States do not comply with their commitments in that regard;
    11. Encourages the Ukrainian Chairmanship to continue efforts to reform the Human Dimension and to increase participation of civil society, the public and the media in key meetings and in the decision-making process;
    12. Calls on the Ukrainian Chairmanship to remind all OSCE participating States of their obligation to promote, and not impede, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, free elections and free NGO activity, and to combat, and not promote, hate speech, persecution and mistreatment of imprisoned persons;
    13. 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;
    14. Stresses the utmost relevance of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training as a valuable tool for OSCE field activities at all stages of the Conflict Cycle, and calls upon participating States to enhance efforts in this domain, in accordance with the relevant OSCE guidelines, inter alia, through appropriate human rights education policies that will guarantee citizens' rights to information and knowledge and their effective participation in democratic societies;
    15. Urges the OSCE participating States to adopt the programmes, agendas and dates of human dimension events in an efficient and timely manner so that serious substantive preparations and adequate participation are made possible;
    16. Strongly urges participating States to co-operate with international institutions such as the OSCE in allowing delegations to visit political prisoners, as well as to release and exonerate all political prisoners;
    17. Regrets the escalation of decisions directly or indirectly relating to the Magnitsky affair, which are overshadowing the human rights issue and have been the subject of recent parliamentary debates in Ireland, Spain and the United Kingdom, demands that the responsibilities and unknown facts surrounding the case be determined once and for all and requests parliaments to continue to follow up the case;
    18. Calls for enhanced international co-operation on increasing humanitarian assistance to refugees and internally displaced persons and effectively addressing the many human rights challenges associated with migration and the protection of the most vulnerable groups in particular, in accordance with relevant OSCE Human Dimension recommendations;
    19. Calls on parliamentarians to promote the ratification of the 2000 Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, as well as the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, and the 2005 Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings;
    20. Recalls the UN Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons adopted in 2010 and calls upon the OSCE executive structures and participating States to contribute to its successful implementation;
    21. Invites all participating States to take action regarding education and raising awareness of the issue of human trafficking and to co-operate fully with the OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and relevant OSCE structures and Institutions, including Field Operations;
    22. Invites all participating States to develop and implement a national action plan to help combat human trafficking through the co-ordination of policies and actions by Government and Non-Government bodies and through education and raising awareness of the issue of human trafficking;
    23. Calls on all participating States to establish special anti-trafficking units (comprising both men and women) with advanced training in investigating offences involving sexual exploitation, forced labour, child trafficking, and/or trafficking for the purpose of the organ trade, in order to ensure that the response of participating States to the trafficking in human beings is effective and equates to the scale and scope of the problem in a given participating State;
    24. Strongly encourages participating States to implement a counter-trafficking database within each anti-trafficking unit which would allow each participating State to collect and analyse data on the causes, processes, trends and consequences of trafficking within a given participating State, as well as to establish a national rapporteur or a similar national monitoring and reporting mechanism to ensure data collection, analysis and public debate on the efficiency of anti-trafficking measures;
    25. Reiterates the need to include civil society, the public and the media in Human Dimension events;
    26. Calls upon the OSCE PA and the OSCE PA delegations to include human rights NGOs, think tanks and academic institutes in their efforts to better monitor the implementation of OSCE commitments in the fields of human rights, democracy and rule of law;
    27. Urges the Governments of the participating States to meet their commitments in full with regard to freedom of movement and the promotion of human contacts and to further strengthen co-operation between the relevant bodies and institutions with a view to promoting greater freedom of movement of persons across borders and ultimately abolishing visa regimes throughout the OSCE region;
    28. Opposes attempts to downgrade or eliminate OSCE field operations by host Governments that continue to violate their OSCE commitments in significant ways and are in clear need of field operations based on existing mandates;
    29. Expects that Parliamentarians will adopt measures to protect workers' rights to avoid a worsening situation for the rights of women, migrants (both women and men) and children and to prevent human trafficking for labour exploitation, and calls on diplomats and parliamentarians to set an example by ensuring the respect of these rights when applicable;
    30. Calls on the participating States to respect and implement the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, in particular, article 19 on oppression, abuse or other forms of maltreatment of children and, in order to protect our children, calls on the participating States to enforce a legal ban on hitting children, in line with regulations in force in 11 European Union Member States;
    31. Calls for the creation of mechanisms to remedy the consequences of ethnic cleansing referred to in OSCE, Council of Europe and UN documents and ODIHR assessments, and better instruments for the protection of internally displaced persons, refugees and persons with humanitarian status and, in this regard, calls for the implementation of all OSCE documents;
    32. Stresses the importance of encouraging a gender-balanced policy in participating States and the adoption of legal and implementation measures to ensure equality between men and women;
    33. Calls for an increase in funding and support for OSCE/ODIHR activities in the field of fundamental freedoms, in particular in the area of democratic development, human rights, tolerance and non discrimination and the rule of law, in accordance with the mandate provided in the 1992 Helsinki Document;
    34. Reiterates its call to OSCE participating States to ensure access to justice and the right to a fair trial, as well as freedom of expression, including for journalists, bloggers and civil society activists;
    35. Calls upon the two remaining OSCE participating States still practising capital punishment, Belarus and the United States, to adopt a moratorium on all executions, leading to the complete abolition of the death penalty;
    36. 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;
    37. Calls on Ukraine to respect international standards for judicial independence, impartiality, transparency and justice, including in the case of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, a target of selective justice, whose arrest was not only politically motivated but also illegal, as evidenced by the recent ruling of the European Court of Human Rights;
    38. Regrets that some OSCE participating States, including Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine, continue to abuse the Interpol system by seeking the arrest of opponents on politically motivated charges, including but not limited to the cases of Mr. Petr Silaev, Mr. William Browder, Mr. Ilya Katsnelson, Mr. Ales Michalevic and Mr. Bohdan Danylyshyn;
    39. Calls on Interpol to continue reforms to improve its oversight mechanisms for detecting attempts to misuse its systems by OSCE participating States whose judicial systems do not meet international standards, and to enable individuals unjustly targeted by politically motivated charges to speedily expose and end this abuse of Interpol;
    40. Calls on participating States to adopt decisions stating that internationally recognized freedoms such as of expression (both offline and online), assembly, association and religion do not change with new technologies and must be respected regardless of future technological advances;
    41. Recognizes the growing opportunities for exercising freedom of expression and information on the Internet and the need to be attentive to any attempts by participating States to restrict it;
    42. Underlines the importance of the fundamental rights of minorities in Turkey and expresses concern at the increasing intolerance regarding ethnicity, minority languages and religions in the region;
    43. Reiterates its call for the Ministerial Council to adopt full, effective and long-term mandates for OSCE field operations;
    44. Recalls the principles enshrined in the Resolution on the Situation in Georgia adopted in Monaco in 2012, welcomes the first ever peaceful electoral change of power, stresses the importance of the rule of law, calls upon the Government of Georgia to refrain from the application of selective justice and expresses concern at the pre-trial detention of Vano Merabishvili, former Prime Minister of Georgia and a likely presidential contender;
    45. Strongly urges the Permanent Council to reopen the field missions in Belarus and Georgia, clearly prescribing the principle of the territorial integrity of participating States.