European Parliament: No Peace Without Justice welcomes the adoption of the Cappato Report as a strong stand for the worldwide promotion of human rights, democracy and rule of law

8 May, 2008 | Press Releases

The European Parliament Annual Report on Human Rights in the World in 2007, prepared by Rapporteur Marco Cappato, the Italian Radical MEP, was approved today in plenary by the European Parliament. The Report, which assesses the state of human rights in the world in 2007 and also evaluates the EU’s efforts to promote human rights through its policies, is in part a response to the annual report on human rights published by the Council and Commission last October. No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ), which collaborated closely with the Rapporteur through the civil society consultation process established by the EP Foreign Affairs Committee, welcomes the clear stand taken by the European Parliament on several policy issues we consider to be priorities for the European Union and its member States in the protection and promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law throughout the world.

Declaration by Sergio Stanzani and Gianfranco Dell’Alba, President and Secretary General of No Peace Without Justice:

“No Peace Without Justice fully supports and underscores the Report’s explicit recognition that sustainable peace cannot be achieved through deals to protect violators of human rights and international humanitarian law and that justice and accountability are essential pillars of sustainable peace. Importantly, the EP calls on the Council and the Commission to continue their efforts to promote universal ratification and implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), urges the ICC to intensify its outreach efforts and recognises the critical role that the Justice Rapid Response mechanism and non-judicial accountability mechanisms can play in addressing serious crimes under international law. The Report also has a strong emphasis on children’s rights, both in general and specifically in times of armed conflict, which is one of the major policy issues in international criminal justice today. We welcome the Report’s emphasis on accountability for the crime of the recruitment or use of child soldiers and criminal sanctions for UN peacekeepers, found guilty of raping or sexually exploiting children..

“Women’s rights is another key issue, which the EP says should be raised in all EU human rights dialogues, in order to combat discrimination and violence against women and girls, including, significantly, gender-selected abortion and all forms of harmful traditional or customary practices, such as female genital mutilation and early or forced marriage”. NPWJ welcomes the fact that this year’s Annual Report devotes an entire section to female genital mutilation and other harmful traditional practices, which are placed firmly in the context of human rights violations, and explicitly calls on the EU and its Member States to promote in particular the ratification and implementation by African Union Member States of the African Union Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa.

“As stated in the Report on implementation of the European Union Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders, NPWJ would like to stress that a consistent approach should also focus on strengthening capacity building of human rights activists and fostering consultation and interaction mechanisms between them and their governments on issues of democratic reform and human rights promotion, in particular when processes of democratisation are at stake.

“The Report is equally strong on the funding mechanisms of the Commission, both in calling for adequate funding for work on these issues and in warning against what amounts to subsidies for EU States by funding international organisations which EU States are under an obligation to finance, such as the ICC, which also jeopardises funding for NGOs and the legacy and outreach programs of the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

“Finally, we welcome that the EP recognises the adoption in 2007 of the UN General Assembly Resolution calling for a global moratorium on the use of the death penalty, for which No Peace Without Justice has assisted the successful campaign led by Hands Off Cain with the Transnational Radical Party, as a major step forward towards universal abolition of the death penalty and demands that it be fully implemented by every State member.”

For more information, contact Nicola Giovannini on or +32 (0)2 548-3910.

Report of Marco Cappato MEP on the Annual Report on Human Rights in the World 2007