Committee guide: DROI working to 'mainstream' human rights in all policy

Elena Valenciano says that MEPs are working hard to defend human rights and turn the EU's 'high aspirations into real actions'.

Elena Valenciano is in no doubt about the vital importance of parliament's human rights (DROI) subcommittee. For her, DROI is "one of the most important tools and institutional spaces in the EU for the promotion of human rights".

"DROI is a powerful amplifier for the voice of those most vulnerable who suffer attacks on their fundamental rights and freedoms all over the world. It is also a means to monitoring EU action with the aim of ensuring that the defence of human rights remains among the main objectives of our foreign policy."

While Valenciano praises the European Union as "one of the most committed international actors in the promotion of human rights", she says that "it is clear that a lot remains to be done, our main challenge being the transformation of our high aspirations into real actions and the mainstreaming of human rights in all EU policy areas".

"DROI is a powerful amplifier for the voice of those most vulnerable who suffer attacks on their fundamental rights and freedoms all over the world"

The Spanish MEP says DROI would be pursuing a "more strategic and in-depth approach" by focusing on several priorities in the coming months. Valenciano highlights "the relation of the business sphere and human rights in third countries; the situation of refugees and internally displaced persons, especially in the Middle East region; children in armed conflicts; or the trafficking of human beings" as key issues for the DROI subcommittee.

On a personal level, the S&D deputy points to "business and human rights" and the "situation of women in armed conflicts" as areas of special interest. "I would particularly like to advance the fight against the rape of women and girls as a weapon of war, a cruel practice that, far for being reduced, is on the rise in recent years and is not being addressed by the international community as it should be."

Looking to the future, Valenciano underlines the need for "strong and close cooperation" between the parliament and commission and cites her confidence in newly appointed EU high representative Federica Mogherini's "capability to face the important challenges the EU will have to address in its foreign policy in the coming years".

"I am sure that Mogherini will be a strong ally of the parliament, and of DROI in particular, in our common efforts to advance the human rights in the world."

Elena Valenciano is chair of parliament's human rights subcommittee

 

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