Subcommittee on Human Rights discussed human rights situation in Democratic Republic of Congo today.[:] In her introductory remarks Chairwoman Hautala expressed grave concern over the dire state of human rights in the country and seemingly increasing harassment of human rights defenders. Indeed, the European Parliament adopted last month an urgency resolution following the murder of Mr Chebeya Bahizire, prominent human rights advocate in the DRC.Particular attention was paid to the exploitation of natural resources and the role of also many European mining companies in this. Several speakers noted that as long as the natural resources can be mined and sold in an unregulated market, conflict and the human rights violations will continue.
DRC has one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises with over 1.9 million people internally displaced by violence perpetrated by several disparate armed groups. Sexual violence against women and girls is pervasive.
Chairwoman Hautala underlined the key role that the EU Delegations abroad can play on the ground in promoting respect for human rights. She also noted that as the new European External Action Service is becoming operative towards the end of this year it must be made sure that this kind of human rights situations will receive an adequate response.