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EuropeAn International Conference Entitled "Human Rights Violations in Yemen " at the...

An International Conference Entitled “Human Rights Violations in Yemen ” at the European Parliament

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GENEVA, SWITZERLAND, March 25, 2022 – An international conference entitled “Human rights violations in Yemen “was organised by EPP group on March 23rd at the European Parliament host by Mep Martusciello and moderated by Manel Msalmi, international Affairs advisor to Mep .

The conference invited as a guest speaker Dr Wesam Basindawa, head of the Yemeni Coalition of Independent Women who came to Brussels to share her knowledge with Meps and EU institutions about the situation in Yemen.

Mep Isabella Tovaglieri was the first to speak as a member of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality to highlight that women are the most affected and vulnerable category in conflict zones and that there is a need to protect these women from rape, kidnapping, forced marriage and poverty. Europe should help women in peacebuilding and in conflict resolution.

Mep Luisa Regimenti spoke about physical and psychological violence towards women and the need to work on psychological support and helping the victims of the Houthis crimes and violence to overcome the atrocities that they have witnessed.

Dr Wesam Basindawa welcomed the “European Union Resolution No. 420/2022, which included the Houthi group among the groups that subject to sanctions for threatening peace, security and stability in Yemen.” She mentioned all the crimes that the Houthis committed against women and children such as physical and sexual violence, recruiting children and using violence against minorities. Mep Adinolfi, member of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality highlighted the need to support women mainly teachers, intellectuals and journalists who are working hard to raise awareness about the Humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

Mep Gianna Gancia stressed the fact that the war has generated a critical situation regarding women and girls and that “From the beginning of the conflict seven years ago, the European Union has made diplomatic efforts and provided financial support to Yemen through humanitarian assistance and development. Unfortunately, the last attacks by Ansar Allah have shown how hard the situation is”.

Alessandra Illuticini, president of Progetto Donna 2021 evoked the atrocities that women go through in Houthi controlled areas such forced Niqabs, child marriage, honor killings and domestic violence. She stressed the need to work closely with the UN and human rights organizations to empower women and protect them as well as support their fight for their rights.

Mep Vuolo mentioned that “Yemen remains one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. Conflict across Yemen continues to endanger civilians, trigger displacement and damage civilian infrastructure such as hospitals and schools.” Mrs Simona Russo coordinator of “Fight Impunity organization ” highlighted that the Humanitarian crisis in Yemen is the worst in the world and that we should not forget Yemen. Mep Martusciello, the Mep host reminded us that he had been working for more than three years on this issue and that he has raised awareness about the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, especially lately in the plenary session through the parliamentary question regarding the issue of minorities and violence against Women in Yemen by the Houthi militias.

Thanks to his continuous efforts together with his MEP colleagues, they wrote a letter to Joseph Borrell to highlight the need to designate the Houthis as a terrorist group by showing the persecution that the civilians experienced. Mep Bonfrisco ended by saying that we need to encourage women peace builders and help them establish dialogue between the different parties in Yemen. Women should be an active member of the peace negotiations in Yemen.

The moderator concluded the session by mentioning that the EU as a peace actor should work closely with civil society organisations in Yemen and empower female leaders. The outcome of this conference is the creation of a Friendship group which follows closely the Humanitarian situation in Yemen and supports civil society organisations mainly female leaders in Yemen.

Dr.Wesam BA Sondowah
Yemeni Coalition of Independent Women

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