WYA welcomes the European Parliament Prohibition of EU Funding for Coercive Reproductive Health Programs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: World Youth Alliance welcomes the European Parliament Prohibition of EU Funding for Coercive Reproductive Health Programs

 Strasbourg: October 20, 2010

 The World Youth Alliance welcomes the voting results from the European Parliament’s October 19th plenary session on the EU Draft General Budget 2011 and commends its Members who incorporated amendments that prohibit EU funding for coercive reproductive health programs and dedicate funding to help stop forced abortions, sterilizations and infanticide. These amendments were necessary to prevent the EU from indirectly participating in human rights violations through its funding initiatives abroad.

The new language adopted in the 2011 Draft General Budget, “Stresses that Community assistance should not be given to any authority, organization or programme which supports or participates in the management of an action which involves such human rights abuses as coercive abortion, involuntary sterilization or infanticide, especially where such actions apply their priorities through psychological, social, economic or legal pressure, thus finally implementing the specific Cairo ICPD prohibition on coercion or compulsion in sexual and reproductive health matters; calls on the Commission to present a report on the implementation of the EU’s external assistance covering this programme.” Similar language applies to the European Commission’s cooperation with countries in Central Asia, Development and relations with African, Caribbean and Pacific States, violence against women (the Daphne Programme) and refugee matters.

Along with many European individuals and civil society representatives, World Youth Alliance members contacted their MEPs urging them to adopt the new language, essential for promoting and protecting the dignity of the human person, especially women. WYA also contacted MEPs directly, recommending amendments, including the one above, to the Draft General Budget.

"These provisions in the 2011 General Budget translate the protection of the intrinsic dignity of women, a core EU principle, into reality,” reflects WYA President, Francois Jacob. “In this sense, the European Parliament truly acted as a guarantor of Europeans citizens’ financial contributions and the consistency of Europe’s foreign aid policy."

If you want to know your MEP’s vote on amendment 495 to the EU Draft General Budget 2011, please click here.

For more information on the World Youth Alliance and our advocacy at the European Parliament, please contact WYA Europe Director, Marie-Caroline Leroux at mariecaroline@wya.net.