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World

7 October 2018

Worldwide approach needed for the protection of refugees

This week SP Member of Parliament Jasper van Dijk produced five questions and answers which the SP wants to see as the basis for the protection of refugees. These proposals proceed seamlessly from my own 2015 plan as well as from the Global Compact for Refugees which the UN High Commission for Refugees presented this month to the General Assembly. Support from the international community must be drastically increased and people should not be left to live for long periods in camps. The most vulnerable people who cannot stay in their region must be resettled. And an end must be put as rapidly as possible to the horrors which people have to confront on their way to a safe haven.

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6 October 2018

A just migration policy: Five questions for Jasper van Dijk

Promoting human dignity, equality and solidarity is our most fundamental principle. These values are poorly represented when you look at how refugees and other migrants are faring throughout the world. People traffickers earn huge amounts in organising life-threatening crossings to Europe, with thousands drowned as a result. People who lack the funds to pay a trafficker or who are not in a state of sufficient health to cross the sea in a small boat can't even take this risk. SP Member of Parliament Jasper van Dijk advocates a truly just migration policy.

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27 September 2018

Sadet Karabulut: Save the Yemenis, stop the arms trade

Three-and-a-half years of war in Yemen have led to the world's biggest humanitarian crisis. The Netherlands must step up pressure in the UN, says Sadet Karabulut.

The biggest humanitarian crisis in the world. That's the result of three-and-a-half years of war and a deadly blockade of Yemen. The bulk of the responsibility lies with Saudi Arabia, which has attacked one civilian target after another. Schools, markets, mosques – absolutely nothing is spared.

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12 September 2018

SP supports creative rights but not unnecessary censorship on the Internet

Today the European Parliament votes on the enforcement of authors' rights on internet platforms, such as Youtube. The SP has always stood up for the rights of creative artists, but opposes unnecessary censorship.

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2 September 2018

Human rights are about more than individual rights

Next Tuesday, together with Christian Union MEP Peter van Dalen, I'll be presenting the annual report we put together on behalf of the European Parliament Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Religious Tolerance. In this report the emphasis will be on the collective aspects of this freedom. Too often human rights are seen as individual rights in the style of 'I have to do this, so it must be allowed.' But all of your human rights are protected, your privacy as well as your rights as part of a community. Take for example your freedom to organise in a trade union, or the many social rights which a properly functioning welfare system demands. You don't hear much about this from politicians on the right, but these same politicians are demolishing communities in rapid tempo. It is precisely that – working together for a better world - that for me is the core of human rights.

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10 August 2018

Ten years on from the August War, South Ossetia remains a frozen conflict

Foto: SP

Ten years ago this week Russian troops entered South Ossetia in response to Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili's decision to send his army to attack the region which, though officially still Georgian territory de jure, had seceded de facto seventeen years earlier, in 1991. The attack had been launched the day before the Russian response, which occurred on 8th August.

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9 August 2018

Hiroshima, Nagasaki – never again!

Just over 73 years ago, on 6th August 1945 – so within the memory of the very oldest people still alive - the Japanese city of Hiroshima was virtually wiped from the face of the Earth by a single nuclear bomb. In the seven decades which have passed since that historic event, the world is replete with bombs which make those dropped on Hiroshima and, three days later, on Nagasaki, look like fire-crackers. We should remember, however, that even these relatively small bombs were terrifyingly destructive weapons. Many people died instantly, but those casualty figures were doubled within a few months, so that the number of deaths from the bombings' acute effects may have been well over 200,000, with even the lowest estimates reaching two-thirds of that figure. Lingering radiation sickness would kill many more as the years went by. SP Senator Tiny Kox, who is also a member of the Dutch delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, wants to ensure that these weapons of mass destruction will never be used again. “I want to see the government sign up to the international campaign to ban nuclear arms,” he says.

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26 July 2018

Trump bluffs, Juncker capitulates

Foto: SP

The SP is opposed to the deal which European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has signed with Donald Trump. Explaining the party's hostility to the deal, SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur said: “It's a slap in the face for the widespread resistance to the TTIP, the free trade treaty between the EU and the US, negotiations over which were halted in 2016. Instead of making agreements on fair and sustainable trade, Juncker has committed the EU to importing more liquid gas and more soya, as well as running down all barriers to trade and product standards, These are of course designed to protect the consumer and the environment. Juncker and Trump also want to intensify trade in services, chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

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26 July 2018

Time to take action against Israel's apartheid 'nation state' law

What was in reality already the case has now been formally incorporated into Israeli law. In the country once counted a democratic good example in an authoritarian region, apartheid has now been confirmed as a legal principle. The law from now on will state that only Jewish inhabitants of Israel have the right of self-determination. The 1.8 million Arabs who live there are now also officially second class citizens, their language no longer recognised as one of the official languages and their fate made dependent on the wishes of the Jewish population.

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