S&Ds: UN must act to enforce international laws protecting hospitals and schools

'Attacks on hospitals and schools as violation of international humanitarian law' in conflict zones like Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan

Following the adoption of a European Parliament resolution on 'Attacks on hospitals and schools as violation of international humanitarian law' in conflict zones like Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan and other recent armed conflicts, the S&D Group in the European Parliament has called for united action. The EU institutions and member states must request the United Nations Security Council to remind all parties involved of their legal obligations and if necessary to impose targeted sanctions on persistent violators.

Elena Valenciano, S&D MEP and chair of the European Parliament's subcommittee on human rights said:

"We deeply regret the lack of respect for international humanitarian law and we invite the United Nations Security Council to use all available tools such as the use of targeted measures and judicial mechanisms to improve respect for international law norms. These provide for the protection of humanitarian workers and bringing all those responsible for such acts to justice.

"We stress the importance of improving security for aid workers and we urge the EU member states to call on the UN and the UN Security Council to guarantee the protection of both local and international humanitarian workers."

S&D MEP and vice-president Enrique Guerrero Salom added:

"We invite the Foreign Affairs Council and the EU's high representative for foreign affairs to request EU heads of mission and appropriate EU representatives report on cases of serious violations of international humanitarian law.

"We call on the United Nations and the European Union to promote campaigns to ensure all players, including non-state armed groups, are aware of their obligations under international law and to facilitate humanitarian assistance and protection for people under their influence."

The S&D Group condemns today's killing of at least 14 patients and three doctors in an air strike on a hospital in the Syrian city of Aleppo and the destruction of the al-Quds hospital, depriving people of essential healthcare.