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Yet another stupid EP resolution on Poland

Both stupid and useless. First of all Polish legal system enables a group of citizens to submit a draft law. Good, bad or stupid... IMO this is democracy in action...

A group of citizens submitted a draft law and Polish Parliament was solemny condemnd for discussing this proposal. If the proposal was rejected from the very beginning it would beneficial for democracy according to EU-`democrats'.

Looking into details of this resolution one can find more nonseses. First, the document enumerates everything and shoud be rather called Criminalisation of sexual education in Poland and condemning all other Polish sins and wrongdoings. Probably even for resolution authors the official reason (to condemn non-existing law) seemed such an idiocy that they add all the other stuff to make it look better. Second, in those rare relevent-to-subject fragments, the text is very vague rather then being precise. For example what does it mean (legally) `comprehensive sexual education'? Moreover, penalizing teachers, researchers, doctors, and other professionals would be without any doubt lamentable, but who in hell are `activists', `journalists' and `educators'? and why they are by-defintion beyond any suspicions?

And finally, why the resolution refer to a non existing documents? (European Union lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender survey 2019)

Texts adopted	
PDF 143k		WORD 43k
Thursday, 14 November 2019 - Brussels	Provisional edition
Criminalisation of sexual education in Poland	
	P9_TA-PROV(2019)0058		B9-0166/2019

European Parliament resolution of 14 November 2019 on the
criminalisation of sexual education in Poland (2019/2891(RSP)) The
European Parliament,

--  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 10 December 1948,

--  having regard to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),

-- having regard to the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and
combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul
Convention), which opened for signature on 11 May 2011,

-- having regard to the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection
of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (Lanzarote
Convention) of 25 October 2007,

-- having regard to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of
Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) of 18 December 1979,

-- having regard to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) of
20 November 1989,

-- having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European
Union (hereinafter `the Charter'),

-- having regard to the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action
adopted by the Fourth World Conference on Women on 15 September 1995
and to the subsequent outcome documents adopted at the United Nations
Beijing+5 (2005), Beijing +15 (2010) and Beijing +20 (2015) special
sessions,

-- having regard to the International Conference on Population and
Development held in Cairo in 1994 and its programme of action,

-- having regard to UNESCO's 2018 International Technical Guidance on
Sexuality Education,

-- having regard to the 2014 Operational Guidance for Comprehensive
Sexuality Education of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA),

-- having regard to the Standards for Sexuality Education in Europe
developed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for
Europe and the German Federal Centre for Health Education,

-- having regard to the Council of Europe's Human Rights
Commissioner's report of 4 December 2017 entitled `Women's sexual and
reproductive health and rights in Europe',

-- having regard to the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights
(ECHR) of 20 June 2017 in the case Bayev and Others v. Russia,

-- having regard to Directive 2011/93/EU of the European Parliament
and of the Council of 13 December 2011 on combating the sexual abuse
and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography(1), and
replacing Council Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA of 22 December 2003
on combating the sexual exploitation of children and child
pornography(2),

-- having regard to the `European Union lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender survey' published by the European Union Agency for
Fundamental Rights (FRA) in 2019,

-- having regard to its previous resolutions on Poland, and, in
particular, its resolution adopted on 15 November 2017 on the
situation of the rule of law and democracy in Poland(3),

-- having regard to the mission report of 10 July 2017 by the
Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality following its mission
to Poland of 22 -- 24 May 2017,

-- having regard to the mission report of 3 December 2018 by the
Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs following the
sending of an ad hoc delegation to Poland on the situation of the rule
of law (19 -- 21 September 2018),

-- having regard to its resolution of 13 February 2019 on experiencing
a backlash in women's rights and gender equality in the EU(4),

--  having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas on 17 July 2019, a citizens' initiative for a law amending
Article 200b of the Polish Penal Code was submitted to the Sejm by the
`Stop Paedophilia' initiative;

B.  whereas on 15 October 2019, following the parliamentary election
and resumption of a suspended parliamentary session, the Sejm debated
the draft law at first reading and on 16 October 2019 voted down a
motion to reject the bill; whereas legislative consideration of the
draft law is expected to resume following the opening session of the
newly elected Sejm on 12 November 2019;

C.  whereas the purported purpose of the bill is to amend the existing
laws on preventing and tackling paedophilia; whereas the equation of
promoting paedophilia with providing comprehensive sexuality education
for young people is alarming, misguided and detrimental;

D.  whereas the new provisions of the draft law provide that anyone
who publicly promotes or approves minors engaging in sexual
intercourse would be subject to a penalty of up to two years in
prison;

E.  whereas the above provisions also apply to instances of using mass
communication to promote or approve minors engaging in sexual
intercourse or other sexual activity, and in the context of
occupations related to the education, treatment or care or
guardianship of minors, with a penalty of up to three years in prison;
whereas proposals have been made to further increase this penalty to
five years;

F.  whereas such provisions would effectively criminalise the
provision of comprehensive sexuality education to minors under the
guise of preventing paedophilia, which would have an impact on, inter
alia, educators, activists, healthcare providers, psychologists,
publishers and journalists and even parents or legal guardians;

G.  whereas the constitutional principle of proportionality implies
that lawmakers do not have unfettered discretion to lay down rules of
criminal law and that the criminal law should only be used as a
last-resort measure, thus complying with the ultima ratio principle;
whereas this draft law would violate that principle;

H.  whereas Poland has ratified the Istanbul Convention, the Lanzarote
Convention, CEDAW and the CRC, and is obliged under international
human rights law to provide access to comprehensive sexuality
education and information, including on the risks of sexual
exploitation and abuse, and to challenge gender stereotypes in
society;

I.  whereas providing some form of sexuality and health education is
already mandatory in 20 Member States; whereas some Member States,
including Poland, have failed to comply with the Standards for
Sexuality Education in Europe developed by the WHO;

J.  whereas comprehensive sexuality education is a curriculum-based
process of teaching and learning about the cognitive, emotional,
physical and social aspects of sexuality, and aims to equip children
and young people with knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that
will empower them to safeguard their health, wellbeing and dignity;
whereas comprehensive sexuality education would allow children and
young people to develop respectful social and sexual relationships
while considering how their choices affect their own wellbeing and
that of others; whereas it would also allow children and young people
to understand and secure the protection of their rights throughout
their lives;

K.  whereas providing comprehensive sexuality education is one of the
main instruments for achieving the commitments of the 25th anniversary
of the International Conference on Population and Development
(ICPD25), namely zero unmet need for family planning, zero preventable
maternal deaths, and zero gender-based violence and harmful practices
against women, girls and young people;

L.  whereas, according to the Charter, the ECHR and the case law of
the European Court of Human Rights, women's sexual and reproductive
health is related to multiple human rights, including the right to
life and dignity, freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment, the
right to access healthcare, the right to privacy, the right to
education and the prohibition of discrimination, as is also reflected
in the Polish Constitution;

M.  whereas the draft law can be seen as an additional attempt to
limit sexual and reproductive rights in Poland in recent years;
whereas the attempt to further limit the right to abortion was halted
in 2018 as a result of mass opposition from Polish citizens as
expressed in the `Black Friday' marches;

N.  whereas the ECHR has indicated that in sensitive matters, such as
during the public discussion of sexuality education, where parental
views, educational policies and the right of third parties to freedom
of expression must be balanced, the authorities have no choice but to
resort to the criteria of objectivity, pluralism, scientific accuracy
and, ultimately, the usefulness of a particular type of information to
the young audience;

O.  whereas many children and teenagers are first learning about
intimate relations from pornography, especially online, and from
conflicting messages from their peers; whereas in this context,
sexuality education becomes even more essential in order to provide
the tools needed for young people to safely navigate the internet and
social media and not to fall victim to online grooming, to help them
make sense of the content seen, and to identify fact-based information
and the presence of gender stereotypes and sexism;

P.  whereas minors can face barriers to accessing contraception, such
as restrictive laws and policies regarding the provision of
contraceptives, in addition to a lack of knowledge; whereas even where
adolescents are able to obtain contraceptives, they can be prevented
from doing so due to stigma surrounding non-marital sexual activity
and/or contraceptive use, fear of side-effects, or lack of knowledge
as to how to correctly use contraceptives; whereas under Polish law
regarding the age of consent, teenagers over the age of 15 are legally
competent to consent to sexual acts; whereas they still require their
guardian's consent in order to receive a prescription for
contraceptives;

Q.  whereas sexual violence is widespread, affecting minors in
particular, and should be eradicated; whereas teenage pregnancy
remains a major social issue and can contribute to maternal and child
mortality; whereas comprehensive sexuality education helps to
deconstruct gender stereotypes and prevent gender-based violence;

1.  Recalls that sexual health is fundamental to the overall health
and wellbeing of individuals, couples and families, in addition to the
social and economic development of communities and countries, and that
access to health, including sexual and reproductive health, is a human
right;

2.  Expresses its deep concern over the extremely vague, broad and
disproportionate provisions in the draft law, which de facto seeks to
criminalise the dissemination of sexuality education to minors and
whose scope potentially threatens all persons and in particular sex
educators, including teachers, healthcare providers, authors,
publishers, civil society organisations, journalists and parents or
legal guardians, with up to three years in prison for teaching about
human sexuality, health and intimate relations; remains concerned that
this draft law would have a chilling effect on educators and that one
of the main barriers to sexuality education is the fact that educators
are not supported;

3.  Strongly reiterates that access to comprehensive and
age-appropriate information about sex and sexuality and access to
sexual and reproductive healthcare, including sexuality education,
family planning, contraceptive methods and safe and legal abortion, is
essential for the creation of a positive and respectful approach to
sexuality and sexual relationships, in addition to the possibility of
having safe sexual experiences, free from coercion, discrimination and
violence; encourages all Member States to introduce comprehensive
age-appropriate sexuality and relationship education for young people
in schools;

4.  Recalls that such education is a necessary part of the school
curriculum to meet the WHO standards for Europe to educate and protect
young people; affirms that such education should include topics like
sexual orientation and gender identity, sexual expression,
relationships and affirmative consent, and information about negative
outcomes or conditions such as sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
and HIV, unintended pregnancy, sexual violence and harmful practices
such as grooming and female genital mutilation;

5.  Recalls that education, in addition to being a standalone
fundamental right, is a precondition for the enjoyment of other
fundamental rights and freedoms as guaranteed by Article 2 of the
Treaty on European Union (TEU), the Polish Constitution and the
Charter; stresses that rather than protecting young people, a lack of
information and education about sex and sexuality puts the safety and
wellbeing of young people at risk by leaving them more vulnerable and
less equipped to identify sexual exploitation, abuse and violence,
including domestic violence and online forms of abuse such as cyber
violence, online harassment and revenge porn; believes that
comprehensive sexuality education also has a positive impact on gender
equality outcomes, including transforming harmful gender norms and
attitudes towards gender-based violence, helping prevent intimate
partner violence and sexual coercion, breaking the silence around
sexual violence, sexual exploitation or abuse, and empowering young
people to seek help;

6.  Stresses the importance of health and sexuality education, in
particular for girls and young LGBTI people, who are particularly
impacted by inequitable gender norms; stresses such education must
include teaching young people about relationships based on gender
equality, consent and mutual respect as a way of preventing and
combating gender stereotypes, homophobia, transphobia and gender-based
violence; notes that sexuality education does not result in earlier
sexual activity;

7.  Recalls that Article 23 of Directive 2011/93/EU calls on the
Member States, including Poland, to take appropriate measures with
relevant civil society organisations in order to raise awareness and
reduce the risk of children becoming victims of sexual abuse or
exploitation;

8.  Recognises the important role of civil society in providing
sexuality education; calls for adequate funding to be available for
the organisations concerned through different funding instruments at
EU level, such as the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021--2027
Rights and Values programme and other EU pilot projects that could
have an impact on this field;

9.  Condemns the recent developments in Poland that set out to
misinform, stigmatise and ban sexuality education, and in particular
the harsh, inappropriate and erroneous content of the justification
provided for by the draft law; calls on the Polish Parliament to
refrain from adopting the proposed draft law and to ensure that young
people have access to comprehensive sexuality education and that those
who provide such education and information are supported in so doing
in a factual and objective manner;

10.  Calls on the Council to address this matter and other allegations
of violations of fundamental rights in Poland in the context of its
current hearings on the situation in Poland, in accordance with
Article 7(1) TEU;

11.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the
Commission and the Council, the President, Government and Parliament
of Poland and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

Cf https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/ficheprocedure.do?lang=en&reference=2019/2891(RSP)

url | Mon, 25/11/2019 09:02 | tagi: , ,