Page last updated at 10:55 GMT, Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Global human rights debate

On 12 December 2012, MEPs held their annual debate on the EU's role in promoting human rights around the world.

The debate focused on two reports by the Foreign Affairs Committee looking at what the EU has done and should do in promoting human rights and democracy.

The first report contains a call for a ban on EU exports of information technology that could be used by repressive regimes to censor information, conduct mass surveillance or track people's movements.

Twelve countries - including Syria, North Korea and Belarus - have been listed as so-called "enemies of the internet" by campaign group Reporters Without Borders for their use of the internet in tracking dissidents.

MEPs suggest that an export ban could be used as a restrictive measure against countries that abuse human rights.

The second report is a review of the EU's human rights strategy, and says that more should be done to work with civil society, instead of focusing purely on developing relations with government authorities.

The reports were approved during the daily voting session on 13 December 2012.

Unfortunately due to technical reasons beyond our control we are unable to bring the video of this debate.

Useful links:

Democracy Live's guide to how the plenary sessions work.

A disclaimer on the use of simultaneous interpretations, on the European Parliament's website.

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