AS (2018) CR 18
2018 ORDINARY SESSION
Friday 27 April 2018 at 10 a.m.
In this report:
1. Speeches in English are reported in full.
2. Speeches in other languages are reported using the interpretation and are marked with an asterisk.
3. The text of the amendments is available at the document centre and on the Assembly’s website. Only oral amendments or oral sub-amendments are reproduced in the report of debates
4. Speeches in German and Italian are reproduced in full in a separate document.
5. Corrections should be handed in at Room 1059A not later than 24 hours after the report has been circulated.
The contents page for this sitting is given at the end of the report.
(Mr Jonas Gunnarsson, Vice-President of the Assembly, took the Chair at 10.05 a.m.)
1. Drug-resistant tuberculosis in Europe
The PRESIDENT – Good morning, everyone. We have come to the last day of this very interesting week.
The sitting is open.
The first item of business this morning is the debate on the report entitled “Drug-resistant tuberculosis in Europe”, contained in Document 14525, presented by the rapporteur. Mr Serhii Kiral, on behalf of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development. I remind members that there is a four-minute speech limit in this debate.
I call Mr Kiral, rapporteur. You have 13 minutes in total, which you may divide between presentation of the report and reply to the debate. The floor is yours.
Mr KIRAL (Ukraine) – Thank you, Mr President. I think that we will have a peaceful Friday morning after a hectic week spent fighting corruption. My report is about fighting tuberculosis, but tuberculosis is like corruption – you do not see it, but it is there. It is equally dangerous, but it is also curable. Its danger lies in the negligence of the patient, deficiencies of conventional systems for early detection, lack of preventive measures, insufficient funding for new drugs development and the slow transition to patient-centred treatment methods.
“When you have a cancer, everyone will feel sorry for you. But when you have tuberculosis, people are afraid, people look down on you”. That quote from Olga Klymenko, a courageous young Ukrainian woman, accurately reflects the stigmatisation of TB patients and their families. We have used quotes of former and current patients throughout the report to convey the pain, both physical and psychological, that they have to go through in the fight for their rights to be respected.TB
TB is the world’s leading infectious killer. In 2016, there were almost 1.7 million deaths worldwide, including the death of 250 000 children. It has understandably been high on the political agenda in recent years. It is responsible for one-third of all deaths from antimicrobial resistance – this is when bacteria evolve and become resistant to treatment, which is becoming a growing concern worldwide.
Tuberculosis will be the centre of attention in September 2018 when the United Nations General Assembly holds a high-level meeting on the fight against TB. This type of meeting is happening for the first time in several decades – a period in which the whole world seems to have almost forgotten the disease. In 2017, the G7 and the G20 both singled out TB in their AMR agenda meetings, in Hamburg in July and in Milan in November, respectively. The global network of parliamentarians, the Global TB Caucus, was set up and now unites over 2 300 members of parliament from 130 countries. Nick Herbert MP, from the United Kingdom, is currently the chair.
That is just some of the political action that is taking place around the world this year, in addition to developments by the World Health Organization, the Stop TB Partnership, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, The Union and many other highly reputable international organisations. The WHO has recently published a new blueprint on patient-centred methods of TB treatment while The Union, one of the oldest organisations, gathered thousands of delegates at its world conference in Mexico last year for a symposium to discuss and analyse every aspect of tuberculosis.
This report is designed as the Parliamentary Assembly’s contribution to this rolling international effort and, more specifically, to the United Nations General Assembly high-level meeting in September this year. In fact, as I speak here today, parliamentarians from more than 100 countries, as well as civil society organisations, are meeting in New York to exchange views and experiences and to debate proposals for the September United Nations political declaration. I am glad to say that some of the findings of this report will be presented there.
Tuberculosis is an airborne infectious disease. Although it mostly affects the lung, TB bacteria can be present in nearly every part of the body. Symptoms can include persistent cough, weight loss, fever, pain and fatigue, and other non-specific symptoms can also be present, especially in children. TB can easily be mistaken for other diseases such as flu or a cold, which underpins the high rate of misdiagnosis and adds to the challenges of controlling its spread.
The treatment lasts from six months for so-called drug-susceptible forms to more than two years for drug-resistant or multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis. It is the latter that is of growing concern, especially among socially and economically disadvantaged groups of patients, and predominantly in those states with lower living standards and economies in transition. The first-line and second-line antibiotics are used to treat the disease, forcing patients to take up to 14 000 pills over at least two years. The side-effects are at the limit that the human body can withstand and include nausea, digestive issues, anxiety and even psychosis. Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis – XDR-TB, as it is called – is the most dangerous type of tuberculosis, often leaving the patient without treatment options.
The real danger arises among groups with a combination of other infectious diseases, most often AIDS/HIV and diabetes, as well as patients with different addictions, prisoners and people living in conflict zones. These vulnerable groups are often more responsive when served by civil society organisations, which is a growing trend internationally and is largely supported by the WHO. They are a top priority for action and regular monitoring by national governments and international organisations.
TB knows no borders and affects all cultures and nationalities. As an Assembly of 47 States from all over Europe, we must acknowledge that we share the same home, and so must show our neighbours across borders solidarity and support, including as regards best financial practice and access to medication, so that we can prevent, properly diagnose and treat the disease, and finally conquer the epidemic. The United Nations sustainable development goals clearly aim for TB to be taken under control by 2030.
The main problem is the inertia of national health care systems that fail to deliver and provide a good service. Outdated health policies and a lack of proper infrastructure and of a targeted allocation of financial resources contribute to the continuing spread of the disease. Those countries with the lowest GDP per capita suffer most from inequality and the unfair distribution of resources, which also has an impact on how the disease spreads. TB evolves into its drug-resistant forms where there is little investment in new drugs, new vaccines and tools for diagnostics, and where there is restricted research and development.
As I mentioned, TB was sort of thought of as a disease of the past, but it is back. As a professor from the University of Oslo told us during our fact-finding mission, it is a growing concern, with over 900 new cases registered every day. Europe accounts for one in five MDR-TB cases in the world, and nine out of 30 countries that the World Health Organization has identified as needing to solve their TB problems are in Europe. It is of particular concern that 45% of cases affect young individuals between 25 and 44 years old.
Excessive hospitalisation, lack of patient-centred methods of TB treatment and stigma are contributing factors to growing MDR-TB. To complete their long and painful treatment, patients need not just medication but the support of loved ones and psychological and social care, so that they keep taking the pills. Disruption of treatment will mean that bacteria are not fully eradicated, and will lead to MDR-TB. Access to medication is important. In most of our States, TB drugs are provided for free, but the challenges include the fact that, in the 21st century, there are still wars going on. In Ukraine, owing to ongoing Russian aggression, access to the latest drugs such as bedaquiline and delamanid has been restricted. The number of TB cases is growing rapidly among internally displaced persons, in occupied territories, and in Georgia and in the Republic of Moldova, the main reason being that the occupying authorities do not take proper care to provide access to medication. Most of the drugs are smuggled in, with the support of civil society organisations.
Migrants in Europe with latent TB have more chances of developing its active form, due to shortcomings in their living conditions. They may also have no access to health care. The WHO and the Wolfheze 2011 conference developed a minimum package of cross-border care that covers the necessary political commitment, financial mechanisms, and adequate health care delivery.
We went on fact-finding missions to Azerbaijan and Norway to explore best practice and the reasons for a lack of investment in the research and development of new drugs. There have been some good developments in the European Union: it launched the “new drugs for bad bugs” programme in 2012, which has already increased the number of large pharma companies working on new drugs from four to 11, while the number of small and medium-sized enterprises working on the issue through the BEAM – Biotech companies in Europe combating Antimicrobial Resistance – Alliance has gone up from just a few to almost 50. It is not only new drugs but new technological advances that are of service, particularly when it comes to making sure that patients actually take their drugs. With regard to treatment adherence, wirelessly observed therapy is developing, and is likely to replace standard directly observed therapy.
The report recommends that member States: ensure effective diagnosis of every TB patient, and access to appropriate treatment and care, including psycho-social support; provide people-centred health care services; invest in early detection, and the research and development of new drugs, diagnostics and vaccines; fight the stigma associated with the disease; attend United Nations meetings at the highest level; and address the problem at source.
Last but not least, I cannot fully express how grateful I am for the support provided by the committee and all its members, and I thank them for their valuable contributions. I also thank the secretariat – Ayşegül, Tanja and the others – and especially Mr Schennach for letting me stay focused on the topic of TB. I am also grateful to the Norwegian and Azerbaijani delegations, particularly Mrs Schou and Mr Seyidov, for the help and co-ordination that they provided as good hosts during the fact-finding missions. My particular thanks go to current and former TB patients, whose determination and commitment to enabling changes and defeating the epidemic were a major inspiration during this work. I look forward to the debate. Thank you.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Mr Kiral. You have just under a minute remaining. In the debate, I first call Mr Fridez. You have four minutes.
Mr FRIDEZ (Switzerland, Spokesperson for the Socialists, Democrats and Greens Group)* – Thank you. There has been a lot of fear around this disease throughout history. TB has been with us for centuries, but towards the end of the 20th century, we began to feel that it was a very minor issue for us. I have worked as a general practitioner, and the number of people I saw with TB in the late 20th century could be counted on the fingers of one hand. That was because of the BCG vaccine, which was introduced in the 1920s. Since then, we have seemed very close to TB eradication, but we now recognise that there are problems with the vaccine, and that it cannot eliminate all the TB risks in the world, because there are other problems, generally related to standard of living and hygiene. The number of TB cases per 100 000 persons is an assessment tool used for assessing a country’s wealth. We must therefore underscore the fact that TB is a sign of poverty; I cannot over-emphasise that.
People feel that our success against TB has been illusory. That is partly because we have seen an upswing in the number of TB cases in our countries in recent decades. Also, we now see elderly people suffering from TB. At the end of their life, because their level of immunity has fallen, perhaps following treatment for other illnesses such as diabetes or cancer, they become vulnerable to TB, which has been latent within them throughout their life.
We must recognise that drug-resistant TB has become a serious health issue for Europe, and we need to find a response to the challenges we face. We recognise that there have to be different types of pharmaceutical intervention. We also have to ensure that we co-operate with patients properly and take a people-centred approach. Otherwise, we will not be able to deal with this scourge. We need health structures that make resources available for this purpose.
We need to look at and improve the conditions in which people live. If you are not eating properly or living in a hygienic environment, your treatment will not be as effective as it could be. Detection has to be more effective, especially for elderly people; if they are coughing, not feeling well or losing weight, we have to find out why. There are many problems for migrants, especially those with other conditions such as HIV. Again, we have to be aware of these issues and ensure correct diagnosis.
Drug resistance applies not just to TB; it has become a major public health issue. In many health centres, we just do not know how to deal with some patients because of the problems of microbial and drug resistance. We must recognise that perhaps we have used antibiotics too widely – for medical treatment and in the food that we eat. We may hope that new discoveries of yet another generation of antibiotics will solve some of our problems, but I do not believe that. Indeed, that can only put off facing the problem that we will have to tackle one day.
We should not have poisons in our environment, or at least we should reduce the causes of diseases. First and foremost, we must fight against poverty and particularly lack of access to clean water. Such an approach was proven to work in the 20th century in Europe, and it can work again.
Dame Cheryl GILLAN (United Kingdom, Spokesperson on behalf of the European Conservatives Group) – I congratulate the rapporteur on an excellent report on an important subject and offer the support of the European Conservatives Group for it. I also thank the rapporteur for the way in which he referred to my colleague in the United Kingdom Parliament, Nick Herbert, and his sterling work in this area, and for drawing our attention to the meetings that are currently taking place in New York.
When I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, TB was talked about in hushed tones. A lot of people used to go off to clinics in places like Switzerland. As antibiotics developed, we did not talk about it anymore because it was believed that we had overcome TB. It became so rare that we did not talk about it extensively in the United Kingdom.
Sadly, we can now see our mistake. It is estimated that a third of all the antimicrobial resistance deaths are caused by drug-resistant TB. One thing that stands out for me is lack of research, which means that treatments are outdated and ineffective. Consequently, many people with drug-resistant TB are forced to undergo some very hard treatment regimes, to which the rapporteur referred. The treatments can last up to two years, with horrifying side effects. Even after such treatments, the number of positive outcomes is relatively low.
World TB Day was on 24 March, and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control released figures showing the increase in extensively drug-resistant TB – XDR-TB as it is known – from 350 cases in 2012 to almost 5 000 in 2016. The majority of them were in the eastern bloc. The figures show that the number of cases of TB resistance to frontline treatments increased from 38 000 in 2012 to 51 000 in 2016. We can thus see the extent of this major problem.
Marieke van der Werf, the head of tuberculosis at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, has confirmed that the threat to Europe is caused by the mobility of people who bring drug resistance with them, and urges countries to be vigilant about that.
I am pleased to report that reducing drug-resistant TB is one of England’s 10 areas for action. We have a collaborative tuberculosis strategy, which draws on the World Health Organization’s TB strategy and road map to prevent and control drug-resistant TB. It includes improving awareness of and early access to services, improving access to rapid diagnostic tests, ensuring that complex cases are discussed at multidisciplinary local clinical networks, and ensuring that best practice for infection control for patients with drug-resistant TB is maintained at all times to prevent further transition.
However, we cannot be complacent. To defeat this problem, we must take a close look at every one of our countries. To defeat this growing infectious killer, we will need concerted action across all our countries, particularly in the Council of Europe because, as the rapporteur knows well, such diseases know no boundaries, national, political or financial.
Ms de BRUIJN-WEZEMAN (Netherlands, Spokesperson on behalf of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) – I thank Mr Kiral for his clear report, which will be the Parliamentary Assembly’s contribution to the upcoming United Nations meeting on tuberculosis in September. The report can count on the support of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.
It is of concern that the European region has the highest rates of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis worldwide. Antimicrobial resistance is a threat to the treatment of many dangerous infectious diseases, not only tuberculosis.
The rate of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in the European region differs from country to country. Eighteen countries in eastern and central Europe are the most affected by the tuberculosis epidemic, and bear 85% of the tuberculosis burden and 99% of the multidrug-resistant tuberculosis burden.
Tuberculosis is also linked to disadvantaged groups and to people living with HIV. Within certain communities, there is a fear of getting infected. Those are the reasons why people with tuberculosis get stigmatised. The stigma and the resulting social isolation often lead to a large number of underdiagnosed patients or non-adherence to treatment, which is one of the main drivers of drug resistance. The failure of national health care systems to deliver good quality tuberculosis treatment is one of the main reasons why the disease continues to exist.
Although tuberculosis disproportionately hits socially and economically disadvantaged groups, it can hit anyone. It is time for a wake-up call. The development of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis means that this potentially lethal disease can get out of hand. We are already talking about 1.7 million deaths worldwide in 2016.
We must call on States to replace outdated tuberculosis policies with an efficient and people-centred model of TB care, in line with international guidelines from the World Health Organization. Governments should ensure sufficient and sustainable financing for TB care in their national budget plans.
I would also like to focus on antibiotic resistance in general. It is at its highest in countries where many antibiotics are used by people and for the control of animal diseases. This, too, is a very dangerous development. There is much less antibiotic resistance in countries where there is a reluctance to administer antibiotics, and they are available only when prescribed by a doctor. A ban on the free availability of antibiotics seems to be worth considering.
The report calls for greater solidarity between the low tuberculosis incidence countries and the high tuberculosis incidence countries. In my view, it is not about solidarity, but common responsibility. This is all about the chain and the weakest link.
Mr HUNKO (Germany, Spokesperson on behalf of the Group of the Unified European Left)* – Why is the Council of Europe considering a question of public health such as tuberculosis? The answer is in the resolution. We are talking about a phenomenon that affects society as a whole. That is underlined by the terrible figures – 1.7 million deaths in 2016 were caused by tuberculosis. If we look more carefully at them, the breakdown shows, as the resolution makes clear, that socially disadvantaged groups are primarily affected – people who sometimes have less access to a public health system.
Back in the 1980s, I studied medicine in the nearby city of Freiburg in Germany. Then, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases were considered to be part of history. Unfortunately, matters have subsequently taken a different direction.
The Group of the Unified European Left supports the report, which sets out a series of good proposals, including on the need to strengthen public health systems and to extend support to United Nations efforts to tackle TB. It refers specifically to how growing international inequality, about which we have talked in the Assembly on many occasions over the past few years, underpins the spread of the disease. Whenever we talk about growing inequality, we should never forget that issues such as TB are part of the problem.
The proposals on multi-resistant strains of TB to which Mr Fridez and Ms de Bruijn-Wezeman referred are good. The use of antibiotics must be subject to greater regulation. In my country, Germany, antibiotics can be used only with a prescription. Their use in the food industry – in animal rearing – must also be subject to strict rules.
The Group of the Unified European Left has tabled a number of amendments to ensure that the people most severely affected by TB are given access to the medication that they need. It would be quite unacceptable for only those who are financially well-off to have access to the drugs. I support those amendments and think it is an excellent report.
Ms SCHOU (Norway, Spokesperson for the Group of the European People’s Party) – I congratulate Mr Kiral on his well-written and interesting report and, on behalf of the Norwegian delegation, I thank him for his kind words about his visit to Norway.
Probably like most members, I thought of tuberculosis as a thing of the past, so I was disturbed to read that several Council of Europe member States have the highest rate of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis worldwide. As a former hospital director, I was not surprised but nevertheless disappointed to learn that one reason for this situation is weak and under-financed healthcare infrastructure and a large number of under-diagnosed patients. It is equally disappointing and worrying that there is a constant lack of investment in research and development for new drugs and vaccines. That should not be the case when we know that TB is the world’s leading infectious killer and caused 1.7 million deaths worldwide in 2016. Collectively, we have the necessary knowledge and experience to change that.
I wish to highlight the importance of vaccines. Efforts to prevent a disease are far more efficient and much less expensive than treating sick patients. As the report shows, Norway has put in place a strong TB control programme. Of course, that may seem easier for a rich country like Norway with few cases of TB, but I believe that the main reason for our success is that we have adopted an integrated approach and achieved an effective collaboration between all stakeholders in the fight against TB.
Although I appreciate the efforts of the rapporteur, it is important that we do not duplicate the work already being done by the World Health Organisation and the United Nations. In my opinion, this topic, although important, falls outside the core tasks of the Council of Europe. I am confident that the World Health Organization and the United Nations are already efficiently promoting this cause and doing what they can to engage our national authorities. I therefore support the call for Council of Europe member States to join forces with these two global organisations – that is the most important thing we can do. I thank Mr Kiral for the report.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you. The rapporteur, Mr Kiral, will reply at the end of the debate.
I call Baroness Massey.
Baroness MASSEY (United Kingdom) – I have followed the process of this report with great interest and thank and congratulate the rapporteur for producing such a comprehensive document. Tuberculosis is a disease that carries stigma. It is a neglected disease and one that we have perhaps become complacent about. The report is a wake-up call and will, I hope, aid and inspire discussion at the United Nations meeting in September this year.
TB cannot be ignored. It is the ninth leading cause of death worldwide and the leading cause from a single infectious agent, ranking above HIV/AIDS. Yesterday, an Asian online newspaper gave frightening statistics: one in five multidrug-resistant patients fail to complete treatment and 147 000 cases – 5.4% of the total – are resistant to frontline TB drugs. We know that there are underlying factors in the spread of TB and that there are region-specific challenges, involving early detection and preventive treatment for socially vulnerable groups. This is complicated by there being different strains of the disease and by the poor health infrastructure and policies in some countries, which are described in the report.
I shall concentrate my few remarks on section 5 of the report, which covers the way forward for Europe and the rest of the world. I am grateful to Public Health England, which is quoted in the report, for useful statistics and other information about TB.
In 2016, the United Kingdom had the lowest number of TB cases since 2000, and the rate has been stable since 2015. However, we do have vulnerable groups. For example, the rate of TB in the non-United Kingdom-born population was 15 times higher than in the United Kingdom-born population, and 74% of cases were among non-United Kingdom-born people. Poverty is a strong factor in TB’s development. There has been a steep decline in notifications, which is as yet unclear. It is important to continue efforts to reduce diagnostic delay, through awareness-raising in communities affected by TB and among health professionals. It is also necessary to maintain the quality of TB diagnostic treatment and care services, to ensure high rates of culture combination and treatment completion, to maintain focus on the social factors associated with TB and to ensure an integrated approach to the specific needs of under-served populations.
All of that ties in with the report’s recommendation that countries invest in looking for TB cases among high-risk populations and develop person-centred approaches. To do that, countries need to invest urgently and to renew out-dated policies. We must recognise that in doing that, some national health systems may have problems with a reduction in external funding. There is good practice around, and governments will need to look into focusing resources to tackle TB. That would be cost-effective and humane. I congratulate the rapporteur on drawing this issue to our attention.
Mr David DAVIES (United Kingdom) – I welcome Mr Kiral’s report; we have all been following this issue with great interest ever since he started his work.
I wish to make one or two quick points. First, the report makes a great deal of the correlation between poverty and TB. There is a saying in English that correlation does not mean causation. I caution against the idea that we could somehow solve the problem by handing out large amounts of money, because, as the report and other speakers have stated, many of those suffering from TB come from vulnerable groups. I worked for nine years as a police officer in London and sometimes came across people in that situation. I am not trying to blame anyone, but often these people have chaotic lifestyles and, as has been said, some are drug users who would find it very challenging if not impossible to take the 14 000 pills over two years that is the required treatment in some instances. We must not be afraid to point out the obvious difficulty in persuading some people who have the disease to take the action that could help to cure it.
My other point is about bovine TB – TB in cattle – and that is particularly pertinent to the United Kingdom and the area that I represent. TB has a tendency to cross over, which does not happen so much in the United Kingdom, but a report says that about 10% of TB cases in humans from developing countries are as a direct result of bovine TB. It is therefore vital that we take action to ensure that TB in all its strains is dealt with in all areas. One worry in the United Kingdom is that in some parts we have recognised that TB is particularly prevalent within the badger population and we are taking steps to deal with that by culling badgers, and in other parts people are unwilling to take that decision for political reasons.
If we are to stamp out TB and ensure that the population is free of it, we must be able to take tough measures. I call on all political groups in the Council of Europe to recognise that, and to recognise that all the signs show that TB can cross over between species. Therefore, if there is TB in our wildlife, we need to deal with it. I thank the rapporteur, Mr Kiral, for his report, which I am sure will be welcomed by members on all sides.
Mr NISSINEN (Sweden)* – I congratulate our rapporteur, Mr Kiral, on his excellent report from a scientific point of view and for his impassioned plea that we Europeans have reached our limit in the fight against tuberculosis, one of the most deadly epidemics in the history of humankind. More and more strains have become resistant to a growing number of antibiotics and other remedies that were effective. For some patients, we no longer have an alternative to offer.
Europe is on the frontline in this fight, the outcome of which will determine the lives of millions of our compatriots. Our continent is not only densely populated, which facilitates transmission, but receives large numbers of migrants, many of whom are susceptible to be carriers of new mutations of the disease from their country of origin that have not been fully treated because of lack of resources or armed conflict. I have here a New York Times article headed, “Will the next superbug come from Yemen?”, which argues that mutations of bacteria are more rapid in war-torn countries where broad spectrum antibiotics are used in an uncontrolled fashion and cholera and other epidemics are widespread. To that, we must add the vulnerability and stigmatisation of those affected by tuberculosis in prisons, refugee camps or poor neighbourhoods, which often lack health facilities: a perfect context for an unpredictable genetic mutation of the disease. Consequently Mr Kiral is quite right to sound the alarm bells so that Europe will wake up after many years of underfinanced research and lack of enthusiasm to tackle the issue.
The time has come for us to devise a complete and consistent strategy to fight against tuberculosis. The best possible place to do that will be the high-level conference to be held in New York next September. I welcome this excellent report being discussed here in the Chamber and I hope with all my heart that it will open a new chapter in our common fight against tuberculosis.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you. As Mr Oehme is not here, I call Mr Amraoui.
Mr AMRAOUI (Morocco, Partner for Democracy)* – Though we thought that tuberculosis was in decline or at least under control in developed countries, it is re-emerging. In fact, it never disappears. When you have difficult situations and people’s standards of living drop, TB comes back. Today, MDR tuberculosis is affecting socially vulnerable groups – migrants, for instance – in all our countries and there are very serious public health risks as a result.
Public health authorities are now of the view that migrants must be considered as a vulnerable group and not as a group who may spread the disease, because most of the contamination occurs within the reception countries. We therefore need to show the right attitude towards these people who are ill and are patients, and their families. Detection and therapy can be used to treat most patients, but, if you do not have proper detection and diagnosis, you will not find the right treatment.
In Morocco, efforts to control TB are among our health system’s top priorities, but sadly we still have high levels of the disease. MDR tuberculosis is a serious threat to the progress we have made in this area. It remains a public health issue that cannot be ignored in Morocco or throughout the world.
Poor socio-economic conditions are what we describe as the determinants of the disease: in other words, people living in poverty are much more likely to contract it. We must therefore look beyond purely medical factors to see what can be done to tackle this scourge. We must work with our partners across the board. Indeed, in Morocco since 1995 we have had a TB diagnosis rate of over 80% and over 85% success in treating it. In fact, we got the gold medal from the Stop TB Partnership awarded by the World Health Organization.
MDR tuberculosis is particularly difficult, but in Morocco only 0.5% of those affected have MDR, which means that we are on track to achieve our targets under the sustainable development goals. There can, however, be no doubt that we must be vigilant about tuberculosis in all situations and with regard to all population groups. When there is a potential risk, we must ensure that we step in and take the necessary measures, especially in areas where TB is likely to be more prevalent. That is particularly important and must be at the forefront of what we do – above even medical research.
Pharmaceutical companies must be encouraged to do more across the board in this area. We cannot just accept that this is a disease that poor people will have. No, we must show solidarity to central and eastern European countries and to Europe’s southern borders.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you. There is room for or two more speeches if anyone would like spontaneously to take the floor.
I call Mr Ghiletchi.
Mr GHILETCHI (Republic of Moldova) – I thank the rapporteur. If I am not mistaken, this is Mr Kiral’s first report to the Assembly, and I wish him every success. He has proved himself to be a very diligent and persistent rapporteur, as the report shows.
In the Republic of Moldova, we have a saying – in Romanian – that if you have health you have everything, but if you do not have health you have nothing. It is very important for us to give our full support to measures to tackle health issues, and I am glad that Mr Kiral has raised this important issue. As the report rightly says, we thought this was a disease of the past. Unfortunately, in some countries, including my own, we still face this challenge, and we need to take measures to prevent the spread of and treat people with tuberculosis.
An emphasis on diagnosis and prevention is very important. Whenever we have to deal with problems and challenges, prevention is important. Again, I am pleased that Mr Kiral has stressed that point in relation to tuberculosis. Raising awareness through social advertising is important. In my country, we have such social advertising on radio and television every day to raise awareness. People who experience any symptoms should be encouraged to see a doctor and have some tests to make sure that they are not sick and do not have tuberculosis.
The issue is more difficult when it comes to finding incentives for pharmaceutical companies to invest in research in order to discover better drugs. That is an important recommendation, but I do not know what incentives we should consider to motivate such companies to invest in this area. It is important to have national strategies, but the report creates the platform for a possible European strategy. I ask those still in the Chamber to support Mr Kiral’s report, and I congratulate him on it.
The PRESIDENT – Does anyone else wish to speak? That is not the case.
That concludes the list of speakers. I call Mr Kiral to reply to the debate. You have one minute left.
Mr KIRAL (Ukraine) – I thank all members who have spoken in this debate. One minute is not enough time to respond to all their points – I have taken a lot of notes – but there were several common themes.
One of the biggest problems is the inefficiency of conventional health care systems, and several speakers called for a focus on patient-centred systems, in which the patient’s need for social and psychological support is recognised. On incentives, we met some pharmaceutical companies and Norwegian international development agencies in Norway, and heard how tuberculosis is still not eligible for existing international programmes. Finally, I believe that we as parliamentarians need to take political action, so I encourage all members to set up caucuses in their own parliaments in order to organise parliamentarians to work together with governments and other stakeholders so that we can finally eradicate this epidemic and get rid of tuberculosis by 2030, as prescribed by the United Nations General Assembly. I again thank all members for their contributions, and I look forward to the adoption of the resolution.
Mr SCHENNACH (Austria)* – As Chairman of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development, I want to thank our rapporteur for his extremely hard work, and the secretariat also deserves our thanks. I also thank Olga Klymenko, who told us in great detail about living her life in hell; that young woman gave us some very brave testimony. Just imagine 1.7 million people dying a slow and insidious death. That is rather similar to the size of my home city, Vienna, which has just over 1.7 million inhabitants, so every year the equivalent of a city the size of Vienna is killed by this disease.
A particularly striking aspect of the report is the fact that poverty and tuberculosis go hand in hand: they are twins. I was born in the 1950s, and I had tuberculosis as a child in the early 1960s. The treatment of TB, which was very heavy, took several months in hospital, but thanks to the health care I was given, I recovered. As part of my work for the Council of Europe I visit many prisons, and in many case I have found that the medical equipment – for example, X-ray machines – are more dangerous than the diseases they are being used to detect, so medical systems in prisons need investment to improve the services they offer. My final point is that the Council of Europe has adopted a very strong position, upstream, in this United Nations process, and that is important.
This is the first report from our rapporteur, and Mr Kiral can be proud of the fact that it was adopted unanimously in the committee, which conducted its debates on it in a very calm and united atmosphere.
The PRESIDENT – The debate is closed.
The Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development has presented a draft resolution, to which five amendments have been tabled. I understand that Amendments 1 and 4 were agreed to unanimously by the committee, but they must be taken individually because sub-amendments have been proposed to each of them. Amendments will be taken in the order in which they appear in the Order of Debates and the revised Compendium. I remind you that speeches on amendments are limited to 30 seconds.
We come to Amendment 1, which is, in the draft resolution, paragraph 6.1, after the words “has access to appropriate”, to insert the following words: “and affordable”.
I call Mr Hunko to support the amendment.
Mr HUNKO (Germany)* – As with the other amendments, the idea is to emphasise that access to health care is particularly important for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. I would add that I support the sub-amendments.
The PRESIDENT – We now come to the sub-amendment, tabled by the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development, which is, in Amendment 1, before the word “affordable”, to insert the following words: “free, and when not possible,”.
I call Mr Kiral, on behalf of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development, to support the sub-amendment.
Mr KIRAL (Ukraine) – The Committee decided on this sub-amendment to preserve the meaning of the proposed amendment.
The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of Mr Hunko on the sub-amendment?
Mr HUNKO (Germany)* – I support the sub-amendment.
The PRESIDENT – The Committee is clearly in favour.
The vote is open.
The sub-amendment is adopted.
Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment, as amended? That is not the case.
The Committee is clearly in favour.
The vote is open.
Amendment 1, as amended, is adopted.
I call Mr Hunko to support Amendment 2. You have 30 seconds.
Mr HUNKO (Germany)* – The idea is to ensure that psycho-social support be either free of charge or funded by public resources. We think that is right and appropriate.
The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? I call Mr Kiral.
Mr KIRAL (Ukraine) – In the committee, we had the idea of proposing the sub-amendment to Amendment 1 to emphasise the service’s affordability and that medication has to be provided for free, which is the case in most member States. That is why the committee decided to reject this amendment: it already exists.
The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?
Mr SCHENNACH (Austria) – The committee is unanimously against the amendment.
The PRESIDENT – I shall now put the amendment to the vote.
The vote is open.
Amendment 2 is rejected.
I call Mr Hunko to support Amendment 3. You have 30 seconds.
Mr HUNKO (Germany)* – The purpose of the amendment is to ensure that access to the relevant health care is affordable, along the lines of what I said in support of the amendments to paragraph 6.1.
The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? I call Mr Kiral.
Mr KIRAL (Ukraine) – I am against the amendment for the same reasons as I just explained.
The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?
Mr SCHENNACH (Austria) – The committee is unanimously against the amendment.
The PRESIDENT – I shall now put the amendment to the vote.
The vote is open.
Amendment 3 is rejected.
We come to Amendment 4, which is, in the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 6.2.3, insert the following words: “, also in view of decreasing the financial burdens of these already socially vulnerable and disadvantaged groups of patients in need”.
I call Mr Hunko to support Amendment 4. You have 30 seconds.
Mr HUNKO (Germany)* – We believe that we have to guarantee access, as was the case with the previous amendments. I also support the sub-amendment to this amendment.
The PRESIDENT – We now come to the sub-amendment, tabled by the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development, which proposes, in Amendment 4, in the English version, to delete the word “these”.
I call Mr Kiral, on behalf of the committee, to support the sub-amendment, which is an amendment to the English version of the text only. You have 30 seconds.
Mr KIRAL (Ukraine) – This is a minor sub-amendment. We want to delete the word “these” in order not to dehumanise socially vulnerable, disadvantaged groups, but generally we support the amendment.
The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the sub-amendment? That is not the case.
What is the opinion of Mr Hunko on the sub-amendment?
Mr HUNKO (Germany)* – I agree.
The PRESIDENT – The committee is clearly in favour.
I shall now put the sub-amendment to the vote.
The vote is open.
The sub-amendment is adopted.
Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment, as amended? That is not the case.
The committee is clearly in favour.
I shall now put the amendment, as amended, to the vote.
The vote is open.
Amendment 4, as amended, is adopted.
I call Mr Hunko to support Amendment 5. You have 30 seconds.
Mr HUNKO (Germany)* – The amendment is about the research and development of new pharmaceuticals, diagnostic procedures and vaccinations for TB. It is important that access is guaranteed to new pharmaceuticals. We must ensure that people can afford the cost of them, and that is why the amendment refers to the word “affordable”.
The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? I call Mr Kiral.
Mr KIRAL (Ukraine) – In the amended paragraph 6.1 of the draft resolution we already say that the medication and the drugs have to be “free, and when not possible, affordable”. The amendment refers to research and development in the pharmaceutical industry, which is a very costly process. It takes millions to invest in new drugs, and treatment can cost hundreds or thousands in some difficult MDR-TB cases. It is illogical to mention the word “affordable” in this context.
The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?
Mr SCHENNACH (Austria) – The committee is unanimously against the amendment.
The PRESIDENT – I shall now put the amendment to the vote.
The vote is open.
Amendment 5 is rejected.
We will now proceed to vote on the draft resolution contained in Document 14525, as amended. A simple majority is required.
The vote is open.
The draft resolution in Document 14525, as amended, is adopted, with 44 votes for, 0 against and 0 abstentions.
Congratulations. I thank the committee for its good work.
(Mr Nick, Vice-President of the Assembly, took the Chair in place of Mr Jonas Gunnarsson.)
2. Integration, empowerment and protection of migrant children through compulsory education
The PRESIDENT – The next item of business this morning is the debate on the report entitled “Integration, empowerment and protection of migrant children through compulsory education”, contained in Document 14524, presented by the rapporteur Ms Petra De Sutter, on behalf of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons. I remind members that there is a four-minute speech limit in this debate. I call Ms De Sutter. You have 13 minutes in total, which you may divide between presentation of the report and reply to the debate.
Ms De SUTTER (Belgium) – Ladies and gentlemen, I guess all of you remember the “jungle” in Calais – the refugee camp in the north of France close to the border with Belgium. When it was shut down and cleared, many refugees had to flee again. Among them were families with children of minority age and also unaccompanied minors. While they were residing in the camp, we knew that those children could attend classes, but outside the camp nobody knew whether they would have access to education. I could not erase this shameful situation from my mind, so I decided to write a report to investigate how we could ensure access to education for all refugee and migrant children. What happened to the children who had reached our borders safe and sound when they had to flee again from the camp in Calais to another camp in a neighbouring country? Have these children started on a path of real integration and do they get a chance to build a new life? Education is key for their future – and for the future of Europe.
Providing quality education to refugee and migrant children today will serve to prepare the Europe of tomorrow. Let us not forget that only six out of 10 refugee children have access to primary education. That staggering figure is even worse for secondary education: only two out of 10 refugee adolescents attend secondary school – not to mention the fact that only 1% have the chance to go to higher education or university. There are 6.4 million primary and secondary school-age refugees around the world, and more than half of them – about 3.5 million – have no school to go to. If we are serious about this, and we really want to prevent these children from becoming a lost generation, much more can be done.
Dear colleagues, a school should be a safe haven where children can learn. Police or armed forces should not be seen there, as agreed in the Safe Schools Declaration, adopted in May 2015 in Oslo. If you attended the award ceremony of the Museum Prize on Tuesday evening, you will probably have heard the speech made by the founder of the War Childhood Museum in Sarajevo. He is a war child himself. In his moving speech, he said that he saw children in the streets and that in some places, such as Ukraine, children have to go past police patrols to get to school: “this is not where children should be sleeping, and not how children should be going to school”.
The aim of this report is to encourage authorities to invest in education, to empower migrant children to effectively reach the international standards we have agreed on. Those standards are very clear: education should be accessible, available, acceptable and adaptable; and primary education should be compulsory and available free to all. However, reality shows us that many member States lag behind. There is a big gap between what States do at the national level, and what they have agreed to do through international legislation. That is why my report highlights the gap between States’ undertakings under domestic and international legislation on primary and secondary education and actual delivery to migrant and refugee children. Examples from Council of Europe member States illustrate good practices and many areas for improvement.
I wrote the report as a kind of checklist of conditions for ensuring migrant children’s education. It entails the following: first, national objectives for school attendance of migrant and refugee children; secondly, pre-school and primary education free of charge for refugee children, even when it is organised privately; thirdly, equal treatment regardless of their status as possible refugees, as in Sweden, although not in the Netherlands or Germany; fourthly, access to mainstream education in local classes; fifthly, adequate transport and accompaniment of children accommodated in centres and camps; sixthly, correct information for parents and children, about their obligation or opportunity to go to primary school; seventhly, psycho-social assistance provided to diagnose and address cases of trauma, as well as specific teacher training to recognise early signs of distress linked to refugee children’s experiences, which we know can be horrible; eighthly, effective firewalls between the information systems of schools and immigration authorities to protect data on the status of migrants in irregular situations, in order to prevent its misuse for the purpose of denying or complicating access to education for migrant children; and ninthly, second-language acquisition for all students, at regular schools. Language learning is an important part of integration and a precondition for the advancement of other learning abilities. Additional language courses should be made available free of charge to children and parents where needed. Where possible, access to mother-tongue educational resources should be made available.
The Assembly also calls on all Council of Europe member States to encourage, financially and structurally, further and higher education for migrants, making use of tools such as the Council of Europe language support toolkit for adult refugees and supporting projects such as the Council of Europe’s European qualifications passport for refugees, piloted by Greece in 2017. Furthermore, gender-sensitive education should be in place and teachers trained in how to manage culturally sensitive situations linked to gender, to recognise gender-specific issues and to reject and avoid propagating stereotypes. This is important. These skills should be taught as a general rule, but the Assembly points out that they are all the more important when the cultures, habits and beliefs of migrants and refugees differ from those of the majority in the host country. Accepting difference and inciting curiosity about other cultures – and indeed one’s own culture and history – begins in the classroom.
Ladies and gentlemen, the most important recommendation of this report is probably the call for long-term investments; money is always important. Education for people fleeing hardship is mostly financed from emergency funds, or it depends on project-based funding, which does not encourage long-term investment in sustainable policies. Long-term investments are needed, especially in countries where refugee camps have become cities. Refugees spend an average of 20 years in exile, according to figures from United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, so this makes it very clear that project-based funding is not enough.
It has to become clear that many refugees cannot and will not go back to their home countries. They will stay in the host countries to build a new life, so it is important to ensure basic rights and resources for oneself and one’s family. Education is one of those necessities, as an enabling factor for the fulfilment of human potential, a precondition for individual well-being and a tool for life in general. Often, for political reasons, education is not a priority because people tend to believe that if we educate the children they will stay longer in the country where they have arrived, and they should be returned. My answer to that is that even if they are to return to their countries, they have the basic human right to education.
More concretely, member States can integrate education for migrant and refugee children and specialised teacher training into the budget of the Ministry for Education rather than into that of humanitarian and development assistance, where emergency budgets come from.
To sum up, the Assembly strongly urges member States to work actively towards fulfilling the objectives set out in my report. Not respecting the legal undertakings guaranteed by the implementation of these concrete measures would constitute a flagrant violation of children’s rights. Education is a powerful tool for the integration of migrants and refugees and the empowerment of young people destabilised by situations for which they are not responsible. Education is key to their future and the future of Europe; providing quality education to refugee and migrant children today will serve to prepare the Europe of tomorrow.
THE PRESIDENT – Thank you. You have three and a half minutes remaining.
We now come to the speakers on behalf of political groups. First, I call Mr John Howell.
Mr HOWELL (United Kingdom, Spokesperson for the European Conservatives Group) – The report highlights a number of good points and I congratulate the rapporteur. I think we all agree that education is important, and that it is very important for these children. However, the picture she presents is mixed. My government has made it clear that the protection and enhancement of children who come from conflict areas will remain a top priority, and I think we can all agree on that, too.
Jordan, one of our Partners for Democracy, is a very welcoming country which is doing a lot to provide teaching for the Syrian refugees there, yet even in Jordan there is a major problem of providing the early years education that will set these children up to perform well later in school. That is in a country that has made impressive strides in school access and attainment.
Education can also play an enormous role in these children settling down and in the peace process. How, for example, can we have a proper conversation with a child who cannot do a basic maths sum or who does not have a good grasp of English? Strains have been put on the local economy, too, as a result, and Jordan needs long-term help in the development of its economic infrastructure.
I welcome the United Nations work to help the children of refugees, and in particular the work of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. We should also expand the availability and use of the toolkit produced by the Council of Europe; that is a valuable resource and we should promote it.
In view of the press coverage after the Christmas attacks in Cologne, another important area is the sort of sexual education programme which Norway was running to teach young male migrants appropriate sexual behaviour. That is key to ensuring we can overcome some of the cultural difficulties and assure people of the appropriateness of what we are doing.
There is a negative point to make in the context of keeping children safe, however, and the example I shall use in illustrating it is the placing of military equipment in schools in Gaza by Hamas. This use of schools as human shields must be deplored. It has been widely commented on, and it destroys the status of schools as places to keep children safe and a safe haven, and we should not be prepared to accept that.
Mr COMTE (Switzerland, Spokesperson for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe)* – I thank the rapporteur for her excellent report, which gives us a comprehensive understanding of the issue of education for migrant children.
We believe in personal responsibility and that people are not responsible for the acts of others. While children can be held responsible for their actions, they cannot be held responsible for what their parents do. Their education should not therefore be jeopardised by the status of their parents, who might for example be irregular migrants forced by circumstance to leave their country. Therefore, a child’s right to education is a fundamental right regardless of their legal status. We have a duty to protect migrant children, so we must ensure that schools are a safe place, or sanctuary, where they can develop.
Paragraph 6.7 of the resolution, which refers to firewalls and the need to create clear and impermeable barriers between schools and immigration services, is very important. If we want these children to go to school, they must feel safe. Schools must not be used by immigration services as a means to identify the whereabouts of families before expelling them. School authorities should have a duty of silence if they become aware that a child’s parents are irregular migrants; schools should not be allowed to transmit such information to immigration services. Schools are for teaching, not for denouncing people who are in an illegal situation.
These children must also be educated in the normal school system. Some of them when they first arrive will face great personal challenges, such as in language skills, which might mean they cannot immediately join normal classes, but the overarching objective must be to ensure that they can join normal classes as soon as possible.
That is also the best way to ensure that migrant children can integrate into society, and get to know the language and social and cultural codes. They will face not only the shock of being uprooted, but the cultural shock of coming to a country with different social mores and traditions from those of their own country. We must therefore facilitate their integration with their classmates.
The report also refers to teachers. They must be aware of the particular needs of migrant children, who are often suffering the psychological after-effects of the experiences they have been through. They must be given psychological support, and teachers must be fully aware that these children will often require special and targeted support and attention.
As the report states, there is a series of legal instruments defining the right to education, but we should go beyond principles and ensure they are translated into reality. Education is important, but humanity must be the fundamental pillar underpinning our approach to these children.
Mr PSYCHOGIOS (Greece, Spokesperson for the Group of the Unified European Left) – I thank the rapporteur for her excellent work. It is a pity that this report is being discussed on the last day of the part-session, as there are many things to say about it.
Education is the key for integration. This is why it is of primary importance to build a complete educational scheme for refugee and migrant children in each and every member State. Taking that into account, I will use the Greek example as a case study of what we, in the United European Left, support: full access to education.
Greece, despite the lack of solidarity from many member States and the ongoing economic crisis, has from 2015 shown the way on solidarity and values. It has already taken great steps on the integration of refugees and migrants: free access to the healthcare system which is on a par with the rest of the population, access to work, and support for families with certain problems around remaining. The most notable initiative of the Greek Government, however, is the education programme designed for refugee children.
In 2016, the Greek Ministry of Education established a scientific committee to prepare a plan for the integration of the newly arrived refugee children into education. The ministry developed the curriculum that is taught in afternoon refugee classes, the so-called “reception school facilities for refugee education”, as well as the guidelines for Greek as a foreign language taught in the reception classes of mainstream schools. Today, the same rules on school enrolment apply to all children all over Greece, both on the mainland and the islands, regardless of their residence or legal status. Students in primary and secondary schools are supported in reception classes through Greek language support or tutorial teaching within the mainstream programme. From 2016-17, afternoon classes, called reception school facilities for refugees, have been specially designed as a preparatory transitional intervention scheme.
The aim is to ensure a gradual integration into the education system for refugee children living in refugee accommodation centres. They operate in public primary schools for children aged six to 12 years old and in secondary schools for children aged 12 to 15 years old. The school programme includes Greek language courses, mathematics, foreign language courses – English and so on – computer science, physical education and art classes. Moreover, the ministry appoints refugee education co-ordinators in all major refugee accommodation centres. A certain number of them are appointed to monitor the school attendance of children who are beneficiaries of residence programmes. The co-ordinators are professional teachers from public schools who have applied for these positions and have been appointed on the basis of a skills checklist. For early childhood education, which was mentioned by the rapporteur, refugee children enrol in pre-primary schools at the nearest district to their residence and they are not differentiated from Greek children. Early childhood education is also offered within the accommodation centres.
Last but not least, the Ministry of Education, in co-operation with the Ministry of Migration Policy, is launching a programme of Greek language for refugees and migrants who are 15 years old and over. The programme will be financed by the European Union, through the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, and will be implemented by universities around Greece.
It is undeniable that compulsory education for refugee and migrant children is a great step towards integration policies. Above all, it is a great step for these children to learn and take important feedback for their lives, and to become part of our societies, love our countries and start dreaming again. This is the path to real democracy, equality and solidarity, as against all the voices of marginalisation, discrimination and xenophobia that I hear from some member States and some political forces.
Ms FILIPOVSKI (Serbia, Spokesperson for the Free Democrats Group) – Our obligation is to protect migrant children’s right to education. Their education is essential, because it provides them with stability and a sense of normality. Education is one of the few things they can take with them in their future lives. It is very important that the situation continues to change from a humanitarian response to an institutional response.
First of all, it is important to secure legal provision for the inclusion of migrant children into formal education. It is therefore important to provide mechanisms and to raise the capacity of the education systems of our countries. The Serbian Parliament recently adopted laws on asylum seekers and foreigners that are inclusive and provide guarantees to the right to education for migrant children.
My country, Serbia, has paid special attention to this vulnerable group. This school year, about 700 migrant children started their education in primary schools in Serbia and 500 teachers have been trained to work with them. Serbia sees the issue of migration as a question of respect for international norms, solidarity and humanity, and it will provide full support for a comprehensive and sustainable solution policy to this global challenge.
Mr GHILETCHI (Republic of Moldova, Spokesperson for the Group of the European People’s Party) – I, too, thank the rapporteur for presenting this report and for offering concrete policy interventions that should increase the level of education among migrant children. Integrating migrant children does not represent an easy task, but it is very important if we want to ensure prosperous economic development and the welfare of migrant families and their children.
Across European countries, statistics show that on average migrant children have significantly lower levels of academic achievement than children with two native-born parents. This particular aspect, rightly pointed out in the report, creates significant challenges for member States. Besides having lower levels of academic performance, they also register higher early school leaving rates and are less likely to progress into higher education, thus being dispossessed of the right to achieve higher economic and social status in society.
More needs to be done to ensure that migrant children have access not only to primary or secondary education, but to pre-primary. More and more studies show that participation in early education, specifically at the ages of two and three, is rather productive in diminishing the gap between children with a migrant background and native children. I am glad that the report mentions the fact that migrant children should be given the opportunity to attend pre-school structures in countries where they exist, and that where pre-schools are not free of charge help should be given to enable attendance.
I support the majority of the recommendations offered by the rapporteur, but there are some with which I disagree. One example is the recommendation that gender-sensitive education should be in place and that teachers be trained in how to manage culturally sensitive situations linked to gender: to recognise gender-specific issues and to reject and avoid propagating stereotypes. These skills should be taught as a general rule, but the Assembly points out that they are all the more important when the cultures, habits and beliefs of migrants and refugees differ from those of the majority in the host country. It seems that once again we want to put our ideology ahead of the real needs of these children. The lower level of academic achievement and the higher early school leaving rates have nothing to do with whether gender-sensitive education is present or not. Are we interested in offering a future for these children, or are we more interested in indoctrinating them with a particular world view?
I am a big supporter of education. I have always encouraged my children to do their best in school and I am proud of their achievements. I will continue to promote policies that ensure that all children – migrants or natives, boys or girls – have access to high quality education. But I think that promoting certain world views that fit a politically correct agenda is the wrong way of trying to achieve a rather noble goal.
In conclusion, we certainly must uphold migrant and refugee children’s equal right to access education, irrespective of whether they are boys or girls. To guarantee migrant and refugee children’s access to education, we must empower their parents with the full range of rights, responsibilities, and educational options for their children. I have a history of crossing swords with Ms Petra De Sutter, but we also have a history of supporting each other. Today I am doing the latter: on behalf of the Group of the European People’s Party, I call on colleagues to support the report, despite having some criticisms to make. I believe the report deserves to be supported. We need to do our best to ensure that migrant children have access to education.
Ms OHLSSON (Sweden, Spokesperson for the Socialists, Democrats and Greens Group) – Mr President, colleagues, on behalf of my group, I thank Petra De Sutter for an excellent and important report. This debate on education for migrant children is, as the title of the report says, about how, together, we can work for “integration, empowerment and protection”. For every child, for every day of his or her life, it is very important to have the chance to be educated. It is therefore terribly sad to read in the report that of the 6.4 million primary and secondary school-age refugees around the world, an estimated 3.5 million had no school to go to. Only 61% of refugee children had access to primary education compared with a global average among non-refugees of 91%, and an average of 23% of adolescent refugees attended lower secondary school compared with 84% of non-refugee adolescents.
In Södertälje, a town in Sweden near Stockholm, more than 50% of the inhabitants are migrants or have parents who are migrants. The municipal commissioner said that it is important that every child in the municipality should attend pre-school, even migrant children immediately after their arrival. She said that migrant children will be able to speak Swedish within a few weeks. They are included with the other children and share a room where they can play together, relax and learn different subjects within a learning environment. Schools should be safe places for children to grow, socialise and learn together.
Asylum procedures are sometimes used as a pretext to deny children schooling, and segregation used as a way of avoiding the need to address linguistic or cultural challenges. Children should be educated together. In the case of refugee children, uprooted from their homes and cultures and confronted by severe hardship, violence and crime, education is crucial to helping them understand situations into which they have been thrown through no choice of their own and to gaining dignity and a sense of their place in society.
Scientific research shows that the best way for children to process trauma is to go to school and to be included with other children. Education also has a vital role to play in safeguarding migrant children from exploitative and hazardous labour and sexual exploitation. A safe classroom for girls and early education have been proven to reduce the number of child marriages, as well as the incidence of sexual exploitation and abuse.
Investment in a shared system, with refugee children and children of the host community learning side by side, creates long-lasting improvements for the community and eases tensions over the extra strain on local resources. Building new schools and training more teachers improves the quality of a country’s education system for future generations of students.
There are various international provisions that address access to education for migrant children. The right to education, as well as the State’s duty to provide it, particularly for primary education, is enshrined in several fundamental international texts from both the United Nations and the Council of Europe. Education is a powerful tool for integrating migrants and refugees and for the empowerment of young people who have been destabilised by situations for which they are not responsible.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Ms Ohlsson.
The rapporteur will reply at the end of the debate, but does Ms De Sutter wish to respond at this stage? No, that is not the case.
I would call Mr Badea as the next speaker in the debate but, as he is not here, I call Baroness Massey.
Baroness MASSEY (United Kingdom) – I congratulate the rapporteur most warmly on this very fine report, which is both informative and well argued. Her real commitment to the cause shows through. The facts are stark, as the statistics given by others show: only 61% of refugee children have access to primary education, compared with 91% of non-refugee children; and, as the rapporteur said earlier, just over half of refugee children have no school to go to.
Migrant children desperately need three pillars of support to succeed: first, education, with a focus on specialist language and learning; secondly, empowerment, which means enabling young people to have the skills to learn; and thirdly, protection, because vulnerable young people must not be left open to poverty, exploitation and trafficking, for example. Language and communication skills can help reduce the likelihood of this happening.
The report points out that the unpredictability of situations is a problem, with examples such as waiting periods for access to education, language barriers, insufficient information and guidance for children and families, and the absence of financial assistance. As the report says, education is crucial to helping children to understand the situation into which they have been thrown through no choice of their own, and to helping them gain dignity and a sense of their place in society. How true that is.
There are many international conventions emphasising access to education for migrants, including that of the Fundamental Rights Agency, which monitors education issues in relation to children. Moreover, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child seeks to guarantee the rights of children of all ages up to the age of 18.
The primary stage of education is crucial, but access to all levels of education is important. Young people need qualifications and skills to enable them to access higher education and jobs. It is essential for their survival and that of their families and it leads to social mobility.
I used to teach in a secondary school in London where a proportion of the students were migrant children. Most of these children and their families were ambitious to do well, and many did. A teacher, in my experience, is usually good at spotting potential. In my school we would regularly discuss the cases of refugee children and what their additional needs might be in order to foster that potential. I have followed some of the successes. Some of these children went to university, some took apprenticeships or other jobs, and I think that all, with support, were able to settle into a new society, earn and contribute to that society without discarding their cultural origins. The school instilled confidence in those children, social skills as well as education. That is purely anecdotal, but I am sure that education and support of all kinds are key to helping children build a new life when they come as migrants.
As the rapporteur concludes, education for refugee and migrant children today will contribute to the Europe of tomorrow and to peaceful co-existence – something that I know we would all support. I congratulate the rapporteur again on this excellent report.
Ms BARTOS (Hungary) – Mr President, dear colleagues, I fully share the opinion of the rapporteur that education is one of the most important aspects of integration. That is completely true. Education not only increases knowledge of the language of the host country but serves as the basis for establishing relations with the local community and thereby plays a crucial role in minimising the danger of radicalisation. Hungary entirely shares that view and the Hungarian Parliament has ratified Article 17.2 of the European Social Charter, which the rapporteur mentioned.
The migration strategy promulgated by government decree establishes the main areas for action to implement Hungarian integration policy and provides the tools for achieving the identified objectives. Hungarian legislation provides full support for unaccompanied minors who wish to stay in Hungary while completing their studies. It covers housing, food and health insurance, and extends to support for practising their religion and for language education.
As the interests of children are paramount, minors who are not Hungarian citizens enjoy the same rights as Hungarian citizens from the moment a request is filed for their recognition as a refugee. From that point on, he or she has access to pre-school education and compulsory primary and secondary education. On receiving refugee status, unaccompanied minors, and young adults who have received support as unaccompanied minors, have access to state education until the age of 24 – or, if they wish to take part in tertiary education, 25. As laid down by the European Commission, the pre-school and primary education of migrant children follows a personalised development plan. That is based on a single directive within the framework of an intercultural education system. Consequently, kindergartens and schools in Hungary can use an intercultural program for the instruction of migrant children and students.
Throughout the entire education process, special emphasis is put on teaching Hungarian as a foreign language. Children whose mother tongue is not Hungarian are taught under a personalised development plan that takes into account their age and uses playful methods and various activities. In Hungary, civil society and Church organisations play an extremely important role in integration. These organisations continuously receive significant financial support from the Hungarian Government.
Alongside the education provided in schools, it is important to extend non-formal and informal learning opportunities, through events and artistic programmes organised by cultural institutions to promote tolerance. Hungary pays particular attention to teacher training; accredited teacher development training is available. For example, Semmelweis Medical University has, among other things, organised medical training that has assisted in developing intercultural competences and social integration.
Children are the most vulnerable group in society, but they also represent its future. We have to do our utmost to ensure their physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Thank you for your kind attention.
Mr David DAVIES (United Kingdom) – I thought that the Jungle camp in Calais was rather a poor example to use in writing the report, because the reality is that all the people in that camp would have had access to education – and housing – had they claimed asylum in France, or any of the other countries that they went through to get to the Jungle camp. We in the United Kingdom found that the vast majority of people in that camp were there because they wanted to get to the United Kingdom. That is all well and good, but we cannot have a working asylum system in Europe that allows anyone from any country in the world to go to any country they wish to, for whatever reason. That is simply not the basis for asylum policy anywhere.
Many of the principles in the report sound good, but it has not gone into the obstacles that may come up in trying to implement those principles. For example, trying to ensure that education is not segregated is of course a very good one that should be supported by everyone – particularly those on the right, for reasons that I will come to – but there are two major obstacles to that. First, asylum-seeking children have to speak the language of the country to which they have come before they can enter mainstream classes. That is for their benefit and the benefit of other children there. If parents find that their children are being held back because half the class – or even 10% of it — is taking up all the teachers’ time, as a result of teachers trying to teach them English, Hungarian or whatever, people will become quite frustrated, and I fully share that feeling.
The first thing we should do is make sure that asylum-seeking children who are legally in a country speak its language. I say “legally”, because if people are not here legally, the best thing to do is kindly and humanely ensure that they are returned to the country they come from – or, if there is a reason why they cannot return, a refugee camp near to it. It worries me that so many people seem to think that it is kind to allow anyone who can make it to a European State to stay there forever. It is not kind at all, because it simply encourages people traffickers, and drives people to risk their lives in the Mediterranean and so on.
The second concern I have – this has arisen in my constituency – is for the safety of all children. We know for a fact, although I do not suppose that anyone will want to say it in the Council of Europe, that many grown adult males are willing to say that they are 17 or 16 to get better treatment than they would if they were over the age of 18. That has been well documented in some Scandinavian countries and the United Kingdom. The manager of an asylum centre in the United Kingdom – I will not say exactly where – told me that he has had people with grey hair claiming to be under the age of 18, not because anyone will believe it, but because it is so difficult to challenge. My concern is that, if people are unwilling to challenge that, we end up with grown men sitting in classrooms next to children, and that is not fair on the children.
My final point, which has been rather shyly addressed, is around what the rapporteur has called gender and cultural sensitivities. As I think we would all recognise, many people coming here and claiming asylum come from countries with very different cultural beliefs, and we in Europe are not willing enough to say that what we stand for is better than what is practised in a lot of the rest of the world. Anyone who comes to Europe should recognise that there is no room in Europe for people who hate Jews, as Angela Merkel rightly pointed out the other day. Some people coming here do not like Jews, and that is wrong. There is no room in Europe for people who do not like gays, think that women are second-class citizens, or think that their interpretation of their religion trumps democracy and the laws made by men and women through democratic elections.
Ms EBERLE-STRUB (Liechtenstein)* – I thank the rapporteur for this excellent report. The precondition for the effective integration of migrants and refugees into society is their ability to learn our language. That is why it is so important for children in particular to have the opportunity to learn the national language as quickly as possible. In Liechtenstein, we have organised intensive teaching of German as a second language. That is one of the measures that we use to try to ensure that migrant children can be taken into the school system as quickly as possible.
Migrant children from many different backgrounds learn together in mixed groups. The youngest are eight and the oldest 18. In a six to 12-month course, these children and young people learn our national language, while being taught other school subjects. They are taught a lot about Liechtenstein’s culture, history and traditions. After that course, they are integrated into normal school classes. They are then given individual support to promote their learning. They also get additional German language support classes. This intensive course in German as a second language is compulsory, and free of charge for school-age children.
In pre-school, which is for children up to the age of four, there are free afternoon classes for children and their parents, run by local authorities. Four to six-year-olds are taken into kindergartens or nursery schools. Children generally spend two years in nursery school; for children from non-German-speaking families, the second year is compulsory. Here, once again, targeted support is available. Refugees and migrants above the age of 18 are able to get support from a method called “new learning.” There is a special language course called LieLa – Liechtenstein Languages – for them, based on the “new learning” approach. This course is designed for non-native speakers who speak no German, or very little. Even people who have been through severe trauma are given effective support.
LieLa teaching material is made available in a special educational pack. Without that material, such classes would be impossible. All sorts of cards, posters, board games and so on are used. The idea is to teach children a language through play. The government, the royal family and much of society support that approach.
The system has subsequently been used in Germany, Austria and German-speaking Switzerland. Since May 2017, LieLa has been cited as an example of best practice on the Global Forum for Development’s website. The forum was set up by United Nations member States with a view to providing mutual support in tackling the challenges of migration.
Mr KERN (France)* – Let me begin by praising the work of our rapporteur, Ms De Sutter. The draft resolution that she has submitted highlights the main difficulties of seeking to provide education for migrant children.
France has traditionally been a destination country for migrants and it has tried to implement – I believe successfully – the appropriate principles. Being registered with a school is a right for all children in France, regardless of nationality, how long they have been in the country, the administrative status of their parents or where precisely they live. Education is compulsory for children of both genders from the ages of six to 16, whether they are French or not, from the moment they arrive in France.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child guarantees children the right to education, regardless of their nationality or personal situation. Furthermore, the registration of a child in a school cannot depend on their possession of a residence permit. Foreign minors between the ages of 16 and 18, even if they are no longer covered by the requirement for compulsory education, must be provided with some sort of education, taking into account the extent to which they speak French and their educational level. Minors between the ages of six and 16 sit tests so that they can be put into the education system at the right level. An academic centre is responsible for testing children and assessing their level. Once they have been assessed, children and adolescents who are migrants can be put into the regular class that corresponds to their level of knowledge and their age, with a maximum gap of two years.
Linguistic support is also provided so that migrant children can learn French and follow tuition in all subjects in French. The purpose is to ensure that migrant children can be incorporated into normal school teaching as quickly as possible.
We need to pay particular attention to unaccompanied migrant children. Any child who, following compulsory school, has not attained the required level, can continue to be educated until they reach an appropriate level. The State makes funding available for such an extension of education and ensures that unaccompanied minors between 16 and 18, even if they are no longer subject to the requirement for compulsory education, are given an education, again, bearing in mind their level of French and their overall attainment.
I thank Ms de Sutter once again for an excellent piece of work.
The PRESIDENT – The last speaker on the list is Ms Aghayeva, but she is not here. There is time for some spontaneous contributions.
I call Mr Whitfield.
Mr WHITFIELD (United Kingdom) – I am grateful to you, Mr President, for facilitating that. I thank the rapporteur and her staff for an excellent report.
The potential vulnerability of non-refugee migrant families when they arrive in a new country cannot be overestimated. That is multiplied when the families are refugees, and it is off the scale when unaccompanied children arrive as refugees.
I am a former teacher and I know the role that education can play in facilitating solutions to the problems and challenges that confront us and that we have discussed here this week. I commend the work of my constituency council, East Lothian, and its campaign “East Lothian Welcomes Refugees”. I also want to acknowledge here the huge contribution that volunteers and voluntary organisations, such as East Lothian Aid for Refugees and the Churches, make to supporting families and children. In East Lothian, we have been pleased to welcome a number of refugee families, mainly from Syria. Primary school children in my constituency welcomed their new classmates in a way that makes me deeply proud. Children have a desire to welcome and befriend. I suggest that that characteristic is inherent in children, although their views can be corrupted as they grow.
The proposals in this report are positive and important for countering that risk. Education is the key to allowing children to integrate but not lose their identity, to develop without losing their empathy, to find a voice to contribute without losing their self-confidence, and to help solve the host country’s problems – a host country that they may well choose to call home.
The proposals in paragraph 6 of the resolution are to be welcomed. In particular, I would like to draw attention to paragraphs 6.3 and 6.12, which require a commitment from member States to provide resources to educate and support teachers with the outlined tasks. The time and resources that member States invest in their teachers will facilitate the greatest support for children in the education system.
I would like to mention the work of the Educational Institute of Scotland in educating and informing their members. I declare an interest in that I am a member of the EIS. It has organised conferences aimed at teaching children from refugee and migrant communities for all levels of teachers, from pre-school to secondary.
I also wish to draw attention to paragraph 6.4, which provides that, for the purposes of education, the asylum status of a child should not preclude their right to an education. A child within the national boundaries of a State is still a child and that State has an overwhelming obligation to take care of, protect and educate them. Nothing should get in the way of that.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Refugee Week in the United Kingdom. It is an opportunity to celebrate and support the volunteer organisations that do so much. It is fitting that this report comes before us today and it would be a mark of the sincerity of this place if it could be passed unanimously. This institution realises the value of education and the challenges and vulnerability of child migrants. This report will help us empower those children to have a much brighter and more successful future.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Mr Whitfield. We have one more spontaneous contribution, from Mr Bildarratz.
Mr BILDARRATZ (Spain)* – I congratulate Ms de Sutter on her work and the issues that she has broached. As a politician, I recognise that education is very important to society. Education is the future and education is hope. If it is to be the hope and future of members of our communities, the same applies to the children who come here looking for a better future.
Members mentioned the content of education for young people. That is indeed important, but what is truly important is transmitting values through education. Paragraph 9 is therefore particularly significant.
One of our colleagues did not quite understand the importance of the work on gender issues. For me, gender equality is fundamental, because gender issues equate to democracy. Equality in our societies is very important. It is a value intrinsic to democracy. If we truly have equality, we will obtain real democracy. That idea should be included in the report because the values that we need to transmit will help young people to integrate in our societies. Some have said that if they are not asylum seekers, it is better for them to go back home. All I can say is that European directive 2001/55, on the minimum standards, extends temporary protection before a person obtains definitive protection. On displaced persons in particular, paragraph 14 of the directive stipulates that young people below the age of 18 will be given temporary protection and should be educated in public institutions.
We need to legislate and put the necessary resources into the hands of professionals. We need training, awareness and help so that young people can face all the difficulties with which they are confronted in a world that they do not know. That will help them to integrate and to look towards the future. Let us say that one of us went to a country that we did not know and we did not know the language. Might it be possible to have someone to teach us the values and culture of that society, through socialisation in that society? I sincerely congratulate the rapporteur for her unstinting work in the Council of Europe.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Mr Bildarratz. That concludes the list of speakers, so I call the rapporteur, Ms De Sutter, to reply. You have three minutes and 20 seconds.
Ms De SUTTER (Belgium) – I have listened carefully to the debate and all the arguments. I would like to speak for much longer, but will try to summarise everything in three minutes.
Some members spoke about the importance of pre-school training for migrant children. I will not go over that point, but it was good that it was taken from the report and stressed in the debate. I understand the importance of keeping children safe. Schools should be safe havens and should not be used in conflict situations and so on, as we wrote in the report.
We heard quite a few examples of best practice. I thank Mr Psychogios for his extensive explanation of the reception school facilities for the education of refugees in Greece. We had discussed that, but unfortunately it was too late to put it into the report, so he was right to make that point. We heard other examples from Serbia, France, the United Kingdom and Hungary, and it was interesting to hear about the LieLa system in Liechtenstein.
Two important issues were mentioned by Mr David Davies and Mr Howell. I understand why they made the points that they did, but I specifically did not want to mix up the whole issue of how people feel about migration itself – the problem of refugees should be tackled – with children’s right to an education, independent of their parents’ status or the choices that their parents made. Yes, I used the example of Calais, and I would defend that choice. It has nothing to do with what Mr Davies was addressing. We should not mix things up and take rights away from groups of children because we do not like what their parents are doing because of our feelings on migration. I feel very strongly about that.
I cannot help addressing the remarks by Mr Ghiletchi. Of course, I understand that we do not share the same views about these issues – we should take the time to discuss them in depth over coffee – but when we referred to gender-sensitive education in the framework of the report, we absolutely did not want to point to one ideology or another. We live in societies where freedom of religion is respected, but it should be understood from the comments made by other members that we were talking about something else.
Mr Ghiletchi will understand that gender equality is an important value that the Council of Europe defends. It is that value that we have to talk about. If someone comes from a culture in which gender equality is absolutely not a reality and they arrive in a country in which gender equality is very high on the agenda, they will have a culture clash and there will be gender-based discrimination and violence, sexual attacks and so on. I of course understand the criticism of what can happen when refugee children, adolescents and adults arrive in Europe from a completely different cultural background. We cannot tolerate that, and it is exactly in schools that we have to start to educate children about how men and women and boys and girls have to behave. That is absolutely independent – I want to convince Mr Ghiletchi of this – of someone’s view about what the relationship between men and women on another level should be, and the ideology behind that. We probably do not agree on that ideology.
Mr Davies made some strong arguments, so I reiterate that gender-sensitive education is important, just as it is important to fight anti-Semitism, anti-LGBT feelings and anti-gender-equality feelings. That is important if we want to avoid clashes and to integrate these children who, if they stay, will go on to be adolescents and adults in our societies.
I think I have addressed most of the issues I made note of, but I want briefly to make a comparison with religious feelings and radicalisation. We of course accept freedom of religion for refugee children and adults who come to our societies, but we never allow that to develop into radicalisation. In the same way, we can accept different views about relationships between men and women in the places from which people come, but we cannot accept gender-based violence and discrimination based on those views. That is why I and many others believe that paragraph 9 is really important. I thank Mr Ghiletchi for supporting the report, notwithstanding his criticism.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Ms De Sutter.
The Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons is represented today by its second vice-chairperson, Mr Fridez. If he wishes to speak, he has two minutes.
Mr FRIDEZ (Switzerland)* – A migrant child, whatever their or their parents’ status, is first and foremost a child. Childhood and adolescence are special times in life when we discover the world and the society around us in safety, protected within the family. Sadly, that is not the case for everyone, even in Europe. Because of the difficult situations in which their families find themselves, migrant children are not ideally placed to build a future and flourish. Do not forget their past, the traumas they have seen and the wounds they are hiding. These children have lived through war. They have seen death and the suffering of people close to them and those around them. In many cases, they have had to cling to a shaky boat going across the sea, living in fear that they would not arrive. Then they come to Europe and to schools. We know from the report that throughout the world almost half of children do not go to school, yet school is very important for children.
Here in Europe, migrant children have to learn to be children again – to play, to laugh and to learn the language of the children around them. All of that is so important for those children when they arrive on our shores. This excellent report from Ms De Sutter highlights all of that, and the committee strongly urges you all to support it. No amendments have been submitted, which bears witness to how excellent the report is. Thank you, Ms De Sutter and all your team.
The PRESIDENT – The debate is closed.
The Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons has presented a draft resolution to which no amendments have been tabled. We will now proceed to vote on the draft resolution contained in Document 14524.
The vote is open.
The draft resolution in Document 14524 is adopted, with 29 votes for, 1 vote against and 0 abstentions.
(Mr Nicoletti, President of the Assembly, took the Chair in place of Mr Nick.)
3. Progress report of the Bureau and Standing Committee
The PRESIDENT – We turn now to the progress report of the Bureau.
This morning, the Bureau has proposed several references to committees, which are set out in the progress report, Document 14529 Addendum 3. These references must be submitted for ratification by the Assembly in accordance with Article 26.3 of the rules.
Are there any objections to these references?
There are no objections, so the references are approved.
I now propose that the other proposals in the progress report, Document 14529 Addendum 3, be ratified. Are there any objections?
There are no objections, so the progress report is approved.
4. Voting champion
I am pleased to be able to announce the name of our voting champion: a member who has taken part in all votes during this part-session.
It is Mr Ghiletchi from the Republic of Moldova.
I congratulate him. As is traditional, we have a small gift for the champion. I invite him to come and collect it.
5. Closure of the part-session
The PRESIDENT – We have now come to the end of our business.
I thank all members of the Assembly, particularly the rapporteurs and chairpersons of committees, for their hard work during this part-session. I also thank all the vice-presidents who have assisted me by presiding over sittings of the Assembly this week: Mr Werner Amon, Sir Roger Gale, Mr Jonas Gunnarsson, Ms Stella Kyriakides, Mr Andreas Nick, Mr Joseph O’Reilly and Ms Nicole Trisse. In addition, I thank the staff and interpreters, both permanent and temporary, who have worked hard to make the part-session a success.
The third part of the 2018 session will be held from 25 to 29 June 2018.
I declare the second part of the 2018 session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe closed.
The sitting is closed.
(The sitting was closed at 12.25 p.m.)
1. Drug-resistant tuberculosis in Europe
Presentation by Mr Kiral of report by the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development in Document 14525
Speakers: Mr Fridez, Dame Cheryl Gillan, Ms de Bruijn-Wezeman, Mr Hunko, Ms Schou, Baroness Massey, Mr David Davies, Mr Nissinen, Mr Amraoui and Mr Ghiletchi
Replies: Mr Kiral and Mr Schennach
Amendments 1 and 4, as amended, adopted
Draft resolution in Document 14525, as amended, adopted
2. Integration, empowerment and protection of migrant children through compulsory education
Presentation by Ms De Sutter of report by the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons in Document 14524
Speakers: Mr Howell, Mr Comte, Mr Psychogios, Ms Filipovski, Mr Ghiletchi, Ms Ohlsson, Baroness Massey, Ms Bartos, Mr David Davies, Ms Eberle-Strub, Mr Kern, Mr Whitfield and Mr Bildarratz
Replies: Ms De Sutter and Mr Fridez
Draft resolution in Document 14524 adopted
3. Progress report of the Bureau and Standing Committee
4. Voting champion
5. Closure of the part-session
Appendix / Annexe
Representatives or Substitutes who signed the register of attendance in accordance with Rule 12.2 of the Rules of Procedure. The names of members substituted follow (in brackets) the names of participating members.
Liste des représentants ou suppléants ayant signé le registre de présence, conformément à l’article 12.2 du Règlement. Le nom des personnes remplacées suit celui des Membres remplaçant, entre parenthèses.
ÅBERG, Boriana [Ms]
ALEKSANDROV, Nikolay [Mr] (BOGDANOV, Krasimir [Mr])
BAKUN, Wojciech [Mr] (JAKUBIAK, Marek [Mr])
BARTOS, Mónika [Ms] (VEJKEY, Imre [Mr])
BAYR, Petra [Ms] (ESSL, Franz Leonhard [Mr])
BENEŠIK, Ondřej [Mr]
BEREZA, Boryslav [Mr]
BERNACKI, Włodzimierz [Mr]
BERNHARD, Marc [Mr]
BILDARRATZ, Jokin [Mr]
BRASSEUR, Anne [Mme]
BRUIJN-WEZEMAN, Reina de [Ms] (MULDER, Anne [Mr])
CHRISTOFFERSEN, Lise [Ms]
COMTE, Raphaël [M.] (FIALA, Doris [Mme])
CORSINI, Paolo [Mr]
DAMYANOVA, Milena [Mme]
DAVIES, David [Mr] (ECCLES, Diana [Lady])
EBERLE-STRUB, Susanne [Ms]
EIDE, Espen Barth [Mr]
FILIPOVSKI, Dubravka [Ms] (PANTIĆ PILJA, Biljana [Ms])
FRIDEZ, Pierre-Alain [M.]
GAILLOT, Albane [Mme]
GAMBARO, Adele [Ms]
GATTOLIN, André [M.] (LOUIS, Alexandra [Mme])
GHILETCHI, Valeriu [Mr]
GILLAN, Cheryl [Dame]
GIRO, Francesco Maria [Mr]
GRIN, Jean-Pierre [M.] (HEER, Alfred [Mr])
GROZDANOVA, Dzhema [Ms]
GUNNARSSON, Jonas [Mr]
HAIDER, Roman [Mr]
HEINRICH, Frank [Mr] (MARSCHALL, Matern von [Mr])
HEINRICH, Gabriela [Ms]
HOWELL, John [Mr]
HUNKO, Andrej [Mr]
IBRYAMOV, Dzheyhan [Mr] (HAMID, Hamid [Mr])
JENIŠTA, Luděk [Mr]
KERN, Claude [M.] (GOY-CHAVENT, Sylvie [Mme])
KIRAL, Serhii [Mr] (SOTNYK, Olena [Ms])
KOPŘIVA, František [Mr]
LACROIX, Christophe [M.]
LEITE RAMOS, Luís [M.]
LEŚNIAK, Józef [M.] (POMASKA, Agnieszka [Ms])
LOUHELAINEN, Anne [Ms] (PELKONEN, Jaana Maarit [Ms])
MASSEY, Doreen [Baroness]
MAURY PASQUIER, Liliane [Mme]
MÜLLER, Thomas [Mr]
NĚMCOVÁ, Miroslava [Ms]
NENUTIL, Miroslav [Mr]
NICK, Andreas [Mr]
NISSINEN, Johan [Mr]
OBRADOVIĆ, Marija [Ms]
OEHME, Ulrich [Mr] (KLEINWAECHTER, Norbert [Mr])
OHLSSON, Carina [Ms]
OSUCH, Jacek [Mr] (MILEWSKI, Daniel [Mr])
PALLARÉS, Judith [Ms] (NAUDI ZAMORA, Víctor [M.])
PSYCHOGIOS, Georgios [Mr] (ANAGNOSTOPOULOU, Athanasia [Ms])
SCHÄFER, Axel [Mr]
SCHENNACH, Stefan [Mr]
SCHOU, Ingjerd [Ms]
SCHWABE, Frank [Mr]
ŞUPAC, Inna [Ms]
SUTTER, Petra De [Ms] (VERCAMER, Stefaan [M.])
THIÉRY, Damien [M.]
VALENTA, Jiři [Mr] (STANĚK, Pavel [Mr])
VAREIKIS, Egidijus [Mr]
VEN, Mart van de [Mr]
VOGEL, Volkmar [Mr]
WENAWESER, Christoph [Mr]
WHITFIELD, Martin [Mr] (SHARMA, Virendra [Mr])
Also signed the register / Ont également signé le registre
Representatives or Substitutes not authorised to vote / Représentants ou suppléants non autorisés à voter
ANTL, Miroslav [M.]
BÜCHEL, Roland Rino [Mr]
GERMANN, Hannes [Mr]
Observers / Observateurs
DOWNE, Percy [Mr]
O’CONNELL, Jennifer [Ms]
Partners for democracy / Partenaires pour la démocratie
AMRAOUI, Allal [M.]
CHAGAF, Aziza [Mme]
Representatives of the Turkish Cypriot Community (In accordance to Resolution 1376 (2004) of
the Parliamentary Assembly)/ Représentants de la communauté chypriote turque
(Conformément à la Résolution 1376 (2004) de l’Assemblée parlementaire)
SANER Hamza Ersan