The European Union must do more to counter persecution based on religion, according to a resolution adopted by the European Parliament on December 13.

The European Union should step up its efforts to safeguard freedom of thought and belief and promote inter-religious dialogue with third countries, said MEPs. They want Islamic State fighters to be prosecuted for the systematic killing of Christians, Yazidis and other religious minorities, which Parliament has described as genocide. They also want the UN Security Council to give the International Criminal Court (ICC), the powers to prosecute them.

The resolution, which was passed by 443 votes to 95, with 84 abstentions, also called on Brussels to address human rights violations that migrants, refugees and asylum seekers face in EU and non-EU countries, as the victims of conflict, poverty, smuggling networks and trafficking in human beings.

To this end, the MEPs called for resettlement and family reunification schemes and the use of humanitarian corridors. They also urged EU member states to discourage all forms of exploitation that lead to trafficking.

The European Parliament also called on the EU to systematically include human rights clauses in all agreements with third countries, including those on trade and investment.