GENEVA – Last week, the 32nd Session of the Human Rights Council (UNHRC) drew to an end. ADF International welcomes the adoption of the Resolution on the Protection of the Family as one of the most significant developments in the course of this UNHRC session.
“Marriage benefits our society in ways no other relationship can. Strong unions between one man and one woman create a future of progress, growth, stability, and freedom. In its adoption of the Resolution on the Protection of the Family, the Human Rights Council highlighted the importance of protecting this ‘natural and fundamental group unit of society,’” said Rubén Navarro, Senior UN Counsel for ADF International.
“The resolution reaffirms the need to promote and protect the rights of the child. It calls upon States to assist parents in the upbringing of their children. This should happen in the best interests of the child, which should grow up in ‘a safe and supportive family environment’. The Human Rights Council recognizes that ‘the family plays a key role in social development, and as such should be strengthened,’” Navarro added.
No consensus on new position of SOGI – expert among Member States
However, during the session delegates also adopted a resolution concerning the installment of an “Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.” The resolution represents a number of worrying implications that should be addressed.
“ADF International strongly condemns violence against, or mistreatment of, any person for any reason. However, the adopted resolution provides no clear definition of ‘discrimination’ and is wide open to abuse. One of the biggest threats to religious freedom in Western nations comes from the so-called nondiscrimination laws that this new ‘SOGI Expert’ will undoubtedly promote in nations that do not want them,” said Thomas Jagels, UN Counsel for ADF International.
According to the resolution, the expert will assess implementation of existing international human rights law, raise awareness of violence and discrimination, engage in dialogue with States and international stakeholders and report annually to the Human Rights Council.
“In the UN system Member States are the rightful drivers of the UN agenda. This resolution violates the will of many Members who do not wish to see UN time and funding directed towards a largely political agenda that undermines national laws on marriage and the family. Issues concerning ‘sexual orientation and gender identity’ should remain within the purview of each Member State’s domestic legal order.
Reports submitted by ADF International to the UNHRC:
Freedom of Opinion and Expression General Debate Item 3
Syria religious and ethnic minorities General Debate
SR Freedom of Opinion and Expression
SR Right to Health - Abortion
Working Group Discrimination Women Law Practice- Abortion