Pro-Life Organizations Engage Human Rights Council

Several pro-life and pro-family organizations have submitted statements to the Advisory Committee to the Human Rights Council to ask that universal values shared by all civilizations and cultures — including the right to life of unborn children and the natural family as the fundamental unit of society — are not forgotten in the quest to promote and protect human rights worldwide.

The statements come as the Advisory Committee of the Human Rights Council (HRC) is finalizing a study on the “promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms through a better understanding of traditional values of humankind” requested by the HRC, the Geneva based subsidiary body of the UN General Assembly that discusses human rights questions. The Advisory Committee (AC) serves as a think tank for the HRC.

A first draft study had highlighted the right to life and the natural family, but those references were abandoned in a preliminary version of the final study produced last fall, that highlighted instead some specific practices in conflict with human rights, with special attention paid to discrimination against women and homosexuals. Even then, debate was still ongoing in the committee, and the advisory committee had to ask the HRC for more time to deliver a final version of the study.

A submission by Focus on the Family and the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) invites the Advisory Committee to not abandon the search and definition of universal values that underpin the human rights project, and give it legitimacy and scope.

In a submission prepared by Alliance Defending Freedom, Mujeres para la Mujer, and Priests for Life, joined by several others, the organizations asked the Human Rights Council to recall how the quest to uncover and promote universally shared values is at the very root of the human rights project that started at the UN in the aftermath of WWII.

The organizations asked the committee to focus attention on specific traditional values that are common to many cultures and civilizations, and are, in varying degrees, already an integral part of the human rights project, and are already recognized in legally binding international instruments. these include: the right to life of unborn children, the natural family, the prior right of parents to educate their children.

Turtle Bay and Beyond is a blog covering international law, policy and institutions. Our experts - at the UN, European Institutions, and elsewhere - explore an authentic understanding of international law, sovereignty, and the dignity of the human person. We expose those who would seek to impose a radical social vision that is contrary to these principles.