Patrick J. Byrne’s perceptive analysis of the attack on religious freedom and parents’ rights that will flow from the legalisation of same-sex “marriage” (News Weekly, April 28, 2012) is a timely warning in light of the activities of pro-abortion and pro-homosexual organisations at the United Nations.
The pro-abortion International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has joined forces with Sexual Rights Initiative (SRI), a coalition of groups that lobby for sexual and reproductive rights.
They have prepared a 2012 “toolkit” to encourage activists to lodge complaints on the denial of sexual and reproductive rights in their respective countries, and to submit these to the UN through the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process of the UN Human Rights Council. The UPR process was established in 2006 to review human rights conditions of all UN member-states every four years.
The SRI toolkit on sexual rights is offered to any activist group, not just those accredited to the UN. The groups are encouraged to seek sponsorship from “progressive” countries to promote their cause at the UN. Countries likely to sponsor SRI “complaints” are the Scandinavian countries, Belgium and the Netherlands, countries with the most permissive legislation on sexual and reproductive “rights”.
Claiming that sexual rights are human rights, the IPPF and SRI are attempting to insert perceived sexual rights into the system dealing with human rights. This is the same strategy that pro-abortion groups employ to define abortion as a “human right”. Claiming that “women’s rights are human rights” and “abortion is a woman’s right, therefore abortion is a human right”, the IPPF and allied pro-abortion organisations constantly attempt to have the UN declare abortion is a human right.
What is alarming is that within the context of sexual rights the IPPF and SRI are promoting comprehensive, rights-based sex education for minors. Calling on governments to “create environments in which children can achieve their optimal capacity”, they advocate that young people make their own decisions related to “sexual and reproductive life, including how, when and with whom they have sex”.
The SRI offers monetary compensation to organisations or individuals in under-developed countries to submit reports of sexual rights “violations”.
Last year, the SRI and IPPF associations in Thailand submitted a report to the UN Human Rights Council recommending the decriminalisation of prostitution. Finland obligingly made the recommendation. Last October, pressure was brought to bear on the Irish government to legalise abortion, through a recommendation submitted by Norway.
One courageous UN delegate who has stood up to this sort of pressure exerted by liberal developed countries is Ambassador Zwelethu Mnisi of Swazliland. At last year’s UN Commission on Population and Development session, he defied the liberal countries and their IPPF and SRI allies and made it clear that Swaziland will not be manipulated into implementing policies that are harmful to children and families.
In his opening statement, on April 13, 2011, Mnisi said: “My delegation has … noted with concern that several pro-abortion organisations have submitted statements under this agenda item, falsely asserting that abortion, contraception and comprehensive sex or sexuality education (particularly for young people) are international human rights, and should be guaranteed (and often funded) by governments.
“We would like to put it on record that we do not view access to abortion as a human right. As a matter of fact, the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) states that ‘In no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planning’.
“Efforts by organisations that put pressure on governments to legalise abortion not only undermine national sovereignty but are also contrary to many nations’ legal, religious, moral and cultural beliefs.
“On another note, we also do not view comprehensive sexuality education as an internationally recognised human right. Since it encourages children as young as five years old to experiment with their sexuality, my delegation is of the view that it undermines the already recognised right of parents to prevent their children from being exposed to controversial sexual themes.”
Ambassador Mnisi’s speech was the first time a UN ambassador has openly challenged the UN on its promotion of comprehensive sexuality education. The IPPF, SRI and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) were not happy with the Ambassador’s statement.
Their objective is to get comprehensive sexuality education mandated as a right for children. They can then enter every school with a curriculum which indoctrinates children into accepting pre-marital sex, homosexual lifestyles and rights, abortion, legalised prostitution and much more.
The creators of comprehensive sexuality education admit it is intended to transform society by transforming gender roles.
Sharon Slater, president of the US-based Family Watch International, has sent out an email asking pro-life and pro-family NGOs to congratulate Ambassador Mnisi on his stand.
An encouraging sign is that member-states of the UN are increasingly prepared to criticise, and demand reform of, UN treaty body committees, which have long been overstepping their mandate in order to pressure governments to change policies on perceived rights that don’t exist in international treaties and protocols.
Babette Francis, B.Sc. (Hons), is national and overseas coordinator of Endeavour Forum Inc.