By Samantha Singson
NEW YORK, NY, December 5, 2008 (C-FAM) – Last week, United Nations (UN) General Assembly president Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann announced the 2008 winners of the UN Prize in the Field of Human Rights, an award for “outstanding contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.” This year’s winners include former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour and Human Rights Watch (HRW), both staunch global advocates for abortion and homosexual rights.
Brockmann characterized the recipients as “an inspiration to all of us who seek and believe another type of society, another type of political system, another economic model, another world is possible where all persons will be treated as brothers and sisters, without discrimination, exclusion or destruction of life in all its forms.”
Arguably the most prominent of the award recipients, Louise Arbour is a long-time proponent of sweeping abortion and homosexual rights. During her time as High Commissioner, she encouraged human rights treaty monitoring bodies to promote the anti-life, anti-family agenda. Under her leadership, the UN committees responsible for monitoring state compliance with international treaty obligations have become increasingly vocal over national abortion laws – even though no human rights treaty mentions abortion. During Arbor’s four year term, over 60 countries have been pressured to legalize or liberalize abortion access.
A supporter of homosexual rights since her days as a Canadian Supreme Court Justice, Arbour also pledged her office’s support for the highly controversial Yogyakarta Principles, which seek to make “sexual orientation” a protected non-discrimination category on par with established categories like race and religion even though the term “sexual orientation” has never been accepted in any binding negotiated UN document. Moreover, the Principles seek to reinterpret existing human rights to include homosexual marriage and adoption.
Human Rights Watch is another recipient of this year’s UN prize. In recent years, HRW has been a leader in promoting abortion rights, particularly in Latin America. In 2005, HRW released a report on Argentina that recommended liberalized abortion laws. That same year, HRW filed a legal brief in support of a Colombian case challenging the country’s once-strict abortion ban. In 2007, HRW also mounted a legal challenge to Nicaragua’s abortion law, claiming that Nicaragua’s ban is contrary to international law.
Human Rights Watch said that it “believes that decisions about abortion belong to a pregnant woman without interference by the state or others. The denial of a pregnant woman’s right to make an independent decision regarding abortion violates or poses a threat to a wide range of human rights.”
Other winners of the 2008 Human Rights Prize are radical lawyer and former United States Attorney General Ramsey Clark, Dr. Carolyn Gomes, and Dr. Denis Mukwege. Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto and Catholic nun Sister Dorothy Stang were awarded the Prize posthumously.
The UN Human Rights Prize is awarded every five years. The 2008 awardees were selected from among 189 nominations. The Prize will be awarded in the General Assembly on December 10, the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
(This articled reprinted with permission from www.c-fam.org)