By Campaign Life Coalition U.N. Representative


  March 31, 2008 ( – Over the past few weeks, the Geneva based Human Rights Council debated many issues, including the elimination of violence against women and the rights of the child. This culminated with a decision to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences for a period of 3 years. The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography was also extended.

  On March 20th, a resolution on the Rights of the Child was bought to the floor. Many elements of the resolution are concerning to pro-life/ pro-family advocates. For example, the resolution, under the umbrella of the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of Health, includes a call for governments to “(…) pay particular attention to …reproductive and sexual health.” Although many of the other concerns listed are legitimate and should be preoccupations for the international community, the reference to the need for “sexual and reproductive health” (often used by U.N. agencies to mean family planning and abortion) undermines the promotion of the real health needs of children and adolescents.

  Furthermore, the resolution also calls on state parties to provide children affected by HIV/AIDS with “access to voluntary and confidential testing, reproductive health care and education, access to pharmaceutical products and medical technologies.”

  Patrick Buckley, from the Society of Protection for the Unborn Children expressed concerns about the language quoted above saying that “clearly this language while primarily dealing with the HIV/AIDS issue could also be interpreted as providing children with access to sex education together with access to contraception and abortion without parental knowledge or consent.”

  Such language contributes to the notion that children’s rights supersede parental rights. There is an inherent contradiction within the resolution. The document states that “reaffirming the importance of the family as a basic unit of society and that such should be strengthened; (…) all the institutions of society should respect children’s rights and secure their well-being and render appropriate assistance to parents, families, legal guardians and other caregivers.”

  Acknowledging the importance of the family is a positive step. However, parental rights are trumped and disrespected in many official U.N. documents which do not serve to ensure children’s well-being.


  The World Health Organization (WHO) is currently promoting World Health Day, which will take place next Monday, April 7th. The theme of this year’s event is climate change: an issue for the health sector.

  In a brief description published on its website, the WHO explains that “the earth is warming, the warming is accelerating, and human actions are responsible.” Such dogmatic statements, about which there is still considerable debate, are often used by some environmental lobbyists to call for more family planning, population control and population reduction.

  Although global warming may pose some considerable challenges to the international health community such as dealing with climate-sensitive diseases, the WHO should not, in any way, construct human life is a problem to be eliminated.

  According to the WHO website, one of the main objectives of this year’s World Health Day is to “establish links between climate change and health and other development areas such as environment, food, energy and transport.” The interconnectivity of social spheres cannot be denied but rather than advocating fewer people on earth, international bodies should educate and inform citizens about positive and moral ways to address the issue of global warming.


  On March 26th, the Commission on AIDS in Asia presented its report Redefining AIDS in Asia – Crafting an Effective Response to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

  The report estimates that there could be in Asia an increase in the number of people infected with HIV/AIDS by 2020. The report states that “the successful implementation of HIV programmes demands, first of all, addressing barriers at the community level, thus creating an ‘enabling environment’. Such an environment removes local hindrances to access to services. Also, political action can create such an environment for most-at-risk groups by decriminalizing sex work, homosexuality, and the use of needles and syringes for drug use.”

  Amongst the many recommendations, the report suggests condom promotion and provision for the general population and sex education for school students, as supposed efficient means to slow the transmission rates in Asian countries. Critics have in recent years been warning that such policies instead accelerate the rate of HIV/AIDS infections and those nations who have most relied on condoms and Western sex education programs tend to have by far the highest rate of AIDS deaths.