UN: Decoding the politics underlying the resolution on Protection of the Family

A significant development in the 29th Session of the Human Rights Council was the passing of a deeply controversial resolution to 'protect the family'. The Resolution was sponsored by a cross-regional group of states including Egypt, Cote d'Ivoire, El Salvador, Mauritania, Morocco, Russian Federation, Tunisia, Uganda, Qatar, Belarus, China and Bangladesh. The 'controversy' at the center of the resolution concerned the intent of the resolution itself. Was it to protect the family, or was it to use the language of protecting the family to actually target those who were vulnerable to abuse within families including children, women and LGBTI persons?

The problems with the resolution, as articulated by both states opposing the resolution as well as civil society invested in working on rights of women, children and LGBTI people, were that:  (1) The resolution was titled protection of the family, while in reality in regions around the world, there were a diversity of family forms.  (2) The mandate of international human rights law is to protect individuals and not institutions. Rights holders had to be individuals, hence it was misplaced to attempt to protect the family.  (3) The resolution also refused to acknowledge that at points there may be a conflict between individual rights and tradition.

One could ask the question — as to whether on the terms set by the core group itself — is the core group really committed to the protection of the family? Read More via Jurist