MAJOR VICTORIES: UN Protection of the Family Resolution

United Nations | Geneva


Historic Protection of the Family Resolution Adopted by the Human Rights Council

After another hard-won fight, a historic “Protection of the Family” resolution was adopted at the 26th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva!

Among other provisions, this resolution recognizes that “the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State” and that the family has the primary responsibility for raising, nurturing and protecting children.

Opponents were making many outrageous claims such as protecting the institution of the family will somehow cause more martial rape, increase sexual abuse, or that it will cause individual family members to somehow lose their human rights if their families are protected.

The UN Family Rights Caucus went into action and sent information responding to the false claims that were so ridiculous they were easy to rebut. We faxed and emailed the following documents to UN Member States in Geneva:

Those opposing the resolution also erroneously claimed that if the resolution was not amended to refer to “various forms of the family,” somehow single-parent or extended families would come under attack or be ignored by governments.

Click here and then on speech #29 to see Amnesty International’s two-minute statement to the UN making some of these ridiculous claims.  Then click on speech #36 to see the two-minute statement by the Family Rights Caucus refuting Amnesty International’s claims.

Our Caucus spokesperson, Annie Franklin, was fortunate to follow the opposition’s speech so we could refute their claims! 

Click here to hear lively debate and listen to the nations that attacked the resolution (United States, EU, Uruguay, Chile, Ireland, UK, Argentina, Ireland) and the nations that defended the resolution (Egypt, Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire  (on behalf of African States), China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia.)

Besides sending other information and giving a statement, the Family Rights Caucus also sent a policy brief warning that accepting “various forms of the family” language would open the door for governments to be pressured to recognize any and all groups as “families.”  These could include polyamorous, polyandrous, incestuous, or pedophilic groupings that are all seeking government recognition and support as “families.” We encouraged governments to either define or reject “various forms of the family.”

In some last minute drama, despite the fact that their proposals had been continuously rejected throughout negotiations, the anti-family groups and liberal countries still proposed an amendment on “various forms of the family.” The sponsors of the pro-family resolution then called for a “no action” vote on the hostile amendment, since the issue had already been debated and rejected.  Fortunately the “no action” vote carried by 22 to 20.

The actual family resolution was then voted on and passed by a majority vote of the 47 members of the Human Rights Council, with 26 in favor, 14 against, and 6 abstentions. Cuba, a member of the Council was not in the room for the vote.

This was a major victory!

Yes Votes: Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, China, Congo, Cote D’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gabon, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Kenya, Kuwait, Maldives, Morocco, Namibia, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, United Arab Emirate, Venezuela, and Viet Nam.

No Votes: Austria, Chile, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Montenegro, Korea, Romania, UK, U.S.

Abstentions: Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, Macedonia. Original sponsoring countries that we need to thank include: Angola,* Bahrain,* Bangladesh,* Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina,* Botswana, Burkina Faso, China, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt,* El Salvador,* Ethiopia (on behalf of the Group of African States), Indonesia, Jordan,* Lebanon,* Mauritania,* Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria,* Philippines, Qatar,* Russian Federation, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka,* Sudan,* Tunisia,* Uganda,* and Zimbabwe.

All of us around the world who care about the family owe a great debt of gratitude to so many pro-family delegates at this meeting who worked tirelessly and courageously to defend the family. In addition to misrepresentation and outright lies, the liberal governments and anti-family groups attempt to intimidate and blackmail the pro-family countries, which are usually smaller, developing nations. Knowing that they have the support of our Caucus members around the world is an important support to their efforts.