By continuing to browse our site, you are consenting to the use of cookies. Click here for more information on the cookies we use.


Defending life
from conception to natural death


UN Human Rights Council passes pro-family resolution

26 June 2014

Geneva: The United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council today passed a resolution for the "Protection of the Family" (link), despite opposition from the United States, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. The resolution was passed by 26 votes in favour, with 14 votes against the resolution and six abstentions. Supporters of the resolution included the Russian Federation, India and Indonesia.

Earlier the Council rejected an amendment, designed to undermine the resolution, which promoted the false concept of "various forms of the family", as opposed to the natural family based upon marriage between a man and a woman.

Patrick Buckley, representing the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) at Geneva, described the vote as "truly historic". He said: "Rarely has a resolution been so vigorously resisted by anti-life and anti-family forces."

The resolution:

  • calls for "concerted actions to strengthen family-centred policies and programmes as part of an integrated comprehensve approach to human rights and development"
  • recognises that "the family has the primary responsibility for the nurturing and protection of children"
  • says that the family is "the natural environment for the growth and well-being of all its members and particularly children"
  • describes the family "the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State"

SPUC's communications department can be contacted on:

Notes for editors:

Roll-call of votes on the resolution:

Yes (26):

  • Algeria
  • Benin
  • Botswana
  • Burkina Faso
  • China
  • Congo
  • Cote d'Ivoire
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kuwait
  • Maldives
  • Morocco
  • Namibia
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Russian Federation
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sierra Leone
  • South Africa
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam

No (14):

  • Austria
  • Chile
  • Czech Republic
  • Estonia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Montenegro
  • Republic of Korea
  • Romania
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America

Abstained (6):

  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Costa Rica
  • Mexico
  • Peru
  • The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

To subscribe to SPUC's email information services, please use the Newsletter Sign-up form to the right of this article.

Add your comment

Comments (1)

  • Jajakulation

    11 October 2015, 8:27am

    So if it isn’t a human then what do you say it is? It is a fertilized egg that will (likely) bmoece a human being.. If a biologist were asked to determine the species would he not conclude it to be human? This very much depends on your definition of the word human . Science is a morally neutral tool to discover/explain/describe the natural world using naturalistic explanations. A species is generally defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring and has similar DNA. I think a biologist would conclude that egg cells, sperm cells, and fertilized egg cells all have human DNA and are of the human species. I think a biologist would look to her moral judgement based on her religion or philosophy as to whether any of these things are a person i.e. human with rights. It is not science that confers human rights, it is moral judgement based on religious belief or moral philosophy applied to the morally neutral science/naturalistic explanations that confers human rights. So again I ask at what point do you say we earn our human rights? First some distinctions. I don't think there is a single point of human development at which all human rights are conferred onto a person. I think different rights are earned at different stages. For example, the right to vote: our society has deemed a person must reach the age of 18 which is also the age at which many rights are earned. Even the inalienable right of liberty is restricted to parental control before then. But the most basic of rights I think we all agree is the right to life. I think we would all agree that the right to life is conferred onto all persons from the beginning to end of their person-hood. So when does that which is human (has human DNA) bmoece a person with at the very minimum, the right to life? This depends on the definition of a person (we have also been using the word human here in this context). Dave has offered some candidate definitions:“Most people agree that what makes us human is our ability to reason and to have complex emotions. This sets us above other life forms as we can learn and grow on our journey.”“Self-awareness, free moral agency, speech and symbolic cognition, conscience and the imagination”Now these of course would not suit a newborn babe, much less the fertilized egg, but I don't think he was going for that kind of definition. But I think the point is, that human thought is what sets us apart from all other beings. I'll come back to this.I'll start from the birth side. Surely there is such little difference the day before birth to the day after birth that we must call it murder to end the life of that fetus the day before birth. And once I concede that birth is not where the line can be drawn, then I'm on the slippery slope of what constitutes a person. Unless I jump to the far other side of conception. But does a destroying a fertilized egg truly make it murder because of its potential to bmoece a baby? I submit that it does not. It does not because it does not have enough person/human characteristics. DNA is not enough and a potential baby is not enough. I reject always and never. This puts me back on the slippery slope (can of worms) of defining a human based on some kind of criteria.I did a little research on what some religious texts teach. The Jewish Talmud teaches that a fetus is not a person and has no rights. There are still Jews against abortion but it does not fall under the murder rule. The Old and New Testaments contain almost nothing specific to prohibiting abortion. The closest I could find is Exodus 21:22 where if there is a fight and a woman bystander should accidentally be injured and as a result miscarry, the assailant must pay a fine. There is a lot of history on this topic, I was surprised at how much and I am only scratching the surface.If a line is to be drawn, it ought to be drawn conservatively, that is on the early side. And there must need be a line drawn for there to be law in the matter. So where is the line drawn in Roe vs. Wade? The woman's right to reproductive freedom is protected by constitutional guarantees of privacy. But that right is not unqualified. The woman's right to privacy and the fetus's right life must be weighed. And the court weighed those rights and priority was given to privacy in the first trimester and life in the third. Their criteria was viability, whether the baby could live outside the womb. The crux was lung function which is not sufficiently developed until about the 24th week (beginning of the sixth month). I reject viability as a coherent criteria for determining person-hood. It is not the ability to breath which makes us human. Also a morality based on technology seems fragile. What if new incubators come out that make it viable for a 4 month old fetus to live outside the womb? It is the ability for human thought which makes us uniquely human. I submit that the earliest onset of human thought in the fetus should be the criteria. This actually happens after the 24th week so the time framing of Roe vs. Wade should hold in order to draw the line conservatively.Now I have offered plenty of arguable points here. I only ask that amongst your arguments you at least address the question of what the definition of a person/human is. And also why is a fertilized egg a person/human?

    Your comment has been submitted and is currently awaiting approval

Share this article