U.N.dermining the Family1
How Certain U.N. Conventions Undermine Family and Sovereignty
By Patrick F. Fagan, Ph.D.; William L. Saunders, J.D.; and Michael A. Fragoso2
Family North Carolina MagazineJuly/August 2009
[Editor’s Note] The following article is a condensed version of a study the North Carolina Family Policy Council co-released with the Family Research Council. This version has been edited to fit the space alotted.
Few Americans are aware that an effort is underway within the United Nations system to undermine the foundations of societythe natural family, religious freedom, the sanctity of human life, and the legal and social structures that protect them.
This effort is led by committees charged with helping realize the goals of international treaties concerned with the rights of women, children, and the disabled.3 These committees are urging countries to change their domestic laws and national constitutions to adopt policies that will, ultimately, adversely affect women, children, and the rest of society.
The U.N.’s long-standing respect for the right of sovereign nations to set their own domestic policies has yielded to a leftist agenda espoused in U.N. committee reports and documents, particularly those relating to the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)4, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).5 The discussion of U.N. reports that follows offers specific examples of this unfolding agenda by examining directives U.N. committees have given nations over the past dozen years or so. Most of these reports are instructions to signatory states on how they can best implement CRC and CEDAW. Under the auspices of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, many of these committee reports urge countries to:
- Remove their prohibitions on prostitution and eventually legitimize it.
- Make abortion a “demand right” protected by national and international law, with unrestricted access for teenagers, and make the non-provision of abortion a crime in all cases, even for reasons of conscience.
- De-emphasize the role of mothers and increase incentives for them to work rather than stay home to care for children.6
- Reduce parental authority while expanding children’s “rights.”
- Encourage governments to change religious rules and customs that impede the committee’s efforts.
Armed with such committee recommendations, leftists, both within and without the U.N. system, are promoting an agenda that is opposed to the natural rights of the family and to the sovereignty of nations (particularly to their right to determine domestic policies on parental rights and religious expression). The U.N.’s CRC and CEDAW committees may insist that their recommendations are in the best interests of children and women, but in reality they will greatly expand government programs and adversely affect the future for women and children.7 The simple fact, ignored by many U.N. committees, is that evidence from social science research demonstrates that the best environment in which to raise healthy, well-adjusted children is the married, two-parent family that worships regularly.8
The Pro-family Language of the Foundational Human Rights Documents
The nuclear family has always received special and honorable treatment in law and policy, international and domestic, because of the value it adds to the social order. Thus, in many of the U.N.’s foundational declarations and treaties, the central, irreplaceable role of the family is emphasized.
For example, in what is universally recognized as the most important of all human rights documents, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,9 it is stated that the family is “entitled to protection by society and the state.”10 Furthermore, “Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance.”11
The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (the “ICESCR”)12 states:
The widest possible protection and assistance should be accorded to the family, which is the natural and fundamental group unit of society, particularly for its establishment and while it is responsible for the care and education of dependent children.13
States Parties … [should] respect … the liberty of parents…to choose for their children schools, other than those established by the public authorities … and to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions14.
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (the “ICCPR”)15 states, “The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.”16 Furthermore, the fundamental right of religious freedom, which the ICCPR recognizes, includes parents’ rights to choose their child’s education “in conformity with their own convictions.”17
Thus, the most important documents of the international human rights system establish that state sovereignty is to be respected, the family is the foundation of society, the state must respect and assist the family (not substitute for it), and the right to religious freedom is closely intertwined with familial and parental rights.
Undermining Women as Mothers and Homemakers
University of Chicago Nobel Laureate Gary Becker concludes from his research that a woman staying at home to raise her children makes a greater economic contribution to her family and community than her husband makes by working in the marketplace.18 While women in all cultures have made great contributions outside the family (in art, literature, education, science, medicine, politics, and business), women also achieve greatness by raising healthy and happy children. As noted earlier, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights acknowledges the importance of motherhood.19
Yet, U.N. committee recommendations to nations about women’s rights demonstrate a great disdain for motherhood, frequently dismissing the role as a harmful stereotype. Rather than point out to signatory states the social and economic dangers of policies that jeopardize the position of women who want to stay at home to raise their children, U.N. committee recommendations denigrate the role of the stay-at-home mother as unfulfilling and damaging to her own welfare, while also decrying national policies that support her. The U.N. recommendations instruct nations to eliminate, through legislation, cultural norms that support the role of the mother at home. In the name of elevating the status of women and reducing discrimination, U.N. committees make recommendations that denigrate the standing of women as mothers.
A CEDAW committee report, for example, recommended that the government of New Zealand “recognize maternity as a social function which must not constitute a structural disadvantage for women with regard to their employment.”20 Almost a decade later the committee continued to place maternity at odds with women’s fulfillment as workers saying, “the Committee is concerned that the rates of participation for mothers of young children and single mothers remain below the average for States members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.”21
The Committee expressed to Ireland “its concern about the continuing existence, in Article 41.2 of the Irish Constitution, of concepts that reflect a ‘stereotypical view’ of the role of women in the home and as mothers.”22 That Irish Constitution states:
The state, therefore, guarantees to protect the family in its constitution and authority, as the necessary basis of social order and as indispensable to the welfare of the nation and the state. In particular, the state recognizes that by her life within the home, woman gives to the state a support without which the common good cannot be achieved. The state shall, therefore, endeavor to ensure that mothers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to engage in labor to the neglect of their duties in the home.23
The U.N. committee members apparently saw motherhood as demeaning to women, a view also expressed to Luxembourg, whose “stereotypes related to traditional roles of men as breadwinners and women as mothers and caregivers persist and affect the educational and professional choices of women,” and remain a “concern” of the committee. To overturn such “stereotypes,” the CEDAW committee “strongly” urged the government of Armenia, for example, to use the education system and the electronic media to combat the traditional “stereotype” of women in the role of mother.24 The committee also criticized Belarus for the “prevalence of sex-role stereotypes, as also exemplified by … such symbols as a Mothers’ Day and a Mothers’ Award, which it sees as encouraging women’s traditional roles.”25 The message to these countries is clear: it is not good for women to be stay-at-home moms, even if they choose to do so!
State-Sponsored Child Care as Surrogate Family.
To help create incentives for more mothers to enter the workforce, the U.N. reports insist that countries change their laws to ensure that
- Child care is widely available even for newborns, and
- Government funds preschool education.
The U.N. interpretative committees consistently push for nations to boost government-managed and subsidized day care, despite research showing that child care outside the home often has lasting negative effects on children. For example, an analysis by the Canadian National Foundation for Family Research and Education found that on average, children in day care fare worse intellectually, emotionally, and socially than their stay-at-home peers.26
There is also concern that this emphasis on government-run child care could result in a preemption of the right to home-school. Such actions, were they to occur, would have no basis in international law, for rather than home schooling being prohibited under the foundational human rights documents as is sometimes asserted by its foes in other countries, it is, in fact, guaranteed. (That is to say, it is guaranteed under a fair reading of the documents; the point of this paper, however, is that U.N. committees do not read such documents fairly.) As noted, article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides for the right of parents to choose how to best educate their children. Article 18 of ICCPR provides: “The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to have respect for the liberty of parents and, when applicable, legal guardians to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions.”
Expanding Children’s Rights (Against Their Parents)
If the U.N. committees have their way, the freedom of parents to raise their own children, to shape their behaviors, and to safeguard their moral upbringing will be a relic of past centuries. That almost all cultures and religions have protected the time-honored role of parents in forming the character of children does not deter the U.N. from seeking changes in domestic laws to bypass parents on matters dealing with their children.
The U.N. committees are urging states to give minor children the rights to:
privacy, even in the household;
- professional counseling without parental consent or guidance;
- abortion and contraceptives in violation of parental ethics and desires;
- full freedom of expression at home and in school;
- legal mechanisms to challenge in court their parents’ authority in the home.
Among the broad “rights” of children articulated in the CRC are freedom of expression; freedom to receive and impart all information and ideas, either orally, in writing, or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child’s choice;27 freedom of association; and freedom of peaceful assembly.28 This language could be interpreted to prohibit parents from legitimately limiting the associations and actions of their children, which can already be fraught with legal difficulties.29 Once these “rights” are embedded in domestic law, children could gain access to legal help from NGOs or government agencies to challenge their parents in court.
Indeed, the U.N. committee report to Belize recommends that the government set up legal mechanisms to help children challenge their parents, including making an “independent child-friendly mechanism” accessible to children “to deal with complaints of violations of their rights and to provide remedies for such violations.”30 In other words, the CRC committee is suggesting that the state create some entity to supervise parents, a structure that enables children in Belize to challenge their mother and father’s parenting in court. Then the CRC committee goes even further: Its report asserts that it is “concerned that the law does not allow children, particularly adolescents, to seek medical or legal counseling without parental consent, even when it is in the best interests of the child.”31 This statement illustrates the committee’s intent to undermine the authority of parents, especially those who hold traditional religious beliefs or who would disagree with the committee’s radical interpretation of the CRC.
The U.N. committee’s opposition to the freedom of parents to guide the moral education of their children is made clear in a rebuke directed at the United Kingdom in 1995. The committee stated that
insufficient attention has been given to the right of the child to express his/her opinion, including in cases where parents in England and Wales have the possibility of withdrawing their children from parts of the sex education programs in school. In this as in other decisions, including exclusion from school, the child is not systematically invited to express his/her opinion and those opinions may not be given due weight, as required under article 12 of the Convention.
Spanking. CRC’s interpretative committee is also embroiled in efforts to outlaw spanking by parents. The committee, in 2006, issued General Comment No. 8, “The right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment,” which purports to clarify articles 19, 28, and 37 of CRC. The comment deals with any physical punishment, “however light,” and makes no distinction between disciplinary spanking and serious physical abuse, ranging from whipping, to kicking, to biting (paragraph 11). As such, it calls for states to ban all physical punishment of children through criminal lawthe object being for the law to treat spanking as it would the battery of an adult. Furthermore, the comment instructs countries to undertake vast educational campaigns to “raise awareness” about the right of children not to be spanked. State parties are required to submit data on their progress toward eliminating “corporal punishment” during their periodic reviews. “The Committee also encourages United Nations agencies, national human rights institutions, NGO’s and other competent bodies to provide it with relevant information on the legal status and prevalence of corporal punishment and progress towards its elimination.”
The United States is not a state party to CRC, and yet anti-spanking activists have used these pronouncements from the CRC committee to argue that “consensus is growing in the international community that physical punishment of children violates international human rights law. This principle of law is set forth in at least seven multilateral human rights treaties: the United Nations (U.N.) Convention on the Rights of the Child [being one of these] …”
The broader agenda is to seek changes in the laws of each nation that will weaken the freedom and authority of parents to direct the moral education and attitudes of their children. Nowhere is there a suggestion in the CRC recommendations to signatory nations that the role of parents should be strengthened.
Promoting Contraception for Teenagers
Contraception for teenagers is a highly controversial issue, especially when governments advocate access for minors over the wishes of parents. Nowhere in U.N. committee comments or on its website does the organization propose abstinence until marriage. Instead, U.N. committees repeatedly urge that teenagers have:
- Universal access to contraceptives and abortions without their parents’ permission, and
- Access to medical counseling services without their parents’ consent.
For example, the U.N. committee urged Ireland to “improve family planning services and the availability of contraception, including for teenagers and young adults.”34 Yet, since making contraception available to single people three decades ago,35 Ireland has seen its rates of divorce, out-of wedlock birth,36 sexually transmitted disease,37 violence, and abortion38 soar.
The U.N. committees give similar advice to other countries, including Peru,39 Russia,40 the Maldives41, Yemen42, and Macedonia.43
U.N. committees have long sought the protection of abortion in domestic law. U.N. interpretative committees continue to advocate liberalization of abortion laws, at times with “successful” outcomes:
- In countries where abortion is highly controversial, such as Peru,44 Andorra,45 Brazil46, and others, the CEDAW committee advocates abortion on the grounds of safety (though abortion is about four times more dangerous to the mother’s health than childbirth47);
- In countries where laws forbid abortion, such as Mexico in 1998,48 the CEDAW committee encourages the local and district governments to “review their legislation so that, where necessary, women are granted access to rapid and easy abortion.”49 The committee even urges the Mexican national government to “weigh the possibility of authorizing the use of the RU-486 contraceptive [sic], which is cheap and easy to use, as soon as it becomes available.”50
- In countries where the constitution forbids abortion, such as Ireland, the committee “urges the Government to facilitate a national dialogue on women’s reproductive rights, including on the restrictive abortion laws.”51
One analysis showed that between 1995 and 2007, the CEDAW compliance committee pressured 76 different countries to liberalize their abortion laws, pressuring 19 countries twice and two countries (Chile and Luxembourg) three times.52 This pressure can amount to more than mere harangues by internationalist nags; they can have serious and deadly impacts on countries trying to defend the sanctity of human life. The paramount example of this is Colombia, where abortion was legalized in certain cases by the country’s Constitutional Court, in part relying on a 1999 upbraiding by the CEDAW compliance committee. Unsurprisingly, the Colombian court’s activist accession to the opinions of “international authorities” was not enough for the CEDAW committee, which in 2007 again took aim at Colombia’s abortion laws for not being nearly liberal enough to provide for the “safety” of women.53
Attacking Freedom of Conscience
The CEDAW committee even goes so far as to attack freedom-of-conscience provisions in national law. It has reprimanded Croatia, for example, for the refusal by some of its hospitals to offer abortions to patients because their doctors on staff object.54 More recently, the committee chided Portugal for the same reason, saying,
While welcoming the new legislation relating to the voluntary interruption of pregnancy within the first 10 weeks, the Committee is concerned at the low awareness among younger women of this legislation. It is also concerned that some women may encounter difficulties in availing themselves of the new regulations given the fact that health-care personnel may decide not to perform an interruption of pregnancy on the basis of their conscience.55
Likewise Poland and Slovakia were censured by the committee, using General Recommendation No. 24 to attack their abortion laws and their conscience protections. For example, in Poland, the committee calls “on the State party to conduct research on the scope, causes and consequences of illegal abortion and its impact on women’s health and life. It also urges the State party to ensure that women seeking legal abortion have access to it, and that their access is not limited by the use of the conscientious objection clause.”56
Legitimizing and Promoting Prostitution
The recommendations concerning prostitution dramatically illustrate one of the CEDAW committee’s social policy goals: the decoupling of sexuality from marriage. A review of CEDAW committee recommendations makes clear that the U.N. implementing committees want to elevate the status of prostitution to that of a profession and afford it the full protection of labor law and the social benefits accorded other professions. The initial steps the committees recommend to nations that prohibit prostitution are benign, but the recommendations progress to full legitimization in nations that already legally allow prostitution. From the reports, the process involves these steps:
- Eliminate the economic vulnerability of poor women who prostitute themselves for income;
- Combat the feminization of poverty;
- Rehabilitate prostitutes;
- End international trafficking in prostitution;
- Enforce some laws concerning prostitution;
- Punish pimps and procurers;
- Decriminalize prostitution;
- Legalize prostitution;
- Regulate prostitution; and
- Grant the full protection of labor and social law to prostitution as a profession.
The CEDAW committee advises the Czech Republic to “take effective action to combat feminization of poverty and to improve the economic situation of women in order to prevent trafficking and prostitution.”57 It urges Bulgaria
to cooperate at the regional and international levels with regard to the problem of trafficking in women and their exploitation through prostitution. [The U.N.] suggests that in order to tackle the problem of trafficking in women, it is essential to address women’s economic vulnerability, which is the root cause of the problem.58
The last sentence reveals that for the committee, the “problem” is solely a woman’s economic condition, not also the sexual exploitation of women. But in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium,59 and other highly developed economies, prostitution prospers; neither poverty nor “economic vulnerability” is the root cause. Furthermore, in developed Western countries, the feminization of poverty is largely due to the breakdown of marriage, as social science research has shown.60
The CEDAW committee has pushed Mexico to legalize prostitution; it “strongly recommends that new legislation should not discriminate against prostitutes but should punish pimps and procurers.”61 To tiny Liechtenstein, it recommends that “a review be made of the law relating to prostitution to ensure that prostitutes are not penalized.”62 The policy goal becomes clear in its approving report to Greece, where prostitution has been decriminalized and “instead is dealt with in a regulatory manner”though the committee “is concerned that inadequate structures exist to ensure compliance with the regulatory framework.”63 To Germany, the U.N.’s advice is to raise the standing of the legalized profession even higher because, “although they are legally obliged to pay taxes, prostitutes still do not enjoy the protection of labor and social law.”64
Animus Toward Religious Freedom
U.N. committees, because they seek to normalize behaviors that have long been deemed immoral by the Judeo-Christian tradition, realize that their recommendations eventually will provoke a direct clash with these religions. Thus, it will be necessary for the committees to marginalize these religions and their beliefs.
The moral issue of abortion highlights this clash of cultures. The U.N. committee believes, for example, that religiously affiliated hospitals that refuse to offer abortions discriminate against women.65 Hospitals and doctors that adhere to their religious beliefs and uphold a tradition that goes back to ancient Greece and Hippocrates are targeted for violating human rights by the Office of the U.N. Commissioner on Human Rights. As mentioned above, an illustration of this is the U.N. recommendation to Italy, which noted “particular concern with regard to the limited availability of abortion services for women in southern Italy, as a result of the high incidence of conscientious objection among doctors and hospital personnel.”66
In the United States and many other countries, a clear distinction is drawn between the roles of church and state in ensuring religious freedom. Not so at the United Nations. The U.N. committees attack the national religious culture of Ireland by suggesting that expressions of the popular will, even in democracies, are invalid precisely because the people have deeply held beliefs with religious roots. The people of Ireland have voted down several referenda that sought to legalize abortion. The CEDAW committee objects to this expression of the public will. Its report asserts that although Ireland is a secular State, the influence of the Church is strongly felt not only in attitudes and stereotypes, but also in official State policy. In particular, women’s right to health, including reproductive health [i.e., abortion], is compromised by this influence … .67
And to highly secular Norway, which protects religious minorities in law, the U.N. writes:
The Committee is especially concerned with provisions in the Norwegian legislation to exempt certain religious communities from compliance with the equal rights law. Since women often face greater discrimination in family and personal affairs in certain communities and in religion, they asked the Government to amend the Norwegian Equal Status Act to eliminate exceptions based on religion.68
The CEDAW committee even recommends that the government of Libya reinterpret the country’s religious laws and scripture in order to pave the way for other Islamic governments to do the same.69
The United Nations has become the tool of a powerful feministsocialist alliance that has worked deliberately to promote a radical restructuring of society. This alliance is attempting to sway nations to accept an agenda that, from the U.N.’s foundation, has been outside its jurisdiction. The alliance is advancing its agenda primarily by promoting the reinterpretation of the CRC and CEDAW treaties and encouraging nations to change their domestic policies.
The United States should never ratify these treaties.
Patrick F. Fagan is Director of the Center for Research on Marriage and Family at Family Researh Council.
William L. Saunders is Senior Fellow and Human Rights Counsel at Family Research Council.
Michael A. Fragoso is a Research Associate at Family Research Council.
- The authors want to acknowledge their indebtness to the Heritage Foundation where the first author worked and produced an earlier version of this paper, heritage backgrounder # 1407, on which this paper is built.
- Biographies: see p. 33.
- Each “human rights” treaty routinely contains provisions for the election of a committee. There are separate committees for each treaty. Thus, there are separate CEDAW and CRC committees. Since their recommendations are quite similar on the topics we discuss, and since the problems they exemplify are the same, we do not separate CEDAW recommendations and CRC recommendations in separate sections, but we do identify which committee made a particular recommendation when we discuss that recommendation.
- The 18 members of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC Committee) include “experts” in human rights and international law, and juvenile justice. The committee holds three sessions a year. See http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/crc/members.htm.
- The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee) includes 23 “experts” on women’s issues. Its mandate is to monitor progress made by signatories in fulfilling treaty obligations. At biannual meetings, members review reports submitted by states the year after signing the treaty and every four years thereafter. See http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/reports.htm for most of the CEDAW reports cited in this study.
- See Mark Genuis, The Myth of Quality Day Care (Calgary, Alberta: National Foundation for Family Research and Education, 2000).
- Nicky Ali Jackson, “Observational Experiences of Intrapersonal Conflict and Teenage Victimization: A Comparative Study Among Spouses and Cohabitors,” Journal of Family Violence, Vol. 11 (1996), pp. 191203. For a review of literature on the effects of family structure on child abuse, see Patrick F. Fagan, “The Child Abuse Crisis: The Disintegration of Marriage, Family, and Community,” Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 1115, May 15, 1997, at http://www.heritage.org/library/categories/family/bg1115.html.
- See http://www.mappingamericaproject.org/.
- The Universal Declaration is not a treaty; rather, as its name implies, it is a declaration of what are human rights. It was issued by the U.N. at its founding in 1948. Thereafter, its provisions (i.e., the rights it recognized) were to be implemented (that is, recognized in law) in a series of “human rights” treaties, each of which is legally binding only on nations that ratify the treaty in question. While some argue that the Universal Declaration itself is “customary international law” (more on that subsequently in this paper), that is a minority view among legal scholars.
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 16.
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 25, Para. 2.
- Adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on December 16, 1966.
- International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Article 10 (emphasis added). The covenant entered into force on January 3, 1976.
- Ibid., Article 13.3.
- Adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on December 16, 1966.
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 23.1 (emphasis added).
- Ibid., Article 18, which entered into force on March 23, 1976.
- Becker stressed this fact, for example, in a keynote address at a 1998 U.N.-sponsored conference on the family in Caracas, Venezuela.
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 25, Para. 2.
- CEDAW Committee, 19th Sess. (1998), “Report on New Zealand,” Para. 269.
- CEDAW Committee, 39th Sess. (2007), “Report on New Zealand,” Para. 36.
- CEDAW Committee, 21st Sess. (1999), “Report on Ireland,” Para. 193.
- See http://www.irlgov.ie:80/taoiseach/publication/constitution/english/contents.htm (emphasis added).
- CEDAW Committee, 17th Sess. (1997), “Report on Armenia,” Para. 65.
- CEDAW Committee, 22nd Sess. (1999), “Report on Belarus,” Para. 27.
- Researchers analyzed data on over 32,000 children using a number of variables, including sponsor of care (for-profit nursery schools, government-run centers, “the woman down the street”); education of the caregivers; caregiver-to-child ratio; and program quality. Negative effects persisted, regardless even of the “quality” of care. See National Foundation for Family Research and Education (Canada), “The Myth of Quality Day Care,” April 2000.
- United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 13, at http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/k2crc.htm.
- Ibid., Article 15.
- See, for example, In Re the Welfare of Sheila Marie Sumey, 94 Wash. 2d 757 621 P.2d 108.
- CRC Committee, 20th Sess. (1999), “Report on Belize,” Para. 11.
- Ibid, Para. 14 (emphasis added).
- CRC Committee, 8th Sess. (1995), “Report on the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,” CRC/C/15/ Add.34. This report is not available on the CRC Web site.
- CRC Committee, General Comment No. 8 (2006).
- CEDAW Committee, 21st Sess. (1999), “Report on Ireland,” Para. 26.
- Contraception was first legalized by the courts in Ireland in 1973; legalized by the Dail in 1980; liberalized in 1985 by Desmond O’Malley, Minister for Health and long-term member of the U.N.’s oldest NGO, International Planned Parenthood; and further liberalized in 1992 and 1994.
- Out-of-wedlock births in 1980 represented 5 percent of all births; by 1998, they represented 28.3 percent of all births.
- Sexually transmitted diseases have increased 400 percent between 1982 and 1998, from 1,823 to 7,436 per 100,000 population.
- 75 Abortion as a percentage of total live births increased from 4.5 percent in 1980 to 11 percent in 1998.
- CEDAW Committee, 19th Sess. (1998), “Report on Peru,” Para. 341.
- CRC Committee, 22nd Sess. (2000), “Report on Russia,” Para. 48.
- CRC Committee, 18th Sess. (1999), “Report on Maldives,” Para. 39.
- CRC Committee, 20th Sess. (2000), “Report on Yemen,” Para. 25.
- CRC Committee, 23rd Sess. (2000), “Report on Macedonia,” Para. 41.
- CEDAW Committee, 37th Sess. (2007), “Report on Peru,” Para. 23-25.
- CEDAW Committee, 25th Sess. (2001), “Report on Andorra.”
- CEDAW Committee, 39th Sess. (2007), “Report on Brazil,” Para. 29-30.
- David C. Reardon, “Abortion Is Four Times Deadlier Than Childbirth,” The Post-Abortion Review, Vol. 8, No. 2
- Mexico City has since legalized abortion early in pregnancy. The Mexican Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation has upheld the constitutionality of this law. The concurring decision of Justice Genaro David Góngora Pimentel cites CEDAW and its related human rights bodies twice in its reasoning. The concurring decision of Justice Sergio A. Valls Hernández goes so far as to say “the Convention” suggested that all Mexican states provide “rapid and easy access” to abortion. He also cites three paragraphs of the 1999 CEDAW committee report on Mexico urging liberalization of its abortion laws. The decision can be accessed at http://ss1.webkreator.com.mx/4_2/000/000/01f/c72/ENGROSECOSSxcdO-146-07.pdf.
- CEDAW Committee, 18th Sess. (1998), “Report on Mexico,” Para. 426. http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/reports/18report.pdf
- Ibid., Para. 408.
- See http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/(Symbol)/ad35ac0cac68033c802567f200543567?Opendocument (September 19, 1999).
- Unpublished report by Thomas Jacobson, on file with authors, “76 Nations Arbitrarily Pressured by CEDAW Committee to Legalize or Increase Access to Abortion,” Focus on the Family April 11, 2009.
- CEDAW Committee, 37th Sess. (2007), “Report on Colombia,” Para. 22-23.
- Report of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, 18th Sess., to the General Assembly of the United Nations, 53rd Sess. (1998), “Report on Croatia,” Document # A/53/38, Para. 109.
- CEDAW Committee, 42nd Sess. (2008), “Report on Portugal,” Para. 42-43.
- CEDAW Committee, 37th Sess. (2007), “Report on Poland,” Para. 25.
- CEDAW Committee, 18th Sess. (1998), “Report on Czech Republic,” Para. 208.
- CEDAW Committee, 18th Sess. (1998), “Report on Bulgaria,” Para. 256.
- The top eight destination countries for women in illegal prostitution rings include the Netherlands, Germany, the United States, Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey, and Kosovo. According to Dr. Laura Lederer of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, “Over the last 10 years the number of women and children who have been trafficked have multiplied so that they are now on a par with estimates of the numbers of Africans who were enslaved in the 16th and 17th centuries.” Laura J. Lederer, Ph.D., “The New Slavery,” presented at a Conference on Sex Trafficking, U.S. Senate Caucus Room, September 13, 1999.
- For a review of the literature, see Patrick F. Fagan, “How Broken Families Rob Children of Their Chances for Future Prosperity,” Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 1283, June 11, 1999.
- CEDAW Committee, 18th Sess. (1998), “Report on Mexico,” Para. 414.
- CEDAW Committee, 20th Sess. (1999), “Report on Liechtenstein,” Para. 168.
- CEDAW Committee, 20th Sess. (1999), “Report on Greece,” Para. 197.
- CEDAW Committee, 22nd Sess. (2000), “Report on Germany,” Para. 39.
- CEDAW Committee, 18th Sess. (1998) “Report on Croatia,” Para. 109.
- Report of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, 17th Sess., to the General Assembly of the United Nations, 52nd Sess. (1997), “Report on Italy,” Document #A/52/38, Para. 353 (emphasis added).
- See http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/(Symbol)/ad35ac0cac68033c802567f200543567?Opendocument (September 19, 1999).
- Report of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, 14th Sess., to the General Assembly of the United Nations, 50th Sess. (1995), “Report on Norway,” Document #A/50/38, Para. 460.
- CEDAW Committee, 13th Sess. (1995), “Report on Libya,” Para. 132 (emphasis added).
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