Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Organization of Human Rights Abusers

The vision of human rights protection held by Rene Cassin, Eleanor Roosevelt and John Humphrey when drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), in 1948, is fast becoming buried by the sands of time. The ‘organization of human rights abusers’ has endorsed a ‘softly softly catch your monkey’ approach to infiltrate and corrupt the operations of the UN. This ‘organization’ comprises those States that challenge the very truth of gender equality; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights; the right to freedom of expression and other fundamental human rights.

The latest assault on the protection of human rights took place on 12 November 2010, when the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs Committee) removed ‘Sexual Orientation’ from a resolution that protects persons from extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. The shameful vote was passed by 79 to 70, with 17 abstentions and 26 absent. The amendment was to paragraph 6(b) of the original document (A/C.3/65/L.29/Rev.1). Thus, the organization of human rights abusers at the UN succeeded in removing the protection of LGBT from being executed without cause, empowering States to discriminate and murder such persons based on their sexual orientation.

Morocco, which was representing the Organization of Islamic Conference; and Mali, which was representing the Group of African States were behind the motion to remove ‘sexual orientation’ from the protective provision (A/C.3/65/L.65). Morocco provided a poor argument as justification (GA/SHC/3997 )for such an exclusion:

“The representative of Morocco...said the Group was seriously concerned by controversial and undefined notions that had no foundation in international human rights instruments...All Member States were urged to continue to devote special attention to the protection of the family as the natural and fundamental unit of society”.

So, according to Morocco, the right to be free from persecution, discrimination and execution based on one’s sexual orientation is not a matter of human rights. However, according to the UN’s leading human rights document, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ‘all are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination’. See, Morocco, it appears that it is a matter of human rights. Morocco’s rationale is nothing short of homophobic. The UN has passed a vote to support homophobia in its worst form.

The States who voted in favour of the removal of the said protection of LGBT human rights are:

The Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), Kuwait, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Afghanistan, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Syrian Arab Republic, Libya, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tunisia, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Brunei, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, China, Comoros, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Suriname, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola, and Uganda.

It appears that such States are the same recurring characters in all human rights controversies – the majority of these States are notorious for their gross violations of human rights, particularly women’s rights. More disturbing is that the UN has elected them to sit on human rights bodies, such as the Commission on the Status of Women, where the IRI and Pakistan have their undeserved seat. Then there is the newly formed UN Entity on Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN Women), which has the likes of Saudi Arabia in its seat. Such States have a proven track record of persistent women’s rights violations. Most of such States have either refused to ratify a key women’s rights international legislation – the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW); or they have provided reservations (a statement made by a State which declares to exclude or alter the legal effect of certain provisions of a treaty in their application) to it that are so restrictive that the intended purpose of CEDAW is defeated. CEDAW has the most “reservations” filed by the most member states of any international human rights convention on record.

Sexual orientation does not infringe on another person’s inherent human rights; it in no way serves to compromise the integrity of anyone’s physical and mental dignity. The only argument that may be used against homosexuality is the religious argument, that it contradicts ‘God’s Order’. If such is the case, then surely it is a matter for God - and God alone - to address; not for human beings to interfere in.

The UN is rewarding non-compliance and bad behaviour; thus, rendering the UN complicit in the human rights violations perpetrated by their ‘rewarded’ States. If the organization of human rights abusers succeeds, then not only will we all have to fight for our human rights, we will have to bleed for it. It is enough for evil to flourish when the good do nothing.

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