30 June 2016
I am writing to you in my capacity as President of the International Alliance of Women (IAW).
At the 32nd session of the Human Rights Council, a group of States have tabled a resolution on ‘Protection of the Family’, following similar regressive resolutions in 2015 and 2014.
This damaging resolution does not protect families, and is itself anti-family in nature heedless of the rights, safety and voices of family members worldwide, particularly the most marginalized and vulnerable.
It excludes the perspectives of children, women, individuals with disabilities and others as rightsholders.
It operates to undermine each family member’s equal rights to family life, to equality and nondiscrimination in family contexts, to bodily integrity and freedom from abuse, and to cultural life and freedom of religion.
It increases vulnerabilities and exacerbates inequalities.
The concerns we highlight above have been raised by a number of States during negotiations this session. They have been raised by civil society actors and non-governmental organizations this year, and in connection with ‘protection of the family’ resolutions in 2014 and 2015.
We urge you not to support this resolution which is absolutely unacceptable and needs to, at a bare minimum, reaffirm the following:
- That in different cultural and social systems various forms of family exist.
- That families can be the site for human rights abuses, which States have the obligation to prevent, investigate and punish
- That families can perpetuate discriminatory and harmful values and traditions and should not be used to preserve harmful cultural practices.
- That the promotion of gender equality and human rights within families is critical to supporting them.
Thank you in advance.
International Alliance of Women