The U.N.Human Rights Council today adopted a Russian resolution supporting “traditional values,” which LGBT activists fear will be used to deny human rights to women and to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
The resolution was adopted by a vote of 25-15, with seven abstentions.
It endorses “the important role of the family” and seeks “a better understanding of traditional values of humankind,” adding that “traditional values… can be practically applied in the promotion and protection of human rights and upholding human dignity, in particular in the process of human rights education.”
Does that sound worthy? Activists’ objections include these:
Numerous UN experts have emphasized that traditional values are frequently invoked by States to justify human rights violations, such as family violence, marital rape, forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
There is absolutely no recognition in Russia’s draft resolution that many practices inconsistent with human rights derive from traditional values. If this resolution is passed, there is no doubt that Governments in future will use “traditional values” to restrict human rights.
The resolution was presented by Russia in conjunction with Angola, Belarus, China, Cuba, North Korea, Ecuador, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan (on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation), Sri Lanka, Syria, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, and Vietnam.
As one activist noted, the list of countries supporting this alleged “human rights resolution” is tip-off that it’s not what it pretends to be. After all, Saudi Arabia, Belarus, China, Cuba, North Korea, Kuwait, Pakistan, Russia and Syria have “hardly excelled in recent years by their contribution to human rights.”
Russian LGBT rights advocate Nikolai Alexeyev told Gay Star News:
Such concepts of “traditional values” are exactly what is used in Russian courts against gay rights and applied nationally.
Russia is interested to have an international resolution that it case use to justify banning future LGBT events, like Moscow Pride.
Until now, Russia did not have any international resolution or laws, at the level of the Council of Europe or the UN, to legitimize such denials.
This resolution gives the opportunity to every country to (mis)interpret human rights in the way it chooses to. It undermines the universal nature of human rights.
The resolution is a disgrace and dangerous.
Opponents of the resolution included:
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- United States
Supporters include Russia, Asian members of the HRC and
Countries that abstained included
Speaking against the resolution, then abstaining were:
- UN votes for ‘traditional values’ above gay rights (gaystarnews.com)
- Background information and concerns about the resolution from ARC International
- Russia – anti-gay, anti-Madonna, anti-pride hotbed (76crimes.com)
- “Traditional values” vs freedom of information (en.rsf.org)
- Russia blocks CE’s youth resolution over disagreements on LGBT policy (rt.com)
- Moscow outlaws LGBT pride parades for next 100 years (rawstory.com)