09 Sep History’s Staunchest Human Rights Defender Now a Self-proclaimed Human Rights Violator
History’s Staunchest Human Rights Advocate Now a Self-Proclaimed Human Rights Violator
According to the August 20, 2010 Report of the United States of America submitted to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, it appears that the U.S. is a human rights violator and its societal short comings have now been reported to the appropriate international body for remediation. In this document, U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton felt it was important to include the federal lawsuit against the State of Arizona’s recently passed state Senate bill 1070 as an example of how the U.S. is working to overcome human rights violations from within (report at paragraph 95).
The inclusion of Arizona’s new law on immigration has received much attention from the media both nationally and internationally, but less attention has been given to the fact that the Obama administration’s report also included a large paragraph on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender rights. In it, the administration brags about extending benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees and how some states have legalized same-sex marriage. The administration also vows to repeal the Federal Defense of Marriage Act and end the military “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, all in the context of U.S. human rights violations that need to be addressed and overcome (report at paragraph 34).
What is this report and what about this Human Rights Council (HRC)?
The U.S. State Department website explains it like this:
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) was established by the UN General Assembly in 2006 as a process through which the human rights records of the United Nations’ 192 Member States could be reviewed and assessed. This review, conducted through the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), is based upon human rights obligations and commitments expressed in the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, human rights instruments to which the State is party, etc. The United States is a strong supporter of the UPR process, which provides a unique avenue for the global community to discuss human rights around the world.
We at United Families International are not as optimistic about the process. Every four years each country is required to submit a report of progress to the HRC and then go before three foreign nations, called a “troika,” drawn from 47 member nations–including from such human rights violators as China, Cuba, and Nigeria. This “troika” listens and often interrogates the reporting country; they then draw up a plan for implementation of their list of “improvements” which the reporting country will have to account for four years later.
The U.S. will have to account for what Barack Obama has submitted in his August 20 report four years from now–whether he is the president or not. The Human Rights Council reserves the right to “decide on the measures it would need to take in case of persistent non-cooperation” by a member nation. Not only is this process a breach of national sovereignty, it is a recipe for serious mischief.
What qualifies something as a universal, fundamental right of all humans? The answer is not as obvious as one would assume. Is it divine declaration? Natural law? Customary law? International consensus? Or is it merely political maneuvering? We invite you to review a UFI alert that gives insights into these questions.
Since 1945 the topic of international human rights has been a divisive one with many implications for changing the landscape of international law and jurisdiction in the long term. From the beginning, the issue of protecting human rights was intended to tear apart the veil that had preserved the inner workings of despotic nations from scrutiny. Human rights doctrine was to guide nations and encourage them to account for how they treated their nationals, administered justice, and developed public policy. Just as Locke, Montesquieu, and Rousseau’s theories disintegrated and democratized the foundations of monarchies, human rights doctrine was meant to serve as a catalyst to a universal respect for all human beings and to the democratization of nations.
Although the intentions may have been good, the human rights movement as it exists today has morphed into a vehicle for governments, advocacy organizations, and individuals to abuse the idea and original intent of human rights in an effort to promote their own agenda–many times an agenda that the majority of citizens would reject if submitted to the democratic process. If a behavior, an idea, or even a policy wish can gain the title and the status of “human right,” it is then beyond questioning and stands in an unassailable position. If you can convince the populous that something is a universal “human right,” then the debate is over–usually all that remains is to find a way to pay for this new found “right.”
For an interesting dinner hour conversation, sit down and decide what constitutes a true “human right.” Is education a human right? How about food? Is healthcare a human right? How about same-sex marriage? If someone has to provide the “right” to you, is it a “human right?” Write us and let us know what you decide. We’ll post your comments on UFI’s blog.
It appears that much of the Obama administration’s report to the HRC is part of an effort to have a foreign body help him to advance a domestic political agenda. In the case of Arizona, it’s interesting to note that the very process which enacted SB 1070 is protected by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which the Obama administration is attempting to claim the law violates.
Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:
(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
The fact that the U.S. government feels it appropriate to submit jurisdiction over its own national and state laws to an international body such as the UN is not only problematic for the United States constitution but more broadly to all countries and their national sovereignty. It needs to be noted that the U.S. is powerful and may choose to ignore the pressure of the various U.N. related bodies, but nations dependent upon funding from international monetary bodies don’t have that luxury.
History has shown that the United States of America has been on the forefront of efforts to preserve and protect universally acclaimed human rights. Yet today, radical elements intent on redefining the family and subverting the values and rights that make up the foundations of global society now control the governmental bodies that have served the legitimate struggle for human rights protection. They have turned the international debate inside out and subverted the actual protection of rights in lieu of creating new so-called “human rights” that advance the anti-family agenda. Without the determined moral and diplomatic power of the United States on the side of true human rights protection, the world will invariably stray into acceptance and implementation of the secular- socialist anti-family agenda.
People around the world are being persecuted, imprisoned, and killed for their political and religious beliefs. Women are forcibly sterilized and millions of babies are aborted each year. Men, women, and children are kidnapped, tortured, or forced into slavery. Yet we dilute the power of any effort to give aid to these individuals when we make “human rights” a catchall phrase.
If any politician can give his pet issues traction simply by claiming there is somehow a violation of human rights, the entire process of protecting human rights is irreversibly compromised. If we allow this to be the direction international law moves, the entire notion of human rights will be rendered meaningless.
United Families International currently has a representative in New York at the Plenary Meetings on the Millennial Development Goals where the language of “human rights” is being tossed around liberally. United Families International has a main focus at the U.N.: To keep the spotlight on real needs of peoples around the world and stop the efforts of those who wish to use this forum to support their own political and ideological agendas.
United Families International is accredited by the UN Economic and Social Council and is thus able to attend the U.N. Human Rights Council meetings in Geneva, Switzerland, where in November 2010, the U.S. will complete the final step in the Universal Periodic Review process and appear before the selected “troika” for review. Watch our alerts and the UFI blog for updates.