by Jan Logie
Earlier this week I posted about the remit before the Human Rights Council to introduce consideration of traditional values into Human rights work. Unfortunately, the Russian resolution was adopted by the Human Rights Council this morning by a vote of 25 in favour, 15 opposed, and 7 abstaining.
You may read the resolution and think it’s not so bad, as it affirms the universality of human rights and dignity, but this resolution needs to be seen in the context of a growing global epidemic of conservative regressive legislation.
This is quite evident in Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church certainly seems to be an increasingly powerful influence. Here are just two examples of this:
Despite their brilliance Pussy riot were jailed for challenging the role of the Church in state affairs
Earlier this year St Petersburg introduced a law which passed 29 to 5, punishing “public actions directed at the propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality and transgenderism among minors” with fines of up to $17,000. The law defines propaganda of homosexuality as “the targeted and uncontrolled dissemination of generally accessible information capable of harming the health and moral and spiritual development of minors,” particularly that which could create “a distorted impression” of “marital relations.”
According to an article in the New York Times “Supporters of the new measure insist there is broad support in Russian society for laws meant to protect what they say are Russia’s traditional values.”
Globally we have several countries considering bringing back the death penalty for homosexuality. In Uganda this was vociferously defended on the basis on traditional values – ignoring the fact the British introduced the law initially.
Globally a range of countries are struggling to introduce maternal health and sexual health education initiatives in environments that believe the traditional values mean sex is taboo.
On International Decriminalise Abortion Day I particularly mourn this news.
New Zealand needs to be active in promoting and defending universal human rights.