Family Research Council Offers Broad Critique of UN Social Policies

By Austin Ruse | March 23, 2001

     (NEW YORK – C-FAM) A collection of essays edited by the Washington DC-based Family Research Council offers a menu of sharp criticism of UN bodies and UN social policy. "Fifty Years After the Declaration: The United Nations' Record on Human Rights," presents the views of twenty experts from nine countries on a broad range of UN topics. From children's rights and feminism to abortion and homosexuality, these authors find recent UN social policy to be not only lacking but also seriously harmful.

     Teresa Wagner, who edited the collection, writes that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights "has become a tool for those who would reduce man to a material, autonomous self, necessarily preoccupied with his own wants. It has been invoked, for example, not so much to protect 'life, liberty and security of person' (Article 3) as to advance abortion, homosexuality, euthanasia and other destructive causes, which invariably victimize some human beings for the benefit of others."

     David Alton, a member of Britain's House of Lords, says that given the back-drop of atrocities committed during World War II, it was not surprising that the Declaration's framers included "the very right to life itself" as one of the "chief human rights enumerated." Alton has special criticism for Great Britain and the United States since each country considers itself among the arbiters of human rights enlightenment. "It is quite bizarre that those who pride themselves on their belief in human rights do not see the defense of life in the womb as a supreme human rights question — which undoubtedly it is," he writes.

     Charles Francis, an Australian attorney who has written widely on human rights, believes the "Convention on the Rights of the Child," now being discussed at a series of UN meetings, is one of the most dangerous documents the UN has ever issued. "Legitimate concern for the world's children has, unfortunately, given way to a dangerous and false vision of an autonomous child with the same objectionable humanist 'rights' as any adult. This vision, if given legal effect or legitimacy of any kind, poses a real threat to the authority of parents and to the integrity of the family," writes Francis.

     Richard Wilkins and Kathryn Balmforth, both human rights attorneys from Utah, believe the International Criminal Court will be not an engine for justice but one for radical social change. They write that "although the new court ostensibly is designed to deal only with the 'most serious crimes of international concern,' it has a broad 'human rights' reach, which means it may well intrude upon traditional cultural and religious norms — particularly those involving the family." Wilkins and Balmforth charge that some ICC advocates seek "to empower the new international court to undertake a thorough judicial revision of basic societal norms."

     This new collection represents some of the brightest lights in the international pro-family movement. Many of these writers have been active at UN conferences for many years. The book can be purchased directly from the Family Research Council at