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Home > fundamentalism / shrinking secular space > UN:UPDATE 1, on OIC takes on SOGI at the Human Rights Council

UN:UPDATE 1, on OIC takes on SOGI at the Human Rights Council

Wednesday 29 February 2012, by siawi3

- Source: ARC

Human Rights Council Resolution 16/3 (March 2011), “Promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms through a better understanding of traditional values of humankind” tasked the HRC Advisory Committee to “prepare a study on how a better understanding and appreciation of traditional values of dignity, freedom and responsibility can contribute to the promotion and protection of human rights”.
A deeply worrying draft study, which attempted to undermine the supremacy of international human rights law over “traditional values” was presented at the 8th session of the Advisory Committee earlier this week. The draft was prepared by the Advisory Committee member from the Russian Federation, and Rapporteur for the drafting group on traditional values, Prof. Vladimir Kartashkin.

Amongst other things, the report suggested that “all international human rights agreements … must be based on, and not contradict, the traditional values of humankind. If this is not the case, they cannot be considered valid”, that the international community should defer to the sovereignty of States, that human rights recognition arises from “responsible behaviour” by the individual, and in promoting “the family” as a transmitter of moral values fails to acknowledge either the diversity of family forms or the fact that families can also be potential sites of abuse.

Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, submitted a written statement to the Committee, outlining the top 10 concerns with the draft. Many Committee members reiterated the points in this statement during their interventions in the plenary discussion, although it was criticised by Prof. Kartashkin.

The week ended with the good news that the Prof. Kartashkin will no longer continue as Rapporteur, and that instead it will be Ms. Chung, the Korean member, who prepares the next version. We already have indications that Ms. Chung will take a more open and consultative approach to the study.

An NGO drafting group will be formed to assist in the next stages of the work. If others wish to participate in this process, please send us an email at tradval

We’d like to thank the 100 NGOs who supported the written submission. A full list of signatories can be found at

The Committee is due to consider a new draft of the report at its 9th session in August, with a final version to be submitted to the Human Rights Council in March 2013.


> Preliminary study on traditional values of mankind (A/HRC/AC/8/4)
Arabic | English | French | Russian

> NGO submission: Top 10 concerns with the draft study