Equal Rights – Equal Responsibilities

Human Rights Council, News, United Nations

IAW statement for the 27th session of the Human Rights Council

By on 23 August 2014

The International Alliance of Women (IAW) wishes to congratulate all families and their members on the celebration of the 20th day of the family.
The family is not an entity for which the human rights are written. They are written for individuals, women, men, girls, boys, older women and men. They all have a role within families.
There should be no violence or coercion within families, nor should there be forced pregnancies or forced terminations thereof.
When there are children in the family, they have to be protected and cared for. This may happen independently of the type of family they grow up in. Even if children are in an institution this must apply.
There must be no discrimination between children. Girls and boys have equal rights to food, to health care, to education. They have equal responsibilities where chores are concerned.
There must also not be discrimination between families. Whether the responsibility for children is shared between a mother and a father, two mothers or two fathers, the children in the family are entitled to protection. When a family stays together after a sex change of one of the partners, the state should not interfere. When the parents die and the grandparents or the grandmother care for the children, they also are a family, and the children have a right to protection. A one-parent family, whether through choice, death or divorce, is a family, too, and the parent should not be forced to marry. Children living alone should be protected, especially in cases of conflict and social unrest. Refugee children have a right to protection, also by the state whereto they fled. Children must have access to justice,
Children should not be forced to marry, not even if their parents are poor.

Children should have a legal identity, their birth should be registered (in accordance with the report on birth registration A/HRC/27/22/Eng.doc and the resolution of this Human Rights Council A/HRC/Res/19/9).
The International Alliance of Women is of the opinion that a Social Protection Floor as in Recommendation 202 (2012) of the International Labour Organization would benefit all families and all children and recommends all states that do not have it to introduce it, to begin with a children’s allowance.
The IAW holds that the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of  All Forms of Discrimination against Women and all other relevant human rights conventions should be applied.

 

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About the Author

About the Author: Lyda Verstegen is a lawyer and served as President of the International Alliance of Women from 2010 to 2013. She is currently convener of the IAW Human Rights Commission .

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