Parliamentary Network E-News

Volume 14
No. 5
July, 2020

Report of the Commission on Unalienable Rights

The eleven members of the Commission on Unalienable Rights, established by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last year to "provide the Secretary with advice on human rights grounded in our nation's founding principles and the principles of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights", released their draft report to the public on July 16.
 
The introduction includes the Commission's concern that "human rights are now misunderstood by many, manipulated by some, rejected by the world's worst violators, and subject to ominous new threats."
 
The report begins with a look at the founding documents of the United States and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which emerged following WWII and was for the first time a universal recognition of the inherent dignity of human beings.
 
In explaining unalienable rights, the Commission states: "To say that a right, as the founders understood it, is unalienable is to signify that it is inseparable from our humanity, and thereby to distinguish it from other sorts of rights. The most fundamental distinction is between unalienable rights - sometimes referred to as natural rights in the founding era and today commonly called human rights - and positive rights. Unalienable rights are universal and nontransferable. They are pre-political in the sense that they are not created by persons or society but rather set standards for politics. They owe their existence not to the determinations of authorities or to the practices of different traditions but to the fundamental features of our humanity. They are not founded merely on custom, law, or preference. Human beings never lose their unalienable rights - though they can be violated - because such rights are essential to the dignity and capacity for freedom that are woven into human nature."
 
The report warns of the dangers of the rapid expansion of what are considered to be human rights by different U.N. agencies, regional human rights systems and specialized organizations like UNESCO stating that as a result, "there are now dozens of treaties, hundreds of resolutions and declarations, and thousands of provisions codifying individual human rights beyond those contained in the nine best-known UN human rights treaties. There is good reason to worry that the prodigious expansion of human rights has weakened rather than strengthened the claims of human rights and left the most disadvantaged more vulnerable. More rights do not always yield more justice. Transforming every worthy political preference into a claim of human rights inevitably dilutes the authority of human rights.
 
"Caution" in endorsing claims of human rights is advised by the Commission as it states "...the United States should be open but cautious in its willingness to endorse new claims of human rights. This will necessarily raise difficult questions about whether some specific rights claim is legitimately within the scope of the UDHR's principles and commitments."
 
Read more about the report and opposition to it from extremist groups.

 
 
Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues
Advancing global respect and dignity for life through law and policy.

In this Issue

 
International Pressure for Abortion
Pro-Abortion NGOs Rocked by Charges of Racism, 'White Supremacy'
Oh Canada, "Mothers and babies need support, not abortion!"
 
Defending Life
U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Affirms Funding Restrictions
Actor Thanks President Trump; Asks for Prayer for Pro-Life Leaders
Report of the Commission on Unalienable Rights
El Salvador- Evidence Reveals Equal Disregard for Newly Born and Unborn
 
Focus on the United Nations
US Again Speaks Out Against Abortion
Abortionist Appointed to UN Position on Health
 
Focus on the OAS
IACHR Calls for Access to Reproductive Health Services during Pandemic
 
Legislative News
UK: Pro-Life Hail Victory as Pro-Abortion Amendments Fail 
Northern Ireland Says No, UK Votes Yes to Impose Abortion Law 
Kenya: Senate Considers Bill to Expand Abortion 
Guernsey: Abortion to be Allowed 
US: Tennessee Approves Heartbeat Bill 
 
Judicial News
US: Supreme Court Strikes Down State Law Regulating Abortion Clinics

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