January 4, 2019 (C-Fam) – For decades, the expert bodies monitoring compliance with UN human rights treaties have been increasingly bold in promoting abortion along with sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). While this exceeds their mandates and falls outside the agreed text of the treaties they monitor, their activities have gone largely unchecked, and this trend has only continued in the past year.
When a UN member state ratifies a multilateral human rights treaty, it agrees to undergo a regular review by an expert committee, which in turn provides observations urging the member state to increase its adherence to the treaty. Unlike the treaty itself, these observations are not binding, but they have been cited by high courts within countries to justify such measures as liberalizing abortion laws.
While none of the six major treaties addressing human rights issues, including those of women, children, and persons with disabilities, includes direct references to abortion or SOGI, each of their monitoring bodies has pressured countries on these issues in the past year.
The committee monitoring the women’s rights treaty pressured countries on abortion in 88% of cases. In a joint statement with the committee monitoring the rights of disabled persons, they asserted that abortion
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