Abortion Advocates Use World Youth Conference in Mexico to Push Agenda
by Terrence McKeegan, J.D.
July 15, 2010
LifeNews.com Note: Terrence McKeegan writes for the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. This article originally appeared in the pro-life group’s Friday Fax publication and is used with permission.
New York, NY (LifeNews.com/CFAM) — Two recently released documents prepared in anticipation of an upcoming youth conference make unprecedented claims for new ‘rights’for youth that experts say directly conflict with traditional norms and international law.
The draft declaration which will be considered by governmental participants at the World Youth Conference, to be held at the end of August in Leon, Mexico, calls for a comprehensive development of young people that includes: a humanist education to face ethical challenges and sexuality education.
There is also a call to guarantee the highest level of physical and mental health of the youth population taking into account diverse gender contexts, and for providing universal access to reproductive health, including through family planning as a method of reducing maternal mortality in adolescent girls and young women.
Contrary to the universally accepted right of parents to direct their childrens upbringing, as stated in international documents such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the draft declaration requests that states invest resources in strengthening the social capital of young people with full respect for their autonomy. Although the draft declaration refers to many other documents it does not mention CRC. Additionally, there is no reference to parents or child.
According to Article 5 of CRC, States Parties shall respect the responsibilities, rights and duties of parents to provide, in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child, appropriate direction and guidance in the exercise by the child of the rights recognized in the present Convention.
In late May, organizers held a Youth Pre-Conference of the Americas in Brazil. Although the conference was not publicized among United Nations (UN) member states, the meeting produced a document called the Charter of Bahia, which, in the words of a leading participant, marks a new stage for the youth of the Americas and the world, to include youth as subject of rights and indispensable for a new development model, based on inclusion and sustainability.
While the Charter of Bahia is only available in Portuguese, a UN website has offered a summary in English. The document calls for a better quality of life for youths in the Americas, taking into account the ethnic, race and gender diversity, with the right of full access to sexual health and reproductive services, and equal access to programs to prevent unintended pregnancies and the decision making about pregnancy.
Priscila Vera, director of the Mexican Institute for Youth, a chief organizer of the Mexican conference, has said the Charter of Bahia will be used as a basis for discussion at the August conference.
Despite assurances for broad youth participation from Mexican conference organizers, as well statements on the conference website that Non-governmental Organizations (NGO) accredited with the UN could participate in the Government Forum as observers, many accredited NGOs are still being denied participation in the conference.
Some form of the Mexican conference declaration is expected to be endorsed by the UN General Assembly this Fall.
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