Members of the European Parliament yesterday approved a report which is likely to have serious implications for family life right across the EU. Towards an EU strategy on the rights of the child sets out what EU states must do to uphold and promote children's rights.
The report covers issues such as the protection of children from exploitation, abuse and violence. It acknowledges that the family protects children and calls on member states to make “every effort to support families by means of appropriate public policies.” Unfortunately some parts of the report threaten to do just the opposite.
Six articles in the report refer to sexual and reproductive rights under the headings of health and education. In Article 144, the report: "Calls on the Commission and
Articles 162 to 165 go on to stress the need to promote sexual and reproductive health services for children and Article 168: "Calls for Member States to ensure that all children and adolescents in and out of school are provided with tailored and comprehensive scientific information on sexual and reproductive health in order to make informed choices on issues related to their personal well-being, including the prevention of STIs and HIV/AIDS;"
The terms reproductive rights and reproductive health services is UN code for abortion. This means the EU strategy on the rights of the child will almost certainly be used to force governments throughout
Kathy Sinnott, the pro-life MEP for
In two votes, the articles recognising sexual and reproductive rights for children were passed with 460 and 500 votes in favour and 180 and 150 votes against. With such a substantial majority of MEPs backing this report, it is highly likely that it will be crucial to the way the European Court of Justice interprets the children’s rights in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
On 19 October last year EU heads of state and government meeting in