A spokesman for the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) says the United Nations might bypass parents and recognize "sexual and reproductive health and rights" for 10-year-old children.
International law does not currently recognize a "right" to sexual and reproductive health, especially in the case of minors. But Timothy Herrmann of C-FAM says the United Nations Commission on Population and Development is hosting a conference where a recently released draft document will be negotiated.
"It speaks of youth being defined as ten to 24 years old. Now, the issue is that within the document, and pretty much the entire document, it speaks about sexual and reproductive health, as well as rights of youth," Herrmann reports. "And speaking about that in the context of ten-year-old children is obviously quite controversial."
He points out that organizations like the International Planned Parenthood Federation exclude parents, suggesting ten-year-old children should be able to decide and receive education on the subject on their own.
"This is something that's been endorsed by the United Nations in various places -- particularly the UNFPA (U.N. Population Fund), as well as UNICEF (U.N. Children's Fund), and also UNESCO (U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) -- who have spoken quite a bit about the sexual education of minors and encouraging them to kind of explore that area themselves without, obviously again, parental guidance," Herrmann notes.
He laments that U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon even agreed in a recent statement that "young people, as much as all people, share the human right to health, including sexual and reproductive health."
C-FAM and other groups have pledged to be at the U.N. working against the document.
Contact: Charlie Butts