Recently, I received an email to sign a petition against the recent publication of a UN document which claimed that those who held traditional, biblically-based beliefs were violators of human rights. This absurd document was written by the Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed. Shaheed lacks any qualifications to be a UN Religious Freedom consultant, but nevertheless he has been appointed to address Freedom of Religion or Belief. I suppose his background in international relations was good enough. So what does the document say? Let’s take this sample below:
Calling someone ‘immoral’ is not a human rights violation. Furthermore, ‘gender ideology’ is their own term. Particularly ridiculous is the statement that ‘invoking religious tenets’ is a violation of religious freedom. Lastly, this document makes a lot of claims , but where is the evidence? Supposedly, interest groups are misusing their freedom! (Orwellian, much?) Where is the outcry? The backlash? The…evidence? Simple. Just go to reference 29. It’s right here, nestled with all their other references (all of which are other UN self-generated documents).
This leads to a document generated at the 73 annual assembly. Paragraph 21 is below. Notice how it doesn’t provide any evidence for their claim that religious groups are out on the prowl for the UN’s human rights defenders.
In fact, it doesn’t give any empirical evidence at all! It simply justifies everything on the basis of a philosophical freedom ethic that sounds like something right out of the French Revolution. But perhaps we missed something. Let’s follow the references again. In the slough of their own work and we find reference 22, Violence against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Persons in the Americas.
Paragraph 16, again, offers no evidence. Just cyclical opinion but this time with misleading statistics which they themselves generated:
“Latin American organizations report that the life expectancy of trans women in the region is between 30 and 35 years of age. According to the data collected by the IACHR, 80% of trans persons killed during a 15-month period were 35 years of age or younger.”
This tries to make it seem like the leading cause of death for trans people is murder, which is not true. There is so much wrong with these stats and the way they are being presented I don’t even know where to begin. The full excerpt is below:
Notice how the particularly vulnerable group are the ‘sex workers’ – is anyone surprised? This is the kind of stuff the UN is pulling: self-generated, self-referential gobblety-goop. It is unprofessional, unoriginal, and perhaps just plain wicked because in the end, this is what it’s all about:
Don’t be fooled by the UN.