Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe

Press release | A sad day for the Rights of the Child at the European Parliament

Strasbourg, 12 March 2015

Today is the Day of the Rights of the Child.

Children are entitled to special care and assistance according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Children's best interest shall be a primary consideration "in all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies", according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Still, the European Parliament adopted its annual report on Human Rights in the World today, the so called Panzeri Report, including a paragraph that threatens the right of children to have a father and a mother.

The adopted resolution "encourages the EU institutions and the Member States to further contribute to reflection on the recognition of same-sex marriage or same-sex civil union as a political, social and human and civil rights issue"
 (paragraph 162 in the draft report). Although the issue of filiation, adoption and surrogacy are not present in the text the current evolution in several Member States clearly show that there is a profound social and legal confusion as regards the bond between a child and his or her father and mother in the above context.  

The adopted text also promotes the "right to abortion", while as the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights states that "Human dignity is inviolable. It must be respected and protected." and that "Everyone has the right to life". The resolution which addresses Human Rights, i.e. including the right to life, "calls for the EU and its Member States to recognise the inalienable rights of women and girls to (...) safe and legal abortion".

Human Rights are universal but the European Parliament has proven today that there is no common understanding of what Human Dignity is. The Members of the European Parliament were split on these votes. Some listened to the tens of thousands of citizens who called on the Members of the European Parliament to not support abortion.

The Panzeri report breaches to principle of subsidiarity.

Europe does not need less subsidiarity but more respect for the national legislations.

Europe does not need abortions but better support for mothers and improved relationship and sexual education, whilst respecting the national competence on these issues.

Children in Europe all need a mother and a father. Their needs should be respected, taking into consideration their best interest. Their needs cannot be neglected in favour of adults desires.

FAFCE will continue to encourage the European Parliament to reaffirm the principle of subsidiarity and, foremost, to protect human dignity at every stage of life. 


Contact: Maria Hildingsson, Secretary General
+32 4 70 20 39 18
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