The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) is a statutory body of some importance. In terms of framing the public debate on what constitutes human rights, it has achieved a remarkable level of ‘market share’ and influence. It has now decided that there is a ‘human right’ to an abortion and the human rights of the unborn don’t seem to enter the frame at all.
The IHREC abides by something called the United Nation Principles relating to the Status of National Institutions, otherwise known as ‘The Paris Principles’. It does a very good job at abiding by these principles because it faithfully cleaves to a UN-view of the world and of human rights, which these days leans heavily left and is increasingly pro-abortion.
To get a sense of how important it is to abide by the Paris Principles, one must only note that failure to adhere to them is sufficient to deny national human rights institutions a right to vote, hold office, take the floor under agenda items or submit documentation to the UN. But not to worry, in 2015 the IHREC was given an ‘A’ status for compliance with the Paris Principles.
The question is, was the ‘A’ grade warranted or was it more akin to one friend rather gushingly and uncritically telling another friend just how amazing they are?
Under the terms of the Paris Principles, the IHREC must work to ensure that its composition reflects a “pluralist representation of the social forces (of civilian society) in the protection and promotion of human rights.”
One of the specific ways it has to do this is by including in its membership representatives of what the Principles term “Trends in philosophical or religious thought.”
Anyone reading IHREC contributions on ‘abortion rights,’ would not be mistaken if they arrived at the conclusion that as a body it is decidedly pro-choice.
It appears to strictly adhere to the position that Ireland is in gross violation of international ‘obligations’ regardless of the cogent arguments that disprove this.
There is still a very strong body of opinion in Ireland in favour of the right to life of the unborn. In what way does the IHREC represent this? Seeing as it does not, how does it merit its ‘A’ grade from the UN?
Why do we never hear anything from the IHREC that would could even remotely lend itself to a defence of the Eighth Amendment or unborn life?
These questions are also important for the IHERC itself given that the Paris Principles make provision for its mandate to be withdrawn if pluralism of membership is not ensured, but given the growing pro-abortion bias of the UN itself, this is very unlikely to happen.