A resolution on Protection of the Family that warns of the “increasing vulnerabilities” facing the family unit was adopted yesterday, 3 July 2015 at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. The resolution was sponsored by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and was voted for by the majority of the HRC member states. It reaffirms that the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
Focusing on the importance of the family, the resolution urges Member States to create a conducive environment to strengthen and support all families, recognizing that equality between women and men and respect for all the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all family members are essential to family well-being and to society at large. It addresses the rights of the child and children and persons with disabilities; and notes that single-headed households, child-headed households and intergenerational households are particularly vulnerable to poverty and social exclusion, and resolves to pay particular attention to family units headed by women and children.
The resolution stresses on the equality between women and men, women’s equal participation in employment and shared parental responsibility; and regrets that women’s social and economic contributions to the welfare of the family and the social significance of maternity and paternity continue to be inadequately addressed and emphasizes the need to consistently address such imbalances.
Furthermore, the resolution urges States, in accordance with their respective obligations under international human rights law, to provide the family, as the natural and fundamental group unit of the society, with effective protection and assistance. It encourages States in this regard to take measures including creating family-friendly policies; designing, implementing and promoting family-sensitive policies in the field of housing, work, health, social security and education; analysing policies and programmes in the economy sectors with respect to their impact on family well-being and conditions; addressing the causes and mitigating the consequences of family disintegration; working towards reducing poverty; and Strengthening or, if necessary, establishing relevant national agencies or governmental bodies responsible for the implementation and monitoring of family policies.