We call on official mandate holders in the United Nations to take urgent action to counter ultraconservative mobilisation against human rights. We can no longer afford to wait!
Historically, the United Nations has been an important site for feminist and social movement gains. It helps us call out violations and put pressure on states to uphold their human rights commitments. However, as we demand justice and accountability, anti-rights groups operate with greater coordination and resources to push back on our rights. The backlash is real.
Outright attacks on the system continue, such as defunding and rejecting the legitimacy of UN agencies. However, anti-rights actors are now also heavily invested in undermining human rights from inside the system. They employ a range of persuasive discourses to gain legitimacy. As well as misusing religion, culture, and tradition, they also co-opt the language of rights, including women's rights, to hide their reactionary agendas. In reality, their aim is to water down human rights standards and, ultimately, build a system of impunity for human rights violations.
We call for red lines and concrete action to stem the tide of anti-rights infiltration.
Many of our human rights spaces and processes have already been undermined, but we still have a chance to stop this. With your help, we can make the UN work better for our rights!
We call on the UN mandate holders to address anti-rights attacks as a matter of priority and urgency by:
- Taking a coordinated approach to address anti-rights mobilization as dangerous attacks on rights related to gender and sexuality with devastating impacts on all human rights and systems of accountability.
- Upholding rights related to gender and sexuality as universal and inalienable, indivisible, and interrelated to all other rights, and rejecting all attempts to pit the rights of any one group against another.
- Prioritizing meaningful collaboration with feminist and social justice movements to develop robust, comprehensive, and effective responses to the threats of fascisms and fundamentalisms.
- Advocating for processes and procedures that enhance the accountability of human rights systems. This includes identifying and addressing systemic breakdowns and infiltration of anti-rights actors, and creating a conducive environment for feminist and social justice movements and marginalized communities to drive human rights agendas.
- Resisting the legitimization of anti-rights actors under the guise of human rights organizations and taking all possible measures to stop their access to decision-making positions.