The UN recognises the rights of the unborn child

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

Ruth Halperin-Kaddari of the UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against women has stated that the lack of provision for abortion in Northern Ireland is a form of “violence against women” amounting to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment.

Les Allamby, the chief commissioner for Human Rights for Northern Ireland, also states that the current situation is violates the human rights of women (‘NI violates human rights on abortion, says UN committee,’ February 24 ).

I would suggest that Ms Halperin-Kadari and Mr Allamby should look at the UN General Assembly’s Declaration on the rights of the Child of December 1959 which states that Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognises the rights of the unborn child, including the right to life.

As the Australian scholar Rita Joseph writes in her ‘Human Rights and the Unborn Child’, international human rights law is not, contrary to some polemicists, “‘silent’ on our obligation to protect children at risk of abortion”.

Rita Joseph’s work is a thorough review of the recognition and protection for the unborn provided by various human rights declarations and cases.

C.D.C. Armstrong, Belfast BT12