The UN regularly speaks out in cases when the policy and decisions of the government of a member state go against the fundamental principles of human rights. The UN accused the Hungarian government of violating those rights at least 13 times in the last two years.
The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organisation that aims to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harmonising the actions of governments.
The United Nations has been highly critical of the Hungarian government’s support of the 9th amendment, which discriminates against sexual minorities in Hungary. This is not the first time that the UN opposes the acts of the Hungarian government, 444.hu writes.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has accused the Hungarian government of infringement 13 times in the last two years. The latest being in December 2020 when Hungarian lawmakers suggested and eventually adopted the 9th constitutional amendment, and made sure that the constitution says that a mother is female and the father is male.
The OHCHR is the leading UN entity on human rights. They represent the world’s commitment to the promotion and protection of the full range of human rights and freedoms set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The mentioned 9th constitutional amendment also ensured that the constitution recognises a family as the marriage between a man and a woman, and that heterosexual married couples are basically the only ones eligible to adopt. Before the amendment was passed, five councillors of the UN had warned Orbán’s government in a joined letter that these planned modifications go against fundamental human rights, as these
- restrict the definition of family to a relationship between opposite sexes
- exclude same-intercourse couples from adoption, and
- claim that the only ‘right way” to raise a child is through “Christian culture” with respect to the child’s sex at birth.
Writers of this letter asked the Prime Minister to withdraw the amendment in order not to commit infringement. However, the government passed the amendment on the same. The government’s reaction to the UN’s letter was outrageous.
The Hungarian government claimed the right to define what a family is, and they said the amendment simply contained the “biological truth” by stating that the mother is female and the father is male, and this is in no way restrictive of the rights of any social group.
UN members find the government’s response “deeply disturbing,” as it is twisting the system of international law. They believe that no one should define what a family is, and this social institution should not be restricted arbitrarily.
“We find it worrying that the Hungarian legal system narrows the institution of family and marriage to heterosexual couples, as it further aggravates the stigma of families that differ from this and gives room for discrimination against same-sex couples.”