Home Gender & Sexuality ‘Men’s Rights are Human Rights’: Theme for Human Rights Day on 10th December

‘Men’s Rights are Human Rights’: Theme for Human Rights Day on 10th December

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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights unequivocally declares, “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, [or] sex.”

Each year, this historic document is celebrated on Human Rights Day, observed around the world on 10th December. Accordingly, the Domestic Abuse and Violence International Alliance (DAVIA) is calling on lawmakers and civil society groups this year to highlight the theme: “Men’s Rights are Human Rights.”

During the days leading up to Human Rights Day, nine separate editorials from around the world highlighted a range of human rights concerns of men, especially in regard to domestic violence policies that falsely stereotype males as abusers:

  • Globally, men are disadvantaged, compared to women, in at least five areas: Life expectancy, treatment by the criminal system, child custody, false allegations of abuse, and college enrollments, according to one analysis.
  • In Canada, Janice Fiamengo noted that “men are the preferred targets of accusation, blame, and hatred,” and tartly concluded, “men are rightly tired of being told they must take responsibility for acts of violence they have never committed and which they are powerless to stop.”
  • In Europe, Stephen Baskerville argued that the Istanbul Convention, which denies the very existence of male abuse victims, is “unnecessary, dishonest, and dangerous.”
  • In Bermuda, families reportedly are being harmed by domestic violence policies that do not recognise the fact that “Studies show that men suffer equally as women from domestic violence.”
  • One editorial from the US argued, “The systemic exclusion of boys and men’s issues from public policy conversations around equity, equality, and human rights is one of the reasons it is so important the legislature creates a commission on boys and men.”
  • Carl Roberts commented that “Extensive experience reveals a fundamental problem with the family court, child support, child welfare, and domestic violence systems is an unsupported bias and belief that men are less safe than women,” which contributes to the problem of fatherlessness.
  • Regarding the global problem of sexual abuse, A Hidden Right of Men Worldwide revealed that “most countries have tended to ignore that males are victims of sexual abuse perhaps as much as females, and certainly to a much greater extent than is reported or recognized.”

Two commentaries urged the United Nations to accord greater emphasis to the human rights of men:

On September 5, 1995, Hillary Clinton gave a historic speech at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in which she uttered the words, “Women’s rights are human rights.” Twenty-seven years later, the Domestic Abuse and Violence International Alliance urges that Human Rights Day observances declare a parallel principle: “Men’s rights are human rights.”

The Domestic Abuse and Violence International Alliance (DAVIA) consists of 67 member organisations from 24 countries in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America, and North America. DAVIA seeks to ensure that domestic violence and abuse policies are science-based, family-affirming, and sex-inclusive.

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