The Sejm Foreign Affairs Committee and the Justice and Human Rights Committee have not yet begun works on the citizens’ initiative ‘Yes to Family, No to Gender’. Its aim is to denounce the Istanbul Convention and replace it with the Convention on the Rights of the Family. The initiative was signed by over 150,000 Poles. A conference was held at the Sejm with representatives of the legislative initiative committee, reminding of the need to guarantee full protection of Polish families from violence.
The Istanbul Convention erroneously identifies causes of domestic violence as the natural roles of the sexes. It ignores the actual sources, such as family breakdown, addictions, pornography or sexualisation of a woman’s image in the media and popular culture. According to a study of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, the countries that have adopted the gender-based model of combating violence (e.g. the UK, Sweden and Denmark) report the highest rates of violence.
The Ordo Iuris Institute and the Christian Social Congress, alongside other groups that have expressed their support for the initiative, recommend replacing the ideological document with the Convention on the Rights of the Family. It would protect the family from any excessive interference of the state. It also specifies, among others, the rules of counteracting any form of violence, including domestic violence.
Ordo Iuris experts have also drawn up proposed legal changes in order to offer real support to victims of violence. They include, among others, increased punishment for crimes related to domestic violence. In addition, the lawyers suggest relevant changes in maintenance law and the creation of a network of Anti-Violence Centres.
The 150,000 signatures under the citizens’ initiative ‘Yes to Family, No to Gender’ were submitted to the Sejm in December last year. The first reading took place in March 2021. The MPs decided to submit the initiative to the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Justice and Human Rights Committee.
“The Istanbul Convention is not about effectively combating domestic violence. Not a single provision of the Convention refers to scientifically proven sources of violence, such as alcohol abuse or family breakdown. Instead, it identifies the sources of violence as the mere social structure and it builds its vision of fighting violence on the gender ideology,” noted Karolina Pawłowska, Director of the International Law Centre.
Collegium Intermarium is the first university registered in Poland after the great reform of the higher education system. Its mission is to build a platform of co-operation between academics from the countries of the Intermarium region. Multilingual study courses will start in October.
Effective life and family protection requires joint actions at an international level. This issue was discussed at the conference on the Geneva Consensus Declaration.
The European Union announced works on a document demanding from Member States to acknowledge foreign adoptions of children by single-sex partnerships. According to EC plans, such provisions could be implemented as a regulation, which would be binding on all EU members. This would be contrary to the national law of several states, including Poland. The Ordo Iuris Institute has drawn up a petition to the EC authorities calling for them to abandon these plans.
The European Commission intends to take action against freedom of speech. The EC initiative would incorporate the so-called ‘hate speech’ and ‘hate crimes’ in the catalogue of ‘EU crimes’. This means that they would be included in Article 83 (1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and, in this way, behaviours covered by these terms would be inevitably considered crimes by all EU Member States.