Taking advantage of the special consulting status bestowed by The UN Economic and Social Council, Ordo Iuris calls for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein to take a stand against a series of human and children’s rights violations which took place in the case of Alfie Evans.
Alfie Evans, after many days of struggle for his life, passed away in Great Britain during the night on April 28th at 3:30 a.m., when he was disconnected from life support on April 23rd. The procedure of his killing was begun following the exhaustion of all legal possibilities in which his parents could intervene. Since December 2017, Ordo Iuris has assisted British lawyers as well as the child’s parents in legal struggles and in the search for a hospital willing and ready to accept the boy. Just yesterday, Tom Evans, Alfie’s father, expressed his thanks to Polish lawyers for their support.
In a letter submitted to the High Commissioner on April 28th, the Ordo Iuris Institute presents their legal position and outlined the history of legal struggles that burdened Alfie Evans and his parents, as well as the subsequent unfavorable rulings of British courts and the European Court of Human Rights. The position draws attention to the circumstances of the case, omitted by the courts and tribunals, including favorable opinions of Polish doctors examining the child and the unambiguous readiness of foreign centers (Rome, Milan, Munich) to accept the child in order to conduct an in-depth diagnosis and continue his treatment.
Ordo Iuris points out a serious and profound violation of international human rights guarantees, including the right of parents to choose therapy and to decide how to protect the child’s welfare, as well as the child’s right to access the highest standard of health and medical care. In the Institute’s opinion, there are numerous positions of the Human Rights Committee and the Children’s Rights Committee, with which the actions of British courts are in obvious contradiction.
The position indicates violations of international guarantees of human rights protection, i.e. art 6, 7, and 24 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, art. 3, 6, 18, 24, 27 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and art. 5, 7, 10, 12 and 26 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The High Commissioner for Human Rights should also take into account the degree of involvement of the international public opinion and the international community in the defense of Alfie Evans. Ordo Iuris points out that Pope Francis was involved in the boy’s defense and provided medical air transport to the Infant Jesus Hospital in Rome. Several Polish, American, and Brazilian bishops stood in defense of the boy. Polish President Andrzej Duda, Prime Minister Beata Szydło, and President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani expressed their concern about the violations on Alfie Evan’s rights and that of his parents. The British member of the House of Commons, Stephen Woolfie, presented a bill called "Alfie's law", aimed at strengthening the rights of parents in similar situations. Doctors from The Medical Ethical Alliance in the United Kingdom condemned the actions taken against the boy by doctors at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool.
According to numerous opinions expressed by the international community, non-governmental organizations and experts, the precedential case of Alfie Evans poses a serious threat to the implementation of international guarantees to protect family life, parenthood, the right to life, and the highest standard of health protection.
“The High Commissioner for Human Rights cannot remain silent on this matter. His task is to face the challenges of fully implementing all human rights and preventing their abuse throughout the world. In this matter, the contemporary problems of the international human rights system are concentrated in a lens in the year of the 70th anniversary of enacting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” – attorney Jerzy Kwaśniewski, the Ordo Iuris President sums up.
Opinion of the Ordo Iuris to the UN High Comissioner for Human Rights: DOWNLOAD DOCUMENT
· The Ordo Iuris Institute has submitted an opinion to the European Commission on a draft directive introducing binding standards related to the organization and powers of equality bodies.
· The Commission's initiative is a response to problems reported by equality bodies with a lack of resources and competencies that prevent them from fulfilling their missions.
· The UN Independent Expert on Protection against Violence and Discrimination on the basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity is gathering information from states and civil society on how the protection of freedom of religion or belief affects the freedom of "sexual orientation" and "gender identity."
·The information gathered will be used to compile a report to be presented at the 53rd session of the UN Human Rights Council in June 2023.
· The Ordo Iuris Institute has been invited to participate in the Monitoring Committee for the European Funds for a Modern Economy program, which includes funds worth PLN 45.9 billion.
· Several left-wing NGOs, including the Campaign Against Homophobia and Planned Parenthood, have asked EU commissioners for a meeting on the exclusion of Ordo Iuris from the committee's work.
The Office of the President of the Republic of Poland has responded to an appeal by Ordo Iuris, in which the Institute points out that the UN General Assembly resolution on violence against women could be a tool to pressure states to position the so-called right to abortion as a human right. Before and after the document's adoption, the Institute issued appeals to the President highlighting the dangers of the resolution and calling for opposition to the UN's imposed interpretation of human rights.