The Sejm decided to submit the citizens’ bill “Yes to Family, No to Gender” to the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Justice and Human Rights Committee. Earlier, MPs did not agree to a complete rejection of the proposal. The aim of the initiative is to denounce the gender-based Istanbul Convention and replace it with the Convention on the Rights of the Family. The draft law drawn up by the Ordo Iuris Institute and the Christian Social Congress has been signed by 150,000 citizens.
The draft aims at actually protecting individuals from domestic violence. The Istanbul Convention erroneously identifies sources of violence as the natural differences between women and men. It disregards study-based causes of this phenomenon, such as addictions, family breakdown or pornography. According to statistics, such countries as the United Kingdom, Denmark or Sweden, which have implemented ideologised solutions, report higher violence rates than Poland. The authors of the citizens’ bill argue that the alternative to the Istanbul Convention should be the international Convention on the Rights of the Family.
On 17 March, the first reading of the bill took place in the Sejm. On behalf of the Committee, Marek Jurek from the Christian Social Congress and Karolina Pawłowska, director of the Ordo Iuris Centre of International Law, spoke from the parliamentary rostrum. On the same day, a press conference was held in the Sejm, with representatives of the Committee announcing proposed solutions to combat violence more efficiently. They include, among others, amendments to criminal and alimony law and changes in the functioning of support centres for victims of violence. This was also the subject of a forum attended by experts, representatives of the administration of the President of RP and local governments, the police and social organisations.
• An international coalition of NGOs has prepared a petition to the United Nations calling for action to combat surrogacy.
• The Ordo Iuris Institute is representing a Polish child who fell victim to a paedophile in Norway.
• The Norwegian authority for children – Barnevernet – took the child away from his parents solely on the basis of unverified information about alleged domestic violence.
• Proposed new World Health Organization guidelines on so-called ‘safe abortion’ are expected to increase pressure on national authorities to remove laws protecting the lives of unborn children.
• The ECHR issued a further three judgments in which is directly referred to the ‘amicus curiae’ opinions sent by the Institute.