(ZENIT News – Center for Family and Human Rights / New York, 10.03.2023).- The UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression has released a report recommending governments and social media companies silence those who express traditional views of marriage, abortion, sexuality, and gender identity.
The report calls on governments to curb “gendered disinformation” arguing it is a form of “gender based violence.” Further, the report says criticizing gender ideology is a strategy to silence the free expression of women and “gender nonconforming” people.
The effort comes under the umbrella of ensuring widespread access to information promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights and diverse gender identities. However, in the name of freedom of expression, the report advocates the silencing of pro-life and pro-traditional family content.
For example, a traditional-minded parent who openly opposes advertisements on social media encouraging their teenage child to explore variations on sexuality would, by the standards of this report, engage in gendered disinformation.
The report calls for combatting gender-based violence. UN agencies and Western governments consider that “misgendering” or referring to someone by their proper sex as an act of violence.
The report argues that “all measures to restrict gendered disinformation, hate speech or online gender-based violence should comply fully with international human rights standards” specifically citing the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. However, the Covenant does not mention “gender” at all, let alone the new and controversial idea gender “assigned at birth.” Many social media companies, including YouTube, demonetize and silence users who, while exercising their freedom of speech and conscience, refers to others by their proper sex.
“Gendered misinformation” is also used to target those who oppose abortion including, for example, those who discuss correlations between induced abortion and mental health decline. The report says that “in Ireland around the time of the referendum on abortion, false information was spread linking abortion to depression.”
At a recent event hosted by The Universal Access Project, Plan C, and Amnesty International USA, several pro-abortion organizations shared their efforts to ensure social media companies allow users to share abortion-friendly content and resources, including on how to obtain abortions within the perimeters of a country where abortion is outlawed. They also explained they have been meeting privately with big tech companies to ensure pro-abortion content is easily accessible.
The current report frames opposition to abortion or diverse sexual identities on religious or ethnic grounds as a harmful practice deserving of condemnation. For example, it mentions that “In Africa, the narrative of ‘protection of the family’ emerges strongly…the anti-colonialism narrative is also used in Africa to accuse women’s rights activists and gender rights defenders of succumbing to Western values.”
One of the concluding recommendations of the Freedom of Expression Report encourages states to “redouble their efforts and take all appropriate measures, including through laws, social policies and programmes, to…eliminate gender stereotypes, negative social norms and discriminatory laws, policies, practices and attitudes.”
The Special Rapporteur will present the report to the General Assembly this October and is expected to continue to advance and promote a “gendered” perspective on freedom of expression.
The Special Rapporteur is Irene Kahn, who was ousted as Secretary General of Amnesty International in 2008 and received a substantial payment to leave. It was under her watch that Amnesty caused a scandal among some donors by joining the pro-abortion cause. Kahn was asked to leave at the same time as Kate Gilmore, who also decamped to the United Nations and eventually became high commissioner for human rights.