Parental Pin, an initiative that violates human rights

We oppose the PARENTAL PIN for violating human rights due to the damage it represents to the life, development and well-being of girls, boys and adolescents.

By Paloma Carreño Acuña – Redefine Michoacán Spokeswoman

On September 2, 2020, lawmaker Hugo Anaya Ávila of the PAN Parliamentary Group presented the initiative of the PARENTAL PIN, to reform the Education Law for the State of Michoacán, seeking to restrict the right to Comprehensive Education for Sexuality, and limiting other linked rights of girls, boys and teenagers.

This despite the fact that two hours before the Permanent Commission of the H. Congress of the Union exhorted the local Congresses to respect the right to secular, scientific, equitable, inclusive, intercultural, comprehensive education with a focus on human rights and substantive equality of these girls, boys and teenagers, referred as NNAJ. Furthermore, the National Human Rights Commission was exhorted to interpose means of constitutional control in the places where this reform is approved.

At Redefine we oppose the adult-centered initiatives and violations of the human rights of NNAJ.

What is the parental pin?

The parental pin is an initiative originally created by the ultra-conservative nationalist Spanish party “Vox”. It is promoted through deceptive speeches communicating that it is a way to “protect” children and teenagers, when in reality it is a censorship of the contents of Comprehensive Education for Sexuality in schools. This initiative has begun to be reproduced in different states of the Mexican Republic by conservative parties such as the Social Encounter Party (PES) and the National Action Party (PAN).

The United Nations Children’s Fund Organization (UNICEF), the United Nations for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Office of the High Commissioner for the The United Nations for Human Rights (UN-DH) and multiple civil society organizations have made public our great concern about the parental pin initiatives, likewise, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Public Education (SEP), Ministry of Health, Executive Secretariat of the National System for the Comprehensive Protection of Girls, Boys and Adolescents (SIPINNA), the National Population Council (CONAPO), the National Council to Prevent Discrimination (CONAPRED) and the National Institute of Women (INMUJERES) In a statement published on July 5 of this year, they concluded that the “parental pin is a measure that violates rights that opposes the construction of an equitable, inclusive society, responsible and well-informed, a measure that denies the right to education with a gender perspective as a fundamental step to guarantee the right of all girls and women to a life free of violence.

What does the initiative presented by the PAN in Michoacán say? And why does it violate the human rights of children and teenagers?

This initiative, as well as those presented in other states, contemplates that mothers and fathers can request that sexuality education content not be taught in public schools. What contravenes the human right of girls, boys, adolescents and young people to secular and scientific education and information on sexuality, contemplated in Article 3 of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States.

The initiative is based on the concept of the family as a social institution and on the role it plays in the education and development of people. However, while the family is the natural environment for the growth and well-being of all its members and in particular of boys, girls and teenagers. As the Convention on the Rights of the Child has pointed out, the authority granted to the family does not allow it to exercise arbitrary control over girls, boys and teenagers that involves damage to their health, their development or anything that restricts their human rights. Their primary responsibility in the upbringing and development of children and teenagers under their guardianship is conditional on them being able to fully exercise their rights as a priority.

Sexual and reproductive rights are part of our human right to health, because sexuality is an element that is present in all stages of our life. Exercising sexuality in a responsible manner is essential for the well-being of all human beings, as well as it is for the exercise other human rights. In this sense, comprehensive education for sexuality, taught in a secular way and based on scientific evidence to children and teenagers, is essential to make decisions, prevent abuse, reduce early pregnancies and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) as well as for identifying and notifying violence and discrimination in order to allow them to experience their sexuality freely and healthily, throughout all stages of life.

The so-called anti-rights groups represented in the legislation have organized in defense of a supposedly natural order and a family model defined by a group of values based on stigmas, pathologizing narratives and tutelary paradigms, which shape lives, bodies, affections and pedagogical practices. They deny diversity and defend an adult-centered normality from which they define what is supposedly best for children and adolescents without taking their opinion into account.

In the bill presented in Michoacán, they distort human rights principles, such as the best interests of minors in order to pretentiously argue their positions, as well as their attempt to use international treaties and human rights conventions to violate them, by not applying the interpretation criteria correctly.

We reiterate it because the authorities always omit it; human rights are progressive, interdependent and indivisible. This means that the right to free conscience, thought and religion is not above sexual and reproductive rights. This also means that due to the advances that have been made in these rights, no steps can be taken back and that the family, despite its fundamental role, cannot limit the rights of children and teenagers.

From “Redefine Michoacán” we oppose the PARENTAL PIN for violating human rights. We also oppose the presentation of this bill in Michoacán by Deputy Hugo Anaya. The law has been promoted despite much insistence to desist due to the damage it represents to the life, development and well-being of girls, boys and adolescents.

Due to all of the above, as Redefine Michoacán we call on the Education Commission of the Michoacán Congress to reject this initiative, as well as to the rest of lawmakers to send a message of disapproval of these initiatives that represent clear violations of human rights. We also call on civil society organizations to fight for the defense of these rights that some groups want to take from us.

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