Brussels, 22 October 2013

Today, Tuesday 22 October, the European Parliament took a position on the issue of Human Dignity. By voting a decision to refer the resolution on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights presented by Portugese MEP Edite Estrela back to the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, the Members of the European Parliament clearly showed that this issue is anything but trivial. The vote took place in a very animated hemicycle.


In its analysis of the text , the European Federation of Catholic Family Associations revealed the implicit promotion of a sexual education programme including “early childhood masturbation”, from 0-4 years old upwards. A revelation that not only shocked families profoundly but also the MEP who voted to refer the proposed text back to the Committee.  

Parents are the first and primary educators of their children. This is also true when it comes to relationship and sexual education. The proposal voted today revealed the paramount importance of this principle for educational choices for children. The WHO standards promoted by Mrs Estrela’s resolution are based on an approach to sexuality which belongs to lobbies, not to parents.

Antoine Renard, President of FAFCE, states:

“It is truly a battle about ideas! Families ask the European Union and its Member States to respect all international and EU legislation: the principle of subsidiarity, freedom of conscience, the recognition of parents as first and primary educators – listening to the families and not to lobbies.”

FAFCE considers this vote as one step among many in the fight in favour of human dignity at every stage of life, Mr Renard says:

“Today’s vote concerns human dignity at every stage of life, a hot topic in the EU. The European Citizens Initiative One of Us, the first EU petition in favour of the respect of the human embryo officially authorised by the European Commission, already gathered close to 1.4. million signatures. A sign that human dignity is all but a trivial issue for EU Citizens.

The European Court of Justice (ruling C-34/10 “Greenpeace c. Brüstle“) itself has in fact declared as a right, on the initiative of Greenpeace, that the human embryo represents a specific stage of development of the human body from the moment of conception and that in this capacity it is protected by the Charter of Fundamental Rights.  The EU jurisprudence in favour of the protection of the human embryo must be applied in all policies concerned.”

The action in favour of Human Dignity in the EU continues. Every signature of support counts and helps increase the pressure on governments and European institutions. The collection of signatures continues non stop until 31st October, the official closing date of the European Citizens Initiative One of Us