Stand up for life and family in commemorating human rights day – Evangelicals

The Ethics, Peace and Justice Commission (EPJC) of Evangelical Association of Malawi has urged all Malawians of goodwill to stand up for life and family as part of commemoration of the international human rights day slated for 10 December 2016.

 EPJC’s Munthali:  Stand up for life and family

EPJC’s Munthali: Stand up for life and family

This year’s international human rights day is under the theme “Stand up for Someone’s rights”.

However, speaking to Nyasa Times, EPJC National Secretary Makhumbo Munthali said the theme for this year’s International human rights day was timely and relevant to the Malawian context considering the fact that on Tuesday Malawians across the country led by Episcopal Conference of Malawi and Evangelical Association took to the streets to stand up for right to life and family which were under direct attack.

“We urge Malawians to stand up for right to life of unborn children in the face of a hugely funded campaign of the killing of unborn children under the guise of advancing ‘sexual reproductive health rights’ or ‘safe abortion’. By doing so they will show to the world that life is sacred, and that right to life is first amongst all human rights,” said Munthali.

“The international consensus documents like Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child  (CRC) explicitly recognises the right to life before and after birth. The CRC in its preamble explicitly states: ‘The child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth’.”

Munthali further urged Malawians to stand up for the right to protection of the family as a basic unit of society as recognised in our Constitution, penal code and Marriage Act which explicitly defines marriage as being between man and woman.

“Besides guaranteed in our domestic laws, the right to protect family as a basic unit of society is also recognised in the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights as well as Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” he said.

Munthali adds that the Constitution of Malawi in Section 13 by virtue of including the family as one of the Principles of National Policy underscores the importance the Constitution attaches to the protection of the family as a basic unit of society. This is why its important that we all stand up for right to family.

“By including the family( within the category of principles of National Policy) amongst those provisions that enjoy protection from arbitrary change- that is they cannot be amended or have their content changed by Parliament unless the majority of people voting in a national referendum supports amendment- thats according to the Schedule to the text of the Constitution clearly shows that no one including the executive, parliament or courts has the mandate to change the defintion of marriage or family

“It is therefore premised on this that any move to remove those laws that criminalise homosexuality based on a public inquiry or any other means not provided in the constitution as mentioned earlier will be declared invalid and unconstitutional. All this underscores the fact that family is a protected area within both domestic and international law.”

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Traditional family in itself is a source of so many human rights abuses and the church as a patriarchal institution is a source of human rights abuses and he people who suffer are women and children. So, instead of advocating these vain pro-life and pro-family campaigns ECM should focus efforts on addressing gender equality and child abuse. In other words, the family as an institution should be modernised and democratised.

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