A Critical Moment for the UN Human Rights Council

Share It on Social Media

The War between Science and Ideology

Earlier in 2023 the Special Rapporteur Reem Alsalem submitted a report to the UN Human Rights Council titled, “Custody, Violence Against Women and Violence against Children”.

This report flatly denies the existence of Parental Alienation, PA. Without citing a single scientific study, it describes parental alienation as a “discredited and unscientific pseudo-concept.”

Instead it depicts PA as a stratagem by men’s groups to counter women’s domestic abuse allegations. It is a narrative which is peddled here by groups such as Women’s Aid. PA is a particularly serious and insidious form of Domestic Violence.

But Alsalem and the others reckoned without the fierce and sustained resistance of dozens of parents groups across the world who feel betrayed that their legitimate concerns have been summarily dismissed and they themselves rendered invisible by this charade of a report.

This is becoming one of the most explosive issues on how the UN Human Rights Council operates, in the war between science and ideology  and in the revolt by outraged groups against the manipulation of powerful international organisations by special interest groups which have for too long remained unchallenged. It is one with perhaps far-reaching implications.

Reem Alsalem presented  a report that was particularly biased, uninformed and utterly lacking in evidence.

On July 14 the Human Rights Council concluded its 53rd session and did not approve the report. The next council  meeting is on Sept 11 but the report is not on the agenda.

The Campaign to Block the Report

An international coalition of organizations and individuals has come together to oppose the report and to mount a sustained campaign of protest which includes the writing of letters to the individual member states of the Council by groups within those states, letters backed by scores of powerful articles by professionals in the field lambasting the report.

A petition against it was mounted on change.org by Terrence White of the Centre for Male Psychology   which now has more than 5600 signatures.

The report notes that the Special Rapporteur received over 1,000 submissions. These included submissions from at least five parent groups including the Irish group Alienated Children First which made 3 submissions.

Unfortunately, all of these submissions were excluded from consideration by the Special Rapporteur.

For example, the 48-page submission by Alienated Children First (ACF) includes a wealth of documentation on breaches of court orders, legal decisions, victims’ experiences, and more. The submission concludes that ACF is “concerned at the gendered nature of language which excludes male victims of domestic violence,” and that “victims are very concerned at organisations who attempt to summarily dismiss the serious issue of this form of child abuse.”

In early summer DAVIA, Domestic Abuse and Violence International Alliance, joined the campaign and launched a series of powerful Press Releases indicting the report.

DAVIA concludes that the UN Special Rapporteur arbitrarily and unfairly excluded relevant and important perspectives, which serves to invalidate the report’s conclusions and recommendations.

Alsalem Takes Heavy Flak

Alsalem has become the butt of satire, invective and sarcasm because of her many unsupported statements. International lawyer Caroline Langley wrote a satirical critique first asking:

And just to be clear, did you actually mean to say that all abductors are female?

Alsalem: “the research demonstrates that when a partner or a parent puts pressure on a child in order to alienate them from another parent usually that child turns against the parent that is trying to put pressure on them.”

Langley: I must have missed out on that particular research paper. Could you give me the citation please?

“PA is predominantly used and invoked against mothers … to divert attention from the history of domestic violence”.

Langley: Another research paper I missed out on. If you could give me the citation for that one also I would be most grateful.

DAVIA has written some 8 press releases since the campaign began — https://endtodv.org/coalitions/davia/campaigns/parental-alienation/ — Here are a few

July 7: Every Totalitarian Movement Begins with a Monstrous Lie: Special Rapporteur’s Flawed Report on Domestic Violence

July 12  Ten Reasons Why the Human Rights Council Must Reject the Special Rapporteur’s Report on Domestic Violence

 July 17 Reem Alsalem Must be Held Accountable for Repeated and Severe Violations of the HRC Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct laid down by HRC for mandate holders requires adherence to a number of articles which Davia spelt out. It then proceeded to list the violations by Reem Alsalem:

Reem Alsalem’s violations of the HRC Code of Conduct are numerous, substantive, and severe. The Domestic Abuse and Violence International Alliance requests that the Human Rights Council investigate the matter, impose appropriate sanctions, and publicly report its decision before the commencement of the 54th session of the Council on September 11.

Damning Scientific Evidence

According to one comprehensive review the Report to the UNHRC suppressed the voices of victims and discredited the empirical research.  Harman et al (2022) described Parental Alienation research as having “a scientifically trustworthy knowledge base”.

Another  70 page denunciation of the Reem  Alsalem report came from an impressive group of academics and other professionals. Titled An Analysis of the Report by the Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women and Girls, Its Causes and Consequences  it was written jointly by Parental Alienation Study Group Nashville, Tennessee, USA and

Global Action for Research Integrity in Parental Alienation Morelia, Michoacán, México

From the Conclusions: The authors of this document (the “Analysis”) carefully reviewed the Report and found many misleading statements, extensive misinformation, blatant errors, use of science denial techniques, and deliberate misrepresentations of the current state of peer-reviewed published research, scientific inquiry, and case law support for the family dynamic of parental alienation. These errors are so egregious that we believe they constitute a deliberate attempt to mislead mental health professionals, legal professionals, and policy makers, such as the Human Rights Council and other components of the United Nations. The Report of the Special Rapporteur is unreliable and dangerous; the misinformation contained in this Report is likely to cause irreparable harm to children and families.

September 9 is Falsely Accused Day: Demonstrations planned across the globe

The plight of the falsely accused has struck a chord with activists everywhere, men’s rights groups certainly, but not only men’s groups. Men and women are working together in support of not just those who are falsely accused but in recognition that this scourge affects families, grandparents, friends  and the wider community and needs to be stamped out.

For too long the Believe the Victim mantra has seized the judicial system and exercised a malign influence on policy and policy-makers.

Though it only began in 2021 FAD has since spread and inspires groups across the globe in many different countries. It shows just how pernicious has been the tendency to believe those who claim victimhood or make accusations whether of domestic or sexual or child abuse, and how easy it has been to secure convictions. So easy in fact that it has encouraged a culture of righteousness and a great many false allegations. Demonstrations are planned in US, UK, Australia, India, Spain, Argentina, Canada among others.

Supporters are encouraged to use the hashtag #FalselyAccusedDay  to consolidate the message and increase its impact.




Share It on Social Media


Listen on SoundCloud

Listen on iTunes

MVI on Facebook

MVI on Twitter