Ambassadors Should Not Allow False and Inflammatory Claims to Remain on HRC Website

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Here is a  July 24 press release from  DAVIA on the UNHRC Special Rapporteur:

An article posted on the website of the UN Human Rights Council, titled “Gender Bias in Custody Battles Places Women and Children at Risk,” repeatedly quotes Special Rapporteur Reem Alsalem and highlights her recent statements made to the Human Rights Council (5). The June 30 article contains numerous claims that are misleading, implausible, false, and inflammatory:

  1. Ignoring Research on Benefits of Shared Parenting: Dozens of studies have found that shared parenting is the best arrangement for children in separated and divorced families. Kids who equally share time between both parents’ homes have better outcomes on a broad range of social, academic, and career measures (6). Despite repeated references to the “best interest of the child,” the June 30 article on the HRC website misleadingly ignores these studies.
  2. Inverting the Truth About Family Court Response to Abuse Claims: Case reports reveal that mothers often make unsupported claims of domestic violence in order to gain an advantage in child custody decisions. Attorneys often refer to these false claims as “Silver Bullets” (7) because they are so effective in swaying judicial decision-making against the father (8). But without evidence, the June 30 article says the opposite, making the claim that courts typically discount the testimony of mothers.
  3. Making False Statements About Sex Bias in Custody Decisions: Despite the fact that co-parenting is in the best arrangement for most children (9), family courts in many countries do not award joint physical custody to both parents, instead affording preference to mothers (10-12). But the article on the HRC website makes the implausible and untrue claim that family courts are biased against mothers.
  4. Engaging in Emotional Appeals: The article relies on inflammatory terms such as “multi-layered violence” and “misogynistic frameworks” – ill-defined terms that serve to play on persons’ emotions and gender stereotypes.

None of the claims in the HRC’s “Gender Bias” article is supported by independent sources. Indeed, the misrepresentations in the article are so numerous and so blatant that the post must be regarded as an exercise in gender propaganda.

During its 53rd session, the Human Rights Council declined to approve Reem Alsalem’s report on “Custody, Violence against Women, and Violence against Children” – and for good reason. Now, Human Rights Council Ambassadors need to direct that the dishonest claims about “Gender Bias in Custody Battles” be promptly removed from the HRC website.

The Domestic Abuse and Violence International Alliance – DAVIA — consists of 102 member organizations from 34 countries in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America, and North America. DAVIA seeks to ensure that domestic violence and abuse polices are science-based, family-affirming, and gender-inclusive.






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