By Scott Fischbach
Five years ago, MCCL Global Outreach (MCCL GO)—a program of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life—launched an effort to draw attention to the human rights abuses of euthanasia by participating in the United Nations’ UPR process.
The UPR (“universal periodic review”) is a mechanism set up by the UN’s Human Rights Council to review and evaluate the human rights situations in each nation on a perpetual three-year cycle. It involves written and oral statements from stakeholders, UN body reports, and country responses.
MCCL GO, as an accredited non-governmental organization with consultative status at the UN, saw an opportunity to put the dangers of euthanasia on the record whenever the UN assessed countries that had legalized the practice. And that’s what we did.
We filed our first UPR contribution in 2016 when the UN evaluated the Netherlands, a nation that pioneered euthanasia and vividly displays its horrors. That was followed by Switzerland, Luxembourg, Colombia, and Canada.
With our latest contribution on Belgium—to be reviewed in May—this five-year project will be complete. The MCCL GO notation in the “Summary of Stakeholders’ Submissions on Belgium” can be found on page 4 (#33). The reports that MCCL GO has filed can be found at mccl-go.org.
Each of our contributions highlighted the serious human rights concerns raised by the practice of euthanasia. They pointed to abuses and a lack of adequate oversight, and explained how euthanasia undermines the rights to life, health, and non-discrimination.
While this project has come to an end, it’s just the first step in fighting back against the global push toward assisted suicide and euthanasia. Every human being—regardless of age, ability, and health—has human rights, and MCCL Global Outreach will continue to defend them.