Constitutional Failure: The Judicial Assault on the Family in America

Visiting America in the 1830’s, the German traveller Francis J. Grund found a land characterized by “early marriage,” “the sanctity of the marriage vow,” “rapid increase of population,” and “domestic happiness.” Indeed, he saw “the domestic virtue of the Americans as the principle source of all their other qualities,” including democratic governance.

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Protection of the Family and Family Values in Russian Constitutional Law

When in October 2015 the World Congress of Families adopted its World Family Declaration, it did so remind us of the fact that “the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State,” as proclaimed in Article 16(3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This is a truth echoed in many of the world’s national constitutions.

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Special Report: Constitutions of the World

The following text is adapted from The World Family Declaration, an initiative of the World Congress of Families. Opening with the words “We the people of many lands and cultures,” the Declaration is grounded in Article 16(3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states, “The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.” That language is echoed in 111 national constitutions, many of which repeat it verbatim. The examples below may give practical guidance to any involved in the monumental and important work of shaping a new constitution, but also will give the interested reader a better idea of what real constitutions around the world have to say on the topic of family.

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Special Report: The Geneva Declaration

As part of its ongoing mission to unite and equip leaders worldwide to promote the natural family, the International Organization for the Family is also the parent organization of the World Congress of Families, an international gathering of pro-family scholars, politicians, NGOs, and friends which has been ongoing now for over 20 years. To date, there have been thirteen meetings of the World Congress of Families, with the most recent having taken place in Verona, Italy, in 2019. The second Congress was held in Geneva in November of 1999. It was a significant meeting in many ways, not least of which was the publication of the Geneva Declaration. The Declaration is now over 20 years old, and yet, it was almost prescient in its treatment of topics that are still shaping public discourse around issues of family today. Its principles suggest the language that could be used and adapted for constitutional purposes.

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The Real Rights of Children

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted as an international treaty in 1989, enjoys ratification by most nations on earth; the United States is the one notable exception. As the UNICEF website explains, this Convention “spells out the basic human rights that children everywhere . . . have: the right to […]

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Parental Rights Around the Globe

Ms. Trude Strand Lobben was struggling with a difficult pregnancy when, in May 2008, she approached the Norwegian social services authorities for assistance. They suggested that during the first months of the child’s life she stay at a family centre for evaluation, where she could be offered additional support. Her son was less than a […]

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Therapists Go Rogue

When Family Rights Are Undermined by Child Protective Services It was a case that should have been on the front page of every major newspaper, or the opening story on every newsfeed—a case that seemed to have more akin to a bad horror flick than to reality. In the spring of 2019, police arrested 18 […]

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Capturing Other People’s Children

The New Bio-Politics of Fertility It has been more than a century and a half since Charles Darwin first taught the world that all species—including human beings—are locked in an unrelenting, competitive struggle for reproductive success. Often translated into the grim phrase “the survival of the fittest,” the outcome of this evolutionary contest depends finally […]

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