Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Children: Human Rights and Youth
12 august 1988
Commission on Human Rights
Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities
Agenda item 15(c)
Written statement submitted by Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council,
a non-governmental organization in consultative status (category I)
The Secretary-General has received the following communication which is circulated in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1296 (XLIV).
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council representing some 3 million people in 600 parishes throughout North and South America and whose chairman is His Eminence, Archbishop Iakovos, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of North and South America notes with satisfaction the resolutions of the Economic and Social Council approving special programmes to prevent child prostitution, to repress its exploitation and to provide for the social rehabilitation of its victims.
As religious leaders and lay leaders we believe in the inherent dignity of each human being. Created in God’s image and likeness, the human person is the clearest reflection of God’s presence among us. Because the human life of our children is sacred, we all have the duty to develop the kind of societal environment that protects and fosters the proper development of our children.
The unprecedented flow of pornography in the world confronts families everywhere.
Religion and morality are indispensable supports of the family. Pornography constitutes a vicious assault on those supports. It dehumanizes the human person, reduces him to an animalistic level, and is therefore contrary to the will of God. It is destructive of love, preaching a doctrine of ugly lovelessness to our children.
Pornography debases society and its growing influence threatens our view of life and all that true religion teaches about human relationships. As pornography has grown in popularity its content has worsened considerably. Much of it now portrays violence, degradation and humiliation in addition to explicit sexual content. Common pornographic themes now include sadism, incest, child molestation, rape and even murder. Child pornography leads to the exploitation of our children -- and results in crimes of child abuse and neglect, child prostitution and the slave -- like practices in the trafficking of children.
As religious leaders and lay leaders our primary responsibilities are to teach and motivate. We can and must help people understand the moral implication of child pornography and to promote the God-given human values needed for the moral health of our societies.
We urge all Member States, United Nations bodies, non-governmental organizations to include the elimination of pornography as a first step in their programmes designed to prevent child prostitution and to repress its exploitation; that the International Criminal Police Organization include the elimination of pornography as a first step in its fight against the international traffic of children; that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization continue to carry out studies of the legal and effective protection of minors from pornography.
We also endorse the Commission on Human Rights’ recommendation that its Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities consider appointing a special rapporteur to submit proposals with a view to enhancing further progress in the prevention and suppression of child pornography and slavery-like practices such as the trafficking of children for the purpose of prostitution.