Fact Check: United Nations Did NOT Declare Pedophilia Is A 'Human Right'

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: United Nations Did NOT Declare Pedophilia Is A 'Human Right' Not Legal

Did the United Nations declare that pedophilia is a "human right"? No, that's not true: The person making the claim referenced a UN report that never says that pedophilia is a "human right" or that it should be legal or allowed. The report discusses the enforcement of criminal law regarding consensual sexual relations between minors. There is no explicit or implied mention of allowing adults to have sexual relations with minors or pedophilia anywhere in the report.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) published on Rumble on April 18, 2023, under the title "UN Forwards Report Declaring Pedophilia Human Rights, Liz Yore Reports." It opens with host Steven Bannon saying:

Liz Yore, United Nations, walk me through you gotta walk me through the logic of this. I don't understand this.

Here is what the video looked like at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-07-06 at 11.30.57 AM.png

Bannon, a former Trump adviser, hosted Elizabeth Yore, legal affairs policy adviser with The Heartland Institute, on Bannon's "War Room" show and begins the video asking her:

You see this and you tell me what is this thing with the United Nations and the no criminalization of any kind of contact with young people by adults on the sexual, the predator natur e.

Yore responds that many child advocates have been, "warning about the normalization and decriminalization of pedophilia," and she makes the claim at 1:16 in the video:

The United Nations is now declaring that pedophilia is a human right and this so-called human right should not be criminalized or prosecuted. They're clearly saying that minors can consent to sex with an adult.

That is false. The UN report Yore is referring to was released in March 2023 and is titled, "The 8 March Principles for a Human Rights-Based Approach to Criminal Law Proscribing Conduct Associated with Sex, Reproduction, Drug Use, HIV, Homelessness and Poverty." It lists provisions related to the use of criminal law throughout the world but does not state that minors can consent to sex with adults. Nowhere in the report is there any mention of adults being legally allowed to engage in sexual relations with minors.

The report says that the enforcement of criminal law around the age of consent should take into account the fact (as presented in the report) that young people mature emotionally and intellectually at different rates, and two persons under the legal age of consent might, in reality, be capable of providing their consent.

It references minors interacting with other minors, not adults and minors. This is not about pedophilia but is about the enforcement or non-enforcement of criminal statutes against minors who are engaged in consensual conduct with other minors. There is no time that a "declaration" is made allowing for adults to engage in sexual relations with minors and making pedophilia a "human right."

The report opines on the issue of consent between minors under the age of 18 and states:

Noting that, at a minimum, consent sets the boundary between justifiable and unjustifiable State interference in certain conduct and contexts, and that ascertaining the presence or absence of consent is a matter of evidence and factual investigation, with due regard to the strictures of the law and one's capacity to consent; Acknowledging that the absence of consent may give rise to criminal liability for the conduct concerned;
a) the legal capacity of people with disabilities to consent, including through supported decision-making;
b) adolescents' evolving capacity to consent in certain contexts, in fact, even if not in law, when they are below the prescribed minimum age of consent in domestic law; and
c) non-discrimination and equality with respect to sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, race, disability and other protected fundamental characteristics;

The report also has a section titled, "PRINCIPLE 16 - CONSENSUAL SEXUAL CONDUCT" which discusses the consensual sexual contact of persons under 18 years of age. It does not state that adults can have sexual relations with minors, does not state that sexual contact with minors by adults is a "human right" and does not describe pedophilia:

Consensual sexual conduct, irrespective of the type of sexual activity, the sex/ gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression of the people involved or their marital status, may not be criminalized in any circumstances. Consensual same-sex, as well as consensual different-sex sexual relations, or consensual sexual relations with or between trans, non-binary and other genderdiverse people, or outside marriage - whether pre-marital or extramarital - may, therefore, never be criminalized.

With respect to the enforcement of criminal law, any prescribed minimum age of consent to sex must be applied in a non-discriminatory manner. Enforcement may not be linked to the sex/gender of participants or age of consent to marriage.

Moreover, sexual conduct involving persons below the domestically prescribed minimum age of consent to sex may be consensual in fact, if not in law. In this context, the enforcement of criminal law should reflect the rights and capacity of persons under 18 years of age to make decisions about engaging in consensual sexual conduct and their right to be heard in matters concerning them. Pursuant to their evolving capacities and progressive autonomy, persons under 18 years of age should participate in decisions affecting them, with due regard to their age, maturity and best interests, and with specific attention to non-discrimination guarantees.

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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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