Offer Charlotte Fien position at UN human rights council
This petition had 554 supporters
A few weeks ago, UN human rights expert Mr Ben Achour declared that one should not accept to let a disabled fetus live, and used the exemple of Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome) to illustrate disabilities that should be prevented by abortion. Here is a translation of part of his speech :
"I myself am an ardent defender of the handicapped and I understand very well that society and the State have to do everything possible to protect handicapped, help them, and ensure they have a life, a possible living. But that does not mean that we have to accept to let a disabled foetus live. This is a preventive measure. If you tell a woman “Your child has Dow… ” — what is it called? Down syndrome, dawn syndrome — if you tell her that, isn’t it, or that he may have a handicap forever, for the rest of his life, you should make this woman… it should be possible for her to resort to abortion to avoid the handicap as a preventive measure."
In response, Ms Charlotte Fien, self avocate with Down Syndrome, pleaded for her right to live and the right of her community to live. She rightfully demanded an apology from Mr Ben Achour for his discriminatory comment, and offered her services to the UN as an expert on Down Syndrome to replace Mr Ben Achour.
"Dear Mr. Ben-Achour,
I have seen you, Mr. Ben-Achour. A member of the Human Rights Council suggest that people like me should be aborted up to birth. Mr. Ben-Achour, your comments about people with Down syndrome deeply offended me. I felt you attacked me for being who I am. Who am I, Mr. Ben-Achour? I’m a human being just like you. Our only difference is an extra chromosome. My extra chromosome makes me far more tolerant than you, sir.
I want to speak to you about the world’s goal to eradicate people like me. Around the world, more than 90% of babies known to have Down syndrome are being aborted. Aborted up to the day they are due to be born, in many cases.
A test that can check for hundreds of things including gender is being used to search and destroy for Down syndrome. In many countries where female babies are considered undesirable, they’re aborted. The world is concerned about this issue and think it’s horrible. But you are not concerned about targeting Down syndrome for eradication? Why is that, Mr. Ben-Achour?
If any other heritable traits like skin colour were used to eradicate a group of people, the world would cry out. Why are you not crying out when people like me are being made extinct? What have WE done to make you want us to disappear? As far as I know my community doesn’t hate, discriminate, or commit crimes.
I keep hearing you use the word suffering in relation to Down syndrome. I don’t know anyone with Down syndrome that is suffering. The ONLY thing we have to suffer are horrible people who want to make us extinct.
I have a brilliant life. I have a family that loves me. I have great friends. I have an active social life. I’m studying at University and have goals to become a writer. I want to get married one day and maybe even have a baby.
Mr. Ben-Achour, if you have your way those goals will NEVER happen. What you are suggesting is eugenics. It’s disgusting and EVIL. You need to apologise for your horrible comments. You should also be removed from the Human Rights Council as an expert. You are not an expert about Down syndrome. You sir, do not speak for my community.
The Human Rights Council needs people who will genuinely fight for the rights of others who are being oppressed. I suggest that the Human Rights Council appoint me as an expert. I will fight for our right to exist for the rest of my life."
I support Ms Fien's application to be employed by the UN human rights council as an expert on disability and on the rights of people with disabilities to replace the current, grossly underqualified, expert.
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