The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), which lists Labour LGBT as a member, last March signed a “Feminist Declaration” calling for the elimination of laws which limit the right of children as young as 10 to consent to sex.
This move is required, according to the Declaration, to ensure governments “respect the rights of all individuals to exercise autonomy over their lives.”
One section of the Declaration calls on governments to “eliminate all laws and policies…that limit the exercise of bodily autonomy, including laws limiting legal capacity of adolescents…to provide consent to sex.”
Another section calls on governments to “end the criminalization and stigmatization of adolescents’ sexuality.” That section also calls on governments to “ensure and promote a positive approach” to the “sexuality” of adolescents that “enables, recognizes, and respects their agency to make informed and independent decisions” about decisions related to their “bodily autonomy” and “pleasure.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines “adolescents” as “individuals in the 10-19 years age group.”
The ILGA is an international umbrella organisation of LGBT groups, established in 1978, with roughly 1,600 member organisations. It lists its Irish members as: BeLonG To Youth Services; Gay Project; LGBT Society University College Cork; Labour LGBT Ireland; National LGBT Federation; Outhouse LGBT Community Resource Centre; and the Red Ribbon Project.
The declaration is called the “Feminist declaration on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women”, or simply the “Feminist Declaration.” It was drafted by the Women’s Rights Caucus, which describes itself as “a global coalition of over 200 organisations working to advance women’s human rights.” The declaration is hosted on the website of the International Women’s Health Coalition (INWC), a major feminist NGO. The INWC describes itself as a “co-convener” of the Women’s Rights Caucus.
This is not the first time ILGA the has been questioned about its views on the sexuality of children. The North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), one of the largest paedophile advocacy groups in the world, was previously a member of the ILGA. NAMBLA’s involvement with the ILGA led the UN to revoke IGLA’s consultative status in 1994. Later that year the ILGA say that they expelled NAMBLA and “two other paedophile groups.” The ILGA says it never supported or endorsed the positions of paedophile groups, and that it condemns all forms of sexual abuse and exploitation.
Following on from the expelling of NAMBLA the ILGA applied to the UN for the return of its consultative status. Their application was repeatedly refused, due to what the ILGA describes as the “impugned link between ILGA and paedophilia.” They eventually regained their status in 2011.
We asked the Labour Party about their links to the ILGA, and if they had any comment on the sections of the Declaration reported above, but at time of print we had not received a response. BelongTo Youth Services and the National LGBT Federation also failed to respond.