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Ireland Votes No to Narrow Definition of the Family at UN Human Rights Council

One Family is disappointed about the narrow definition of family contained in Resolution A/HRC/26/L.20/Rev.1 that was passed at the UN recently, especially in this year of the 20th anniversary of International Year of the Family, but welcomes that Ireland voted NO.  Previous UN resolutions on the family include language, agreed by all States, that recognised that “various forms of the family exist”.

At the 38th Meeting, 26th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council, Ambassador Patricia O’Brien – Ireland’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations at Geneva – said: “Families can form an important framework for the promotion of human rights, particularly of family members themselves. … for policies to be successful they should also be inclusive. If family is a living dynamic entity and can take many forms, we believe that we must all recognise this diversity, and indeed we have done so consistently over many years in many UN resolutions which recognise that in different cultural, political and social systems various forms of the family exist. We regret that the Resolution before us today fails to take account of the various forms of families which are a vital part of all of our society. For these reasons we will vote no.”

A video clip of the Ambassador’s presentation can be viewed here (scroll to no. 18 on the right). The results of the vote were: ADOPTED (26 YES / 14 NO / 06 ABSTENTIONS).

Organisations including Eurochild, of which One Family is a member, issued this statement:

Discussion of “protection of the family” at Human Rights Council must reflect diversity and focus on human rights

Our organizations, representing a wide range of civil society from all regions of the world, urge the UN Human Rights Council to ensure the Panel discussion entitled “protection of the family” scheduled to take place in September reflects the diversity of family forms and includes a focus on the promotion and protection of human rights of individuals within the family unit.

The decision to hold the Panel came in a resolution passed on 26 June 2014, as a result of the deeply flawed “protection of the family” initiative led by Egypt and other States at the UN Human Rights Council … Click to continue reading the Statement in full.





Leading Ireland’s Celebration of 20th Anniversary of UN International Year of the Family

Press Release

Ireland’s Celebration of 20th Anniversary of UN International Year of the Family

Family Day Festival | Sunday, 18 May 2014 | Iveagh Gardens, Dublin 2 | Free

(Dublin, 16 May 2014) One Family – Ireland’s leading organisation for one-parent families in Ireland – leads the Irish celebrations of the 20th anniversary of UN International Year of the Family which is being acknowledged worldwide with a series of high profile events.

One Family’s annual Family Day Festival is inspired by UN International Day of Families which is marked every year on 15 May. The Family Day Festival takes place on Sunday 18 May in Dublin’s Iveagh Gardens with a packed programme of free entertainment, workshops, talks, information and more for all ages. On hand too are a variety of key organisations working for and with families and children in Ireland today, sharing information about their services and with fun activities to enjoy. These include One Family, GLEN, Marriage Equality, Treoir, BeLong To, New Communities Partnership, ISPCC and Children’s Rights Alliance.

The annual Festival is the highlight of One Family’s ongoing campaign for a nationally celebrated Family Day, similar to Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, but which would include all children irrespective of their family make-up. In this 20th anniversary year of International Year of the Family, we can take the opportunity to refocus on the role of families, to take stock of recent trends in family policy development and share good practices, and review challenges faced by families in Ireland, one-parent and other families, and continue to recommend and pursue solutions.

One Family is also the founding member of the All Families Matter coalition of Irish NGOs campaigning for a Constitutional review of how family is defined. Currently hundreds of thousands of families in Ireland are excluded. All Families Matter has released the viral video Not A Real Family which can be viewed on YouTube.

The Family Day Festival is kindly supported by the Community Foundation for Ireland, Dublin City Council (DCC) and Today FM. The Iveagh Gardens is provided courtesy of the Office of Public Works (OPW).

Further information on where the full programme of events is available to read or download.


About One Family
One Family was founded in 1972 as Cherish and is Ireland’s leading organisation for one-parent families, providing services to people parenting alone, sharing parenting and going through family transitions. Its policy work is rooted in its extensive family support work over the past four decades. Children are at the centre of this work and the organisation helps all the adults in their lives, including mums, dads, grandparents, step-parents, new partners and other siblings, offering a holistic model of specialist family support services. These services include the lo-call askonefamily national helpline on 1890 622 212, counselling, and provision of training courses for parents and for professionals. For further information, visit

Family Day Festival | A celebration of the diversity of the family with free entertainment, games, workshops and fun for all ages | Sunday, 18 May 2014 | Iveagh Gardens, Dublin 2 | 11am – 5 pm | Free | 01 662 9212 |

Social Media
Facebook: @OneFamilyIreland / Event:
Twitter: #FamilyDay @1FamilyIre / #AllFamiliesMatter

Available for Interview

• One Family CEO Karen Kiernan | t: 086 850 9191

For Images or Further Information
Shirley Chance, Director of Communications, One Family | t: 01 662 9212 or 087 414 8511 | e: