Center for Family and Human Rights

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Center for Family and Human Rights Institute
C-FAM logo1.jpg
TypeNon-governmental organization
FocusInternational Law
Family Law
Social Policy
Area served
United States
Key people
Austin Ruse, President
Michael Walsh, Director[1]

The Center for Family and Human Rights (C-Fam) is a United States-based research institute/think tank, founded in 1997, in order to monitor and affect the policy debate at the United Nations and other international institutions. It was formerly known as the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute.[2] The 501(c)(3) organization describes its own mission as "to defend life and family at international institutions and to publicize the debate".[3]

Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (CAFHRI)[edit]

CAFHRI was formally incorporated on 11 August 1997 in Suffolk County, NY with three named directors - Seth Perlman, Clifford Perlman and Jane Burke-Robertson [4] Several of its personnel had strong links with Human Life International (HLI), an American-based Roman Catholic activist anti-abortion organization - from which CAFHRI also obtained significant funding. Part of CAFHRI’s mission was to work closely with the Holy See delegation at the UN. Austin Ruse, a Roman Catholic, subsequently replaced Anne Noonan as Director (then becoming president).[5]

In July 2013, Ruse [6] was identified as a key member of Groundswell, a coalition of conservative activists and journalists attempting to make political change within the United States from behind the scenes.[7]

A number of prominent conservative Catholics served on the board of CAFHRI. However, in 2015 a Catholic priest on the board resigned in protest at Ruse's comments, "The hard-left human hating people that run modern universities should be taken out and shot."[8]

Special consultative status at the UN[edit]

In February, 2014, the 19-member NGO Committee of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) unanimously approved C-Fam for Special Consultative Status. On April 23, 2014, the ECOSOC granted this status without objection.[9][10]

In 2015, Stefano Gennarini (Director of the Centre for Legal Studies at C-Fam) publicly criticised Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in the Vatican, by accusing him of defying the Holy See on the issue of sexual and reproductive health. He also went on to accuse economist Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and a senior UN adviser, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of actively promoting abortion. This received a strong rebuke from Professor Margaret Archer of the University of Warwick - a senior women in the Vatican as president of PASS who referred to "distorted criticism" and raised concern at Gennarini's "understanding of Catholic Social Doctrine”.[11]

SPLC listing[edit]

The Southern Poverty Law Center has listed C-Fam as an anti-LGBT hate group.[12][13] The SPLC has characterized the institute as being "heavily focused on global anti-LGBT work", citing its opposition to United Nations efforts to protect LGBT rights and to study and prevent anti-LGBT violence, and praise of American anti-gay activist Scott Lively.[14] In a statement posted on its website, C-Fam responded that SPLC's criteria is biased against its "conservative opponents"; that SPLC has been accused of inflating its list of hate groups; and that the charges were false.[15]

Wider fundraising[edit]

C-Fam supports the Washington, D.C. Audi Best Buddies Challenge, an annual fundraising and sporting event in order to benefit people with developmental challenges.[16][17][18][19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ C-Fam: Board of Directors. Retrieved: 28 October 2017.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Mission Statement". Center for Family and Human Rights. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
  4. ^ CAFHRI New York state certificate of incorporation, on file with CFFC.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Austin Ruse". Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
  7. ^ Vicens, AJ (July 25, 2013). "Meet Groundswell's Major Players". Mother Jones. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  8. ^ John Gehring, The Francis Effect: A Radical Pope's Challenge to the American Catholic Church, New York, 2015 (chapter 2, p. 26)
  9. ^ "United Nations Official Document". Retrieved 2014-05-07.
  10. ^ "Economic and Social Council, Opening Coordination, Management Meetings, Adopts Five Decisions, Holds Subsidiary Body Elections". Retrieved 2014-05-07.
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Hate Map: DC"
  13. ^ Could Austin Ruse’s Violent Rhetoric Endanger C-Fam’s Status with the UN?
  14. ^ Beirich, Heidi (Fall 2013). "Dangerous Liaisons". Intelligence Report. Southern Poverty Law Center (151).
  15. ^ "C-Fam Response to Southern Poverty Law Center Regarding Classification as a Hate Group". Center for Family and Human Rights. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  16. ^ "Top Fundraising Teams". Best Buddies International. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  17. ^ "Best Buddies". Center for Family and Human Rights. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  18. ^ Shannen W. Coffin (15 October 2012). "Riding for life and dignity". National Review. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  19. ^ Pronechen, Joseph (5 October 2013). "Best Buddies See a Win in Upcoming Challenge". National Catholic Register. Retrieved 2017-11-10.

External links[edit]