The information contained on these pages is intended to awaken you to the reality we face as parents today. Our nation is steadily marching towards the loss of freedom for parents to direct the education and upbringing of their own children. Please read carefully and share broadly so that as more and more parents realize the present danger, our voices can combine to put a stop to this insanity.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Two Philosophies Behind the Convention on the Rights of the Child

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child seems benevolent or at least benign to many parents. Parents ask, “Who could oppose such a noble endeavor?” However, before supporting or simply ignoring this treaty, they must understand the philosophies that underlie it and the potential impact. Two philosophies summarize the heart of this UN treaty. The first is that the government knows what is best for children better than parents. The second is that, as international human rights theory promotes, governments are obligated to protect not just rights, but also to provide services at the child’s request, even over the parent’s objections. Taken together, this means that government has the final say in the upbringing of children.

The two philosophies work together but can be understood best by first examining them separately. The first philosophy has been promoted by Hillary Clinton in a number of her books and also by other prominent figures. They all advocate that government or its experts are better equipped to decide how a child should be raised. Article three of the treaty says that government will always seek the best interest of the child in all it does. While all parents would agree with seeking the best interest of their own children, the crux of the problem lies in “who decides what is best?” According to this philosophy, the government decides rather than the parent. This alone is a dangerous philosophy to apply in American law.

The second philosophy is an application of general international human rights theory to the area of child rights. America has long held rights to be God-given, or inalienable, and thus protected both by the government and from the government. The international view goes further and also holds rights as services or goods that the individual can claim from the government. Article 18 of the treaty creates a vague open door by saying that parent’s primary responsibility is to seek the best interest of the child AND the government will provide appropriate assistance. The central question to ask are “who decides when that assistance is needed?”. Under this philosophy, the government and its experts will make that decision. From there, article 12 adds fuel to the fire by saying that the child should have their voice heard in all administrative and judicial matters affecting them. Therefore, the child can petition the government directly to complain that their parents are not seeking their best interest and expect that the government will step in to provide appropriate assistance. Ultimately, articles 18 and 12 do not give the child freedom, but it instead enslaves them to the government and removes their most ardent protectors, the parents. Under the current system, parents serve as barriers to outside forces that would harm children or infringe on their rights. This new system would be replace parents with government representatives who would become the final line of defense protecting “their” children.

Taken together, the federal government and its experts decide what is best, the child can petition the government to overrule their parents, and the government is obligated or empowered to intervene on behalf of the child even against the parent’s wishes. The government becomes the parent and the parent becomes the babysitter. Is this what American parents want for their children?

(Return soon for part 4 discussing specific rights outlined in the treaty.)

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