Last week over 80,000 families in Great Britain received demoralizing news. Concerned about the legitimacy of homeschooling, government ministers disclosed plans to control and monitor homeschooling families by requiring them to register with local authorities, present learning plans, and undergo regular inspections. Part of these procedures would allow government officials to interrogate children without a parent present, permitting local authorities to intervene in family affairs in an unprecedented way.
One may ask just how a democratic nation could justify such an appalling exploitation of administrative authority. The answer lies in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), a United Nations document ratified by every country but the United States and Somalia. Outwardly masquerading as a document promoting human rights for children, the CRC actually circumvents parental rights by imbuing governments with the ultimate authority to determine “the best interests of the child.” In Great Britain’s case, the document justifying this type of intrusion into the affairs of British homeschooling families is referred to as the Badman Report, which was submitted to the British parliament earlier this month and now awaits legislative action. The author of the report cited Articles 12 and 29 of the British-ratified CRC to support its position, and further stated:
“I am not persuaded that under the current regulatory regime that there is a correct balance between the rights of parents and the rights of the child either to an appropriate education or to be safe from harm. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) gives children and young people over 40 substantive rights which include the right to express their views freely, the right to be heard in any legal or administrative matters that affect them and the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas. Article 12 makes clear the responsibility of signatories to give children a voice:
‘Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.
Yet under the current legislation and guidance, local authorities have no right of access to the child to determine or ascertain such views,” the report finds.
Therefore, authorities not only must have access to homes and private interviews with children, they should, “secure the monitoring of the effectiveness of elective home education,” Badman wrote.
While outwardly alarming in its own right, this scenario is not a remote possibility on American soil. Though the CRC has not yet been ratified by the United States, the Obama administration publicly announced this week that that “the United States would have to undertake a lengthy review of the Convention on the Rights of the Child,” even while adding that it was “a ‘shame’ the United States stood alone with Somalia in failing to support it.” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice, made it clear that administration officials are currently discussing “when and how it might be possible to join.”
For any involved and dedicated parent that seeks to raise his/her child according to what he/she believes is right, this statement should send off wild alarms for the following reasons:
1. The CRC is a treaty which creates binding rules of law that once ratified, becomes compulsory for American families, courts, and policy-makers. In accordance with Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, (also known as the Supremacy Clause), when ratified as a treaty the CRC it automatically overrides virtually all American laws affecting children and families. This would include its ability to override even our own Constitution. Some elements of the document are self-executing, while others would require implementing legislation. The courts, on the other hand, would have the power to determine which provisions were self-executing, and would have the power to enforce the provisions that are self-executing.
2. Thus far domestic matters have largely been a matter for state or local jurisdiction, yet with the ratification of the CRC; the federal government would now receive power to directly legislate on all subjects (namely families and children) necessary to comply with the treaty. This would create the most massive shift of power from the states to the federal government in American history.
3. A committee of 18 experts from other nations sitting in Geneva has the authority to issue official interpretations of the treaty that are entitled to binding weight in American courts and legislatures. This effectively transfers ultimate policy authority for all policies in this area to this foreign committee. And, according to the structural framework of the CRC any reservations, declarations, or understandings intended to modify our duty to comply with this treaty will be void if they are determined to be inconsistent with the object and purpose of the treaty.
4. According to the text of the CRC, parents would no longer be able to administer reasonable spankings to their children.
5. Children would have the ability to choose their own religion while parents would only have the authority to give their children advice about religion.
6. The “best interest of the child” principle would give the government the ability to override every decision made by every parent if a government worker disagreed with the parent’s decision.
7. A child’s “right to be heard” would allow him to seek governmental review of every parental decision with which the child disagreed.
8. This treaty has been interpreted to make it illegal for a nation to spend more on national defense than it does on children’s welfare.
9. Children would acquire a legally enforceable right to leisure.
10. Teaching children about Christianity in schools has been held to be out of compliance with the CRC.
11. Allowing parents to opt their children out of sex education has been held to be out of compliance with the CRC.
12. Children would have the right to reproductive health information and services without parental knowledge or consent.
What you can do now to stop ratification of the CRC:
If you are also troubled by the current administration’s plans to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, please take action by contacting the following:
1. Call the White House comments line at 202-456-1111. Tell them you heard the administration wants to ratify the CRC, and you strongly oppose this giving away of U.S. sovereignty to the UN. Also keep in mind that this treaty gives the government jurisdiction to override any decision made by any parent if the government thinks that a better decision can be made-even if there is no proof of any harm. You can also send them a message online at www.whitehouse.gov/CONTACT/
2. Call your Congressmen and Senators and insist that they oppose ratification of this treaty. Ask them also to overcome the potential threat by cosponsoring SJRes 16 (for the Senate) or HJ Res 42 (for the House) – the Parental Rights Amendment. (See www.parentalrights.org for details).
3. Contact Susan Rice’s office www.usunnewyork.usmission.gov/Issues/contactus.html, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. and tell her we do not want language in the outcome document that mandates the ratification of the CRC.
4. Help UFI continue to be able to fight for your parental rights at the U.N. and around the globe by DONATING TODAY! We cannot do it without your support.
There are 80,000 families in Great Britain who now wish they could have prevented the intrusion that the CRC would have within the walls of their own homes. Take advantage of the opportunity you have today as an American citizen and do your part. Our children and the future of society depend on it!
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