Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Child Rights vs. Parental Rights - What You Need to Know

What if I told you that there are people who are actively attempting to control the rights of parents to raise children as they see fit. To many of my readers, this comes as no surprise but many of you may not know how close we are coming to this.

If you have not heard, there is a movement for the US to ratify The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, often called the CRC or the UNCRC. The stated reasoning behind the need for this treaty is because

the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth

That sounds great....until you read the text of the document and understand what this "treaty" is trying to do and has done to other countries.

Since its adoption by the United Nations in 1989, the UNCRC has become the most widely accepted international agreement in history and approved by every nation except for the United States and Somalia. All participant countries pledge to protect children’s rights, foster their development, and uphold their best interests by re-writing their national laws to conform to the standards set forth in the treaty.

While this sounds great, the reality is that the UNCRC allows that national governments interfere in the decisions of individual families and parents. By invoking the “best interests of the child ,” UN policymakers and government agents have the authority to substitute the decisions of the parent on behalf of the child with their own decisions if they see their decisions as in the best interest of the child. In essence, parents do not have rights to parent, and just about become only caregivers. Parents across the world are now discovering that the family is being undermined without true regard to the results for the very children they are supposed to be protecting.

You may think that the UNCRC is just words and that the US does a very good job of taking care of children. You may even think that to worry about this treaty is nothing more than paranoia. Possibly, but here is what the results of implementing this treaty has done in some countries:

  • The Canadian government has taken steps toward rejecting parental discipline that conflicts with the "best interests of the child." In June 2008, a Quebec court overturned a father's decision to ground his 12-year old daughter after she posted photos of herself on a dating website, saying that the punishment was "too severe." - Full story can be found HERE.
  • The Canadian Senate approved a bill which would drastically restrict the right of parents to physically discipline their children. - Full story can be found HERE
  • The government of Brazil has prevented minors under the age of eighteen from being "criminally chargeable" at all. Under the Brazilian Penal Code, conduct that is usually a crime or misdemeanor is considered an "act of infraction" if carried out by a minor. Acts of infraction carry only minor penalties, including a warning, an obligation to repair damage caused, community service, or confinement in an educational institution. - More information can be found HERE
  • In France, the law also grants minors access to contraceptives without the consent of their parents, and certain medicines and contraceptives can even be obtained by minors anonymously and at no cost. A minor may also have an abortion without parental consent, so long as she is accompanied by an adult of her choice. - More info can be found HERE
  • In 2002, Italy’s highest appeals court ruled that parents are required by law to support their adult children until the children “find a job to their liking.”- More info can be found HERE
There are many other examples of how intrusive this treaty is. What is scary is that in 2009, the Obama administration indicated that it was reviving efforts to sign this treat.

If you think about it, though, it is not surprising. It is not surprising that this administration would want to push the concept of government control over children. If you look at it's track record with Healthcare, pushed Unionization of jobs and increased governmental dependency programs, it only makes sense that Obama and his merry band of idealists would sign on to this bill.

The portions of this treaty that are important have already independently been ratified by the US via optional protocols. On May 25, 2000, two optional protocols were adopted; the first restricts the involvement of children in military conflicts and the second bans the sale of children, child prostitution, and child pornography. It is important to understand that ratification of these two protocols by the United States means that the ratification of the full UNCRC will have no positive impact with these issues.

So, I think most of my readers can understand why the UNCRC is not needed and generally bad for our country. With that said, there are those that are constantly trying to get this treaty ratified by the House and Senate. In my humble opinion, there is only one way to fight this and that is an amendment to the US Constitution. As a father, parent and concerned citizen, I believe that it is time that we amened the Constitution to affirm the rights of parents over the state. That is why I am supporting and ask each of you to review the Parental Rights Amendment.

The Parental Rights Amendment is a very basic amendment that does a lot. It reads as follows:
SECTION 1 - The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children is a fundamental right.

SECTION 2 - Neither the United States nor any state shall infringe upon this right without demonstrating that its governmental interest as applied to the person is of the highest order and not otherwise served.

SECTION 3 - No treaty may be adopted nor shall any source of international law be employed to supersede, modify, interpret, or apply to the rights guaranteed by this article.
This Constitutional amendment guarantees the rights of the parent to raise their children as they see fit while also guaranteeing that the government can step in only in extreme measures.

Naysayers are stating that an amendment is not needed and the US and state law already guarantee parental rights. With that said, we need to take preventative action before the courts can begin using this UN ratified treaty as a determination in their decisions. In some cases, the courts are already using the UNCRC to guide their decisions in court rulings, even though it is un-ratified. Rather than reprint what has already been written, read this full article here to understand what I mean.

So, what can you do? The first thing you can do is become informed. You can do that by going to the web page and studying the proposed amendment. You can find details regarding why the wording used was used and how it pertains to Supreme Court proceedings already on the books. Additionally you can find Senators and Congressman that currently sponsor this bill. Here in Missouri, none of our Senators are sponsoring although Roy Blunt did support it when he was in Congress and in Congress Todd Akin, Jo Ann Emerson, Sam Graves and Blaine Luetkemeyer have all thrown support behind this. Pick up the phone and call your Senator and Congressman and tell them to support this bill. Additionally, you can help out by donating your time and/or money to the cause. You can find more info on how to help at the Parental Rights web page listed above.

With the government and the left generally trying to take more of our liberties away from us, we must now act to ensure that the rights of the parent are guaranteed. It does not take a village to raise children, it takes parents.

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