Convention on the Rights of the Child

United Nations' threat: No more parental rights
Expert: Pact would ban spankings, homeschooling if children object
Posted: February 05, 2009
12:00 am Eastern
By Chelsea Schilling
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

A United Nations human rights treaty that could prohibit children from being spanked or homeschooled, ban youngsters from facing the death penalty and forbid parents from deciding their families' religion is on America's doorstep, a legal expert warns.

Michael Farris of Purcellville, Va., is president of, chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association and chancellor of Patrick Henry College. He told WND that under the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, or CRC, every decision a parent makes can be reviewed by the government to determine whether it is in the child's best interest.
"It's definitely on our doorstep," he said. "The left wants to make the Obama-Clinton era permanent. Treaties are a way to make it as permanent as stuff gets. It is very difficult to extract yourself from a treaty once you begin it. If they can put all of their left-wing socialist policies into treaty form, we're stuck with it even if they lose the next election."

The 1990s-era document was ratified quickly by 193 nations worldwide, but not the United States or Somalia. In Somalia, there was then no recognized government to do the formal recognition, and in the United States there's been opposition to its power. Countries that ratify the treaty are bound to it by international law.

Although signed by Madeleine Albright, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., on Feb. 16, 1995, the U.S. Senate never ratified the treaty, largely because of conservatives' efforts to point out it would create that list of rights which primarily would be enforced against parents.

The international treaty creates specific civil, economic, social, cultural and even economic rights for every child and states that "the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration." It is monitored by the CRC, which conceivably has enforcement powers.

According to the Parental Rights website, the substance of the CRC dictates the following:

Parents would no longer be able to administer reasonable spankings to their children.
A murderer aged 17 years, 11 months and 29 days at the time of his crime could no longer be sentenced to life in prison.
Children would have the ability to choose their own religion while parents would only have the authority to give their children advice about religion.
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.
A child's "right to be heard" would allow him (or her) to seek governmental review of every parental decision with which the child disagreed.

According to existing interpretation, it would be illegal for a nation to spend more on national defense than it does on children's welfare.
Children would acquire a legally enforceable right to leisure.
Teaching children about Christianity in schools has been held to be out of compliance with the CRC.
Allowing parents to opt their children out of sex education has been held to be out of compliance with the CRC.
Children would have the right to reproductive health information and services, including abortions, without parental knowledge or consent.

"Where the child has a right fulfilled by the government, the responsibilities shift from parents to the government," Farris said. "The implications of all this shifting of responsibilities is that parents no longer have the traditional roles of either being responsible for their children or having the right to direct their children."

The government would decide what is in the best interest of a children in every case, and the CRC would be considered superior to state laws, Farris said. Parents could be treated like criminals for making every-day decisions about their children's lives.

"If you think your child shouldn't go to the prom because their grades were low, the U.N. Convention gives that power to the government to review your decision and decide if it thinks that's what's best for your child," he said. "If you think that your children are too young to have a Facebook account, which interferes with the right of communication, the U.N. gets to determine whether or not your decision is in the best interest of the child."

He continued, "If you think your child should go to church three times a week, but the child wants to go to church once a week, the government gets to decide what it thinks is in the best interest of the children on the frequency of church attendance."

He said American social workers would be the ones responsible for implementation of the policies.

Farris said it could be easier for President Obama to push for ratification of the treaty than it was for the Clinton administration because "the political world has changed."

At a Walden University presidential debate last October, Obama indicated he may take action.

"It's embarrassing to find ourselves in the company of Somalia, a lawless land," Obama said. "I will review this and other treaties to ensure the United States resumes its global leadership in human rights."

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been a strong supporter of the CRC, and she now has direct control over the treaty's submission to the Senate for ratification. The process requires a two-thirds vote.

Farris said Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., claimed in a private meeting just before Christmas that the treaty would be ratified within two years.

In November, a group of three dozen senior foreign policy figures urged Obama to strengthen U.S. relations with the U.N. Among other things, they asked the president to push for Senate approval of treaties that have been signed by the U.S. but not ratified.

Partnership for a Secure America Director Matthew Rojansky helped draft the statement. He said the treaty commands strong support and is likely to be acted on quickly, according to an Inter Press Service report.

While he said ratification is certain to come up, Farris said advocates of the treaty will face fierce opposition.

"I think it is going to be the battle of their lifetime," he said. "There's not enough political capital in Washington, D.C., to pass this treaty. We will defeat it."

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Jan said...

Hysterical nonsense. The UK hasn't given over parents rights to the UN, but we've signed up to the Convention. It's almost as though the proponents of this view are saying that if you recognise kids rights, that takes away from parents'. Most parents do at least what the convention sets down as a minimum standard, most in fact through love and education do far more. Surely the fact that your great country is alone with Somalia, which everyone knows is a 'basket case', in not signing puts America in the strangest position.

The Convention does, as we have found out, enable our Government's record on children to be examined against evolving international law, consensus and good practice. It is sobering when we read that we do not always come up to what can be expected of a civilised nation. Does America fear such scrutiny? No report made under that scrutiny can be enforced on the UK or the US. But it helps those of use who want to see abused, exploited, harmed children given protection by the state when that is necessary. CRC does not have the powers alleged to enforce its views on governments. (There are times when that does seem a shame, when children suffer and die due to states' actions.) I have worked in this field since before the CRC came into effect. In that time, I have seen nothing done which could remotely fit the far-fetched claims made by people who have an axe to grind rather than a real case.

The Swamp Fox said...

It doesn't matter whether it is a 'good thing' in theory or not. The government has no right, let a lone a global governing body, to tell parents how they can or cannot raise and discipline their children.

It sets a precedent for control, which those who come later will exercise more control. And that is if you believe that those who have authority now have the best interests of everyone at heart.

Jan said...

The Government of which you speak in your case is the US Government. It has powers to agree international treaties. It also has power under the Constitution to enact laws for the public good within the framework of the Constitution. By ratifying the Convention, that does not make the CRC part of US domestic law. What it does do is set a series of milestones which are about protecting the interests of children, not against those of parents, but which they do have and which are often under threat. The lurid scenarios posted in the article - have these happened elsewhere because of CRC? Answer - no. There are governments which have signed up to CRC but where there are no laws against corporal punishment by parents. It does not need a CRC to enable a government to pass laws to prosecute parents who criminally abuse their children - such laws exist in the US at federal and state level as is obvious and well-known. The CRC makes clear enough anyway the central role of parents in a child's upbringing and indeed the role of the family. If a nation agrees with other nations standards of behaviour, that does not mean every government involved will interpret the agreement the same way. I think there are far more real dangers in this world than the UN CRC. Bigotry, racial hatred, war crimes, global poverty.... that's just the start of the list. At Judgement Day we are not likely, I would guess, to be asked if we were in favour of the CRC, but what we did about those level of issues ...

The Swamp Fox said...

If you wish to live in a communistic, Big Brother society, that is fine with me. But do not criticize me or my fellow countrymen if we reject these Marxist principles, and choose Liberty.

Jan said...

No I live in a country which has is not perfect but where we have Magna Carta and as great a love of Liberty as anyone. When you held back from fighting fascism and we were alone, we fought on. You waited to be attacked, we went to the aid of a country that had been invaded and had had its liberty smashed. You were never bombed in your cities and towns. So no thanks to your warped view of Liberty. We were talking about children, the CRC and that is where you appear to have lost the argument and the plot. The Brits stood by you over Iraq, remember that it was a Labour (socialist) party in power, not a group of neo-cons. In 1948 they gave us a national health service which means if I'm poor I still get to be treated in a hospital because we all contribute if not according to means at least somewhere on the road to that. It is so convincing a service that even our cons have to support it. My dad lives in NJ, he lives there under the tradition that gave shelter, and there are things about USA I love. But not the sneering tone you have just shown to people who are as proud and as patriotic, as socialists and Brits, to their nation, as you are to yours. If you can't argue in a civilised manner with people who are from your closest ally, perhaps you should not play with the big kids. By the way, my father at one time had a price on his head from the Gestapo and the KGB (or whatever they called it then), my socialism stems from an English tradition far older than Marx and which cut off the head of a king who wanted to be a tyrant a good 140 years before your people declared independence from another Brit king. No lessons needed, comrade.