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Loss Of Parental Rights? United Nations and Progressives in Hot Pursuit

January 25, 2011
Carmen Reynolds, Boogai.net, Editor-in-Chief
1/24/2011
Source …..

Just try coming between a mother and her suckling infant.  Or a mama grizzly.

Any predator must first posit the dire consequences of interfering with a parent while nurturing its offspring – until now.

As Orwellian as it may seem, powerful leaders, activist judges and the United Nations have been quietly working to remove parental rights.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child Treaty aims to give “the state” new powers, usurping parental rights, establishing the child and the United Nations (Hillary’s Village) as  partners in determining what is best for the child.

This could prohibit children from being spanked or homeschooled, ban youngsters from facing the death penalty and forbid parents from deciding their families’ religion.

Michael Farris of Purcellville, Va., is president of ParentalRights.org, chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association and chancellor of Patrick Henry College. He told WorldNet Daily that under the purview of this treaty, every decision a parent makes can be reviewed by the government to determine whether it is in the child’s best interest.

Under international law, this treaty would override our U.S. Constitution.  Already in Europe, homeschooled children are being removed from parents’ homes.

Take the case of homeschooled Domenic Johansson of Sweden. In June 2009 Swedish police boarded a plane where the Johanssons were leaving the country for Mrs. Johansson’s home country of India. The police had no warrant and did not charge the Johanssons with a crime.

The family continues to be kept apart through actions of Swedish government officials. Nine-year-old Domenic remains in state foster care, now separated from his parents Christer and Annie for more than 18 months. Christer, who took Domenic home for a short but “unapproved” overnight visit in early December, is still imprisoned.  http://www.hslda.org/hs/international/Sweden/201101110.asp

In 2008, Gerno and Andrea Schöneich, along with their four children, fled Germany to New Zealand where they hoped they would be free to live and educate their children in peace. As homeschool parents, they faced threats from authorities, hefty fines, and even jail time. German authorities continue to show extreme prejudice toward homeschoolers, prompting families to leave their homeland rather than give up homeschooling.

Unable to obtain work permits in New Zealand, and unable to return to Germany because of the very real fear that their younger children could be removed from their custody, the Schöneichs decided to apply for political asylum in New Zealand. In mid-November the family received invitations to present their claim for refugee status before New Zealand officials. The family is representing themselves in the asylum process, and after many months, he has obtained a work permit.

Now ratified by 193 nations, CRC is the most widely-adopted human rights treaty of any kind, with the United States and Somalia the sole hold outs.  Progressives in the Administration want to change that, counting on unaware Americans to ramrod this outright threat to parental rights and American sovereignty through Congress.

The two central principles of the CRC are the “best interest of the child” and “the child’s right of participation” in all relevant matters.

In a 1980s Washington case, a child didn’t wish to attend church as frequently as his parents. The child was then removed from the home, despite no allegations of abuse.  The attorney for the parents did not appeal because the court ruled the child needn’t attend church but once per week, and they feared losing permanent custody.

“This case is an absolute perfect example of what would happen if the United States were to adopt the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child,” states www.parentalrights.org which advocates for a Parental Rights Amendment in the U.S. Congress to prohibit the effects of a UN treaty.

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child issued an official report Sept. 29, 2006, regarding Ireland.  It urged the state party to prohibit all forms of corporal punishment in the family and sensitize and educate parents and the public about the unacceptability of corporal punishment. It also identified a lack of information provided to the students on reproductive health.

In the 1995 report on the United Kingdom’s compliance with the CRC, it was criticized for allowing parents to make decisions to remove their child from participation in sex education classes in government schools without adequate measures to ensure that the child’s viewpoints were considered and weighed appropriately.

“[T]he United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, criticized Egypt and Indonesia on the proportion of their budget spent on defense, as compared to the proportion spent on children’s social expenditure. It also criticized Austria, Australia, Denmark, the U.K. and others failing to spend enough tax dollars on social welfare for children.”

According to www.parentalrights.org, the CRC is a human rights treaty which mandates a socialistic duty of the government to furnish a child’s needs in economic, social, and cultural areas.  There are many troubling aspects of this treaty, if passed:

Ten things you need to know about the substance of the CRC:

  • Parents would no longer be able to administer reasonable spankings to their children.
  • A murderer aged 17 years and 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.
  • Christian schools that refuse to teach “alternative worldviews” and teach that Christianity is the only true religion “fly in the face of article 29″ of the treaty.
  • 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.

Readers concerned about passage of this UN treaty can go to the www.parentalrights.org Web site and participate in working against it both at a national and local level. Rep. Fleming (R-La.) has introduced the Parental Rights Amendment (HR 3) in the U.S. Congress this session.

Forty-one states are now working on resolutions to be sent to Washington D.C. in support of a Parental Rights Amendment.

The movie “The Child,” which is available on the Web site, can be shown in communities to convey the critical aspects of exchanging parental rights for the collective global good. Churches and homeschooling groups can play a critical role in taking this message to their congregations and to the  public.

Proponents of the UN treaty are relying on deception and ignorance to facilitate its passage.

Let the deafening roar of America’s moms and dads begin.

Carmen Reynolds is a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel with a BS in Criminology and Law Enforcement, MA in Business Personnel Management and BA in Journalism.  She is Editor-in-Chief of boogai.net and can be reached at journalist@bellsouth.net.

28 Comments leave one →
  1. irelandssecretcourts permalink
    March 18, 2012 3:35 pm

    They are trying to do this in Ireland under the guise of Children’s “Rights”. They need to remove parents rights under the Irish Constitution to be fully compliant with the UNCRC.

    I’ve found out also it’s not just the UNCRC we need to worry about, it’s all the Human Rights Treaties. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Mental Disability allows for children to consent to Electro-Shock Therapy, Psychosurgery (Lobotomy) and even Euthanasia under this treaty, without parental consent. See Australia’s new proposed Mental Health Act.

    I have a list on my website IrelandsSecretCourts.wordpress.com I also have another website exposing Family Courts and Social Services at NoTo42.blogspot.com

  2. Tessa Conaway permalink
    April 4, 2011 9:32 pm

    To Jan Cosgrove, in response to your statement of “in your words seperation of church and state”, please do not cite our constitution unless you have actually read it. The Constitution of the United States of America does not, in any paragraph or statement, state seperation of church and state. That has been misquoted for years and it is a tragedy. Our constitution does however state that “Congress shall make no Law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” as you will note that states it wont make a LAW respecting an establishment, meaning they cannot declare a “national religion” (it was to prevent the United States from becoming like its European counter parts) and it provides us with the freedom OF religion, not FROM it.

  3. February 5, 2011 5:50 pm

    JAN “Children would acquire a legally enforceable right to leisure.”
    No, but it does recognize a right to play, rest and recreation. The extent of this is not defined and it has to be balanced with other rights and their ramifications. Again, no case ever brought or likely to be brought on that basis anywhere in the world.

    RESPONSE:
    RIGHTS eventually require enforcement in the international definition of rights. Laws would be make to force adults to allow children to play, then the lawsuits would begin.
    HER POINT that “the extent of this is not defined” should cause great concern. Who wants to drive on a 4 lane, 2 way highway without lines drawn clearly. Neither should we want to have a law with such fuzzy boundaries that can be later exploited.

  4. February 5, 2011 5:49 pm

    More responses to Jan

    Jan: “According to existing interpretation, it would be illegal for a nation to spend more on national defense than it does on children’s welfare.”
    Whose existing interpretation? Not one that has a monkey’s chance of being supported jn a court in ANY country. If it was so, I assure you some folk would have tried and cited the CRC. Bunkum.

    RESPONSE
    These come from the treaty’s committee reports, see references at end:

    “[T]he United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, criticized Egypt and Indonesia on the proportion of their budget spent on defence, as compared to the proportion spent on children’s social expenditure.”29.

    The Committee also criticized Austria,30. Australia,31. Denmark,32. the U.K.,33. and others failing to spend enough tax dollars on social welfare for children.

    MY RESPONSE: Remember that Van Bueren commends those activist courts in various nations which have decided to directly order compliance with the CRC. We could reasonably anticipate that children’s rights activists would bring lawsuits in American federal courts in hopes of finding sympathetic judges who would hold that America spends too much on military defense and order a redistribution of funds toward children’s social programs. Today, such a lawsuit would not likely prevail. No one could guarantee that the same result would be achieved in a decade or two.
    Parental Rights.Org Website: Nannies in Blue Berets, page 9

    AT LEAST LOTS OF MONEY lost in stupid court fees.

  5. February 5, 2011 5:47 pm

    Jan: “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.”
    And most such claims would be thrown out of court as vexatious and having no prospect of success given the role the CRC recognises a role for parents. That role is well-spelt out, see my response to a PRO blog:
    http://parentalrightstn.blogspot.com/2011/01/part-15-un-convention-on-rights-of.html?showComment=1296074244695#c3146668359844834590

    RESPONSE: I responded clearly to her argument on my blog. See my response to her response

    http://parentalrightstn.blogspot.com/2011/01/response-to-come-out-and-play.html

  6. February 5, 2011 5:45 pm

    More from Professor Geraldine Van Beuren

    Professor Van Bueren:
    Unlike earlier treaties, the Convention on the Rights of the Child does not include a provision providing for parents to have their children educated in conformity with their parents’ beliefs. In addition, the child’s right to freedom of expression and the right of the parents to initially give direction and later only guidance strengthens the argument that children are entitled to participate in decisions so that their education conforms to their own convictions.[12]
    International law is therefore establishing boundaries within which states are under a duty to ensure that parental power is properly exercised and within limits. …The international protection of children’s civil rights now touches the core of family life.[13]

    References:
    [12] Geraldine Van Bueren, International Rights of the Child, Section B, University of London, 29-30 (2006).
    [13] Id. at 73.

  7. February 5, 2011 5:44 pm

    response to Jan

    Jan “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.”
    The words used are “a primary” not “the” which means this argument is flawed at its core.

    Response: The words of Professore Geraldine Van Beuren are adequate (she helped write the treaty itself, so who else better to say what it means)

    Best interests provides decision and policy makers with the authority to substitute their own decisions for either the child’s or the parents’, providing it is based on considerations of the best interests of the child. Thus, the Convention challenges the concept that family life is always in the best interests of children and that parents are always capable of deciding what is best for children.[7]
    State parties are obliged to ‘assure’ to children who are capable of forming views the rights to express those views ‘in all matter affecting the child’ and to give those views ‘due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child’. By incorporating a reference to ‘all matters affecting the child’ there is no longer a traditional area of exclusive parental or family decision making.[8]
    International law is therefore establishing boundaries within which states are under a duty to ensure that parental power is properly exercised and within limits.
    …The international protection of children’s civil rights now touches the core of family life.[9]
    [7] Geraldine Van Bueren, International Rights of the Child, Section D, University of London, 46 (2006).
    [8] Id. at 137.
    [9] Id. at 73

  8. February 5, 2011 5:41 pm

    The Humphrey that is mentioned in the comment below had this to say in a speech (reference link at end):

    And, since I am so sure of this in general, and since I’d expect most of you to be so
    too, I shall probably shock you when I say it is the purpose of my lecture tonight to argue in
    one particular area just the opposite. To argue, in short, in favour of censorship, against
    freedom of expression, and to do so moreover in an area of life that has traditionally been
    regarded as sacrosanct.
    I am talking about moral and religious education. And especially the education a child
    receives at home, where parents are allowed – even expected – to determine for their
    children what counts as truth and falsehood, right and wrong.
    Children, I’ll argue, have a human right not to have their minds crippled by exposure to
    other people’s bad ideas – no matter who these other people are. Parents, correspondingly,
    have no god-given licence to enculturate their children in whatever ways they personally
    choose: no right to limit the horizons of their children’s knowledge, to bring them up in an
    atmosphere of dogma and superstition, or to insist they follow the straight and narrow paths of
    their own faith.

    HUMPHREY http://www.humphrey.org.uk/papers/1998WhatShallWeTell.pdf

  9. February 5, 2011 5:39 pm

    Here is another scary quote regarding what many experts think about parental rights:

    Dawkins is not alone in his analysis. In 1998, bestselling author and professor of psychology Nicholas Humphrey, teaching at New York University at the time, argued for “censorship” of parents, who have “no right to limit the horizons of their children’s knowledge, to bring them up in an atmosphere of dogma and superstition, or to insist they follow the straight and narrow paths of their own faith.”

    Both authors advocate an outside solution to “protect” children from indoctrination: intervention by the government. In The God Delusion, Dawkins quotes from Humphrey, who writes that “children have a right not to have their minds addled by nonsense, and we as a society have a duty to protect them from it.” Humphrey bluntly adds that “parents’ rights have no status in ethics and should have none in law” – parenting is a “privilege” that operates within parameters set by society to protect the child’s “fundamental rights to self determination.” If parents step beyond these boundaries by indoctrinating their children, “the contract lapses – and it is then the duty of those who granted the privilege to intervene.” (emphasis added)

    Some have called for international talks on whether children should be involved in religion. Innaiah Narisetti of the Center for Inquiry (a U.N. NGO) said, “The time has come to debate the participation of children in religious institutions,” continues Narisetti. “While some might see it as a matter better left to parents, the negative influence of religion and its subsequent contribution to child abuse from religious beliefs and practices requires us to ask whether organized religion is an institution that needs limits set on how early it should have access to children.” Narisetti also said that “The UN must then take a clear stand on the issue of the forced involvement of children in religious practices; it must speak up for the rights of children and not the automatic right of parents and societies to pass on religious beliefs, and it must reexamine whether an organization like the Vatican should belong to the UN”

    This aggressive censorship of parents captures the true spirit of Article 14. According to law professor Bruce Hafen, the language of Article 14 views “parents as trustees of the state who have only such authority and discretion as the state may grant in order to protect the child’s independent rights,” and is consistent with what the state deems as the child’s “evolving capacities.” Such a calloused view of parents stands in stark contrast to our own legal tradition, which has long upheld “the fundamental interest of parents, as contrasted with that of the State, to guide the religious future and education of their children.”

    REFERENCES:
    Jonathan Todres, “Analyzing the Opposition to the U.S. Ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child,” in The U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (2006): 24.
    Cynthia Price Cohen, “Role of the United States in Drafting the Convention on the Rights of the Child,” Loyola Poverty Law Journal (1998): 30-31.
    Bruce Hafen, “Abandoning Children to their Autonomy,” Harvard International Law Journal (1996): 470.
    Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205, 232 (1972).
    http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/ldn/2007/jun/07061805 from Narisetti
    HUMPHREY http://www.humphrey.org.uk/papers/1998WhatShallWeTell.pdf

  10. February 5, 2011 5:37 pm

    Responding to various points by Jan:

    Jan: It doesn’t say that because parents have the role of direction and guidance so their influence is huge, and direction carries with it some notion of authority. But your own Constitution etc has provision for freedom of belief and no one has ruled that does not extend to kids.

    Response: This statement was somewhat confusing, but I will provide some truth for the readers to consider.

    Read the article on Parental Rights.Org regarding Article 14 of the treaty.

    http://www.parentalrights.org/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC=%7B746E3956-8651-47C3-B53B-3908112C5812%7D

    Here is another quote from the website to consider:

    But another CRC proponent, law professor Cynthia Price Cohen, disagrees. According to Cohen, one of the earliest drafts of Article 14 included “two paragraphs that protected the right of parents to guide the exercise of this right and to ‘respect the liberty of the child and his parents’ with regard to the child’s religious education.” When the final text was adopted, however, all language protecting the rights of parents to “ensure the religious and moral education of the child” was omitted. This omission makes no sense if the purpose of Article 14 was to protect the rights of parents to instruct their children.

    Cynthia Price Cohen, “Role of the United States in Drafting the Convention on the Rights of the Child,” Loyola Poverty Law Journal (1998): 30-31.

  11. February 5, 2011 5:34 pm

    Responding to various points by Jan

    Jan: “A murderer aged 17 years and 11 months and 29 days at the time of his crime could no longer be sentenced to life in prison.”
    A crime committed whilst the person is a child means they are treated as a child – that is your own law – but often you appear in breach of its fundamental principles, never mind the CRC.”

    Response: The argument is actually against using CRC to decide American law. If we have not ratified the treaty, our judges should not be using the treaty to decide cases regarding parents.

    Why is it that children can decide abortion but not be held responsible for murder? If they are ready to decide the life of a baby, they are ready to face the consequences of murdering someone. Yes teenagers make rash decisions without fully thinking through the consequences. However, if a 17 year old plans a murder and executes the plan, why is it wrong to have the choice between trying them as an adult or as a child?

  12. February 5, 2011 5:29 pm

    Part 8

    Dear Max,
    May the readers investigate for themselves and determine who is spreading innuendo, smears, and outright lies. May they see who either misunderstands this issue or see who is intentionally deceiving them. May God open their eyes to the truth.
    Thank you for the opportunity to draw out the truth on this issue.

    If you want more information on the worldview, go to http://www.parentalrightstn.blogspot.com
    Here you will find a multitude of articles on the issue.

  13. February 5, 2011 5:28 pm

    Part 7

    In regards to the “binding authority” of the committee proceedings:

    Why have a committee if they have no power? That makes no sense. Yes, they provide recommendations without “current” penalties. However, the officials in those nations then use that “recommendation” to force legislation or judges use it as “customary internation law” against parents. You can claim “no binding authority” all you want, but the committee’s reports are used as leverage by others to implement this erroneous worldview.

  14. February 5, 2011 5:27 pm

    Part 7

    In regards to the “binding authority” of the committee proceedings:

    Why have a committee if they have no power? That makes no sense. Yes, they provide recommendations without “current” penalties. However, the officials in those nations then use that “recommendation” to force legislation or judges use it as “customary internation law” against parents. You can claim “no binding authority” all you want, but the committee’s reports are used as leverage by others to implement this erroneous worldview.

    If you want more information on the worldview, go to http://www.parentalrightstn.blogspot.com

  15. February 5, 2011 5:27 pm

    Part 6:
    In regards to the 1980’s Washington case and the UN CRC:

    No, these are technically unrelated, BUT, again it is the worldview behind each decision. This erroneous worldview says that judges, social workers, or other government officials are free to interject their opinion of what is best for a child into a family. The treaty and the judge in that case both believe that they are wiser than the parents.

  16. February 5, 2011 5:26 pm

    Part 5

    For those who don’t think the treaty can be used against homeschoolers, please do a google search on “Badman report”. A British official named Badman proposed that the government change its approach to homeschooling and initiate regulations based on the UN CRC. Thankfully, this report was rejected. It included the recommendation that government officials should be permitted to enter a homeschooling home and interview the children without parents being present to determine suitability of the schooling environment. How many of you would have liked that “governmental help”?

  17. February 5, 2011 5:25 pm

    Part 4
    In response to the statements regarding homeschooling.

    Max is correct that the treaty itself did not cause Germany and Sweden to enact their schooling policies. However, it is the worldview behind those decisions which reflects the intent of the UN CRC. Please read this quote from Parental Rights.Org website.

    The idea that parents are ultimately responsible for raising their children is a foreign concept in Sweden. According to the state Ministry of Education and Science, local communities believe that it is “the responsibility of society to satisfy the need for child care,” and to look out for the “best interests” of children.6 In fact, Sweden’s laws specifically require that all decisions affecting children must be made in accordance with “the best interests of the child.”7
    Unfortunately, this “highly developed view of the child”8 often works to the detriment of the family as a whole, especially when it comes to child training and discipline. In 1979, Sweden passed a law banning parents from using “physical punishment or any other humiliating treatment” to train their children.9 According to the Nordic Committee on Human Rights, the Swedish courts have applied the ban broadly, criminalizing everything from slaps and spankings to “time outs” and sending children to their rooms.10
    As a result, Swedish parents “negotiate” with their children11 instead of providing training and discipline. For the parents who choose to buck the trend and brave the risk of training their children, however, the likely outcome is criminal prosecution and punishment at the hands of the state.
    8. Ministry of Education and Science, 2.
    9. Ruby Harrold-Claesson, “When Parents Become Victims,” The Nordic Committee on Human Rights (February 11, 2000) <http://www.nkmr.org/english/anti_smacking_law_consultation

  18. February 5, 2011 5:24 pm

    Part 3

    I challenge the reader of this posting to investigate for themselves. Look at the Parental Rights.Org website and see how they have quoted the treaty, the committee proceedings, and the treaty authors to prove exactly what Max claims is true. Don’t take my word nor Max’s word, not even Michael Farris’ words. Then you will discover the intentional deception that Max is trying to perpetrate.

    In response to the “Fourth”:
    According to Supreme Court, Reid v. Covert in the 1950s, treaties can change law not EXPLICITLY protected in the Constitution. Given that parental rights are no where explicitly stated (even Justice Antonio Scalia stated so in Troxel v. Granville 2000), the 10th Amendment would not prevent the treaty from be the ultimate authority of parental rights. It doesn’t need to overide the Constitution since the Constitution does not speak to the issue. Read Article 6 of our Constitution and look up Reid v. Covert.

  19. February 5, 2011 5:24 pm

    part 2 of reply to Max:

    Random comments:
    Since when is it okay for even open “intergovernmental conferences” to determine what parents should be doing with the children that God gave them? Did we have any input at the UN?

    Since when do we care what the rest of the world thinks about our parenting? We do what is right rather than jumping off the bridge as everyone does.

    Anyone who investigates the worldview behing this treaty and the writings of its authors and supporters will see that Parental Rights.Org is far closer to the truth than Mr. Max.

    If you want more information on the worldview, go to http://www.parentalrightstn.blogspot.com.

  20. February 5, 2011 5:23 pm

    Good evening,
    As a American parent working to understand this issue for over two years, I would like to respond to Max’s accusations and dis-information.
    First, this treaty is truly anti-parent despite its word games to the contrary. Despite many token compliments to the primacy of the family, this treaty when read in its entirety undermines the family. Article 3 gives the government rights to intervene in parenting matters at a lower threshold than our current laws permit. Article 12 allows the government to intervene whenever a child requests it. Article 18 simply means that the government gives parents responsibilities for parenting, not rights. No matter how many times that parents are mentioned, these three articles undermine parenting as we know it.

  21. February 1, 2011 1:08 pm

    I is shocking to read in the press that the Swedish government allows its social welfare department to systematically removes thousands upon thousands of children from their rightful parents without notice based on hearsay complaints without even investigating whether the sources of complaints from the third persons are genuine or false. Does Sweden always accept hearsay accusations as a bases for terminal justice or even extradition in order to impose terminal justice? One may well ponder over this question due to the numerous injustices that have been reported in the world press over the past several years.

    It is a disgrace that the welfare department then chooses new parents for these unfortunate children and the genuine parent never see their children again.

    This is “KIDNAP ON A GRAND SCALE” by what is called a civilized country. It bares a resemblance to the injustices committed by the Australian authorities and those committed by the Nazis during WWII.

    Sweden should hang its head in shame, this practice is uncivilized, even Sharia law does not stoop to that depth.

    This is in fact A CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY. These kidnappers must face justice in the World Court.

  22. February 1, 2011 8:03 am

    Hello,
    One issue to easily address is the objection to our claim that the CRC will outlaw all spankings. Come out and play’s own words refute herself.
    “The CRC —-AIMS—- towards a world where this is the norm but many states will allow what they call ‘reasonable chasteisement’.” I will provide some information from our website below, but let me point out the inconsistencies.
    First, she admits that the GOAL of the CRC is to end spanking. Second, she implies (and correctly, I must say) that “states” or in other words, governments (as directed by the UN committee) will decide what “reasonable chastisement” is. Third, she notes tha the UN committee will make recommendations, i.e. they will decide if the government’s definition of a reasonable punishment is really reasonable according to their standards. They will set the definition, not the government.

    Below are some quotes from the PRO website which actually QUOTES CRC documents and legal journals.

    United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, Official Report on Ireland (2006):
    [T]he Committee is deeply concerned that corporal punishment within the family is still not prohibited by law.
    The Committee…urges the State party to:
    (a) Explicitly prohibit all forms of corporal punishment in the family;
    (b) Sensitize and educate parents and the general public about the unacceptability of corporal punishment.[11]
    [11] Paragraph 39 and 40, Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child: Ireland,Committee on the Rights of the Child, 43rd sess., U.N. Doc. CRC/C/IRL/CO/2 (2006).

    ———-
    SO, THEY are telling Ireland to outlaw spanking!

    THEN, while Sweden is moving forward on its own, please consider the worldview at work here. This is the same worldview that underlies the CRC. If this is applied globally, we will see the same results in America.
    ——————–

    No more “time outs”
    The idea that parents are ultimately responsible for raising their children is a foreign concept in Sweden. According to the state Ministry of Education and Science, local communities believe that it is “the responsibility of society to satisfy the need for child care,” and to look out for the “best interests” of children.6 In fact, Sweden’s laws specifically require that all decisions affecting children must be made in accordance with “the best interests of the child.”7
    Unfortunately, this “highly developed view of the child”8 often works to the detriment of the family as a whole, especially when it comes to child training and discipline. In 1979, Sweden passed a law banning parents from using “physical punishment or any other humiliating treatment” to train their children.9 According to the Nordic Committee on Human Rights, the Swedish courts have applied the ban broadly, criminalizing everything from slaps and spankings to “time outs” and sending children to their rooms.10
    As a result, Swedish parents “negotiate” with their children11 instead of providing training and discipline. For the parents who choose to buck the trend and brave the risk of training their children, however, the likely outcome is criminal prosecution and punishment at the hands of the state.
    8. Ministry of Education and Science, 2.
    9. Ruby Harrold-Claesson, “When Parents Become Victims,” The Nordic Committee on Human Rights (February 11, 2000) (accessed January 17, 2009)
    10. Harrold-Claesson, “When Parents Become Victims”

    More to come soon,
    Eric Potter MD

    PS: If you can’t wait for more of my response, read more at

    http://www.parentalrights.org/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC=B80868B0-58EC-4B84-8C7F-68B88C5B077B&DE=

  23. February 1, 2011 7:54 am

    Dear “play” and “max”,
    While I work on the long list of grievances you have posted, I want to encourage the readers to investigate this issue for themselves. You have alleged that this author has simply reiterated arguments from the Parental Rights.Org website and that those arguments are tired rhetoric from propaganda-ists.
    In response, I urge the readers to go to http://www.parentalrights.org for themselves and read for themselves. The so called rhetoric actually includes quotes from legal experts outside the PRO camp and quotes from Professor Van Beuren, one of the original drafters of the Convention itself
    I have read both sides with open eyes. The original author of this blog is not spreading lies nor is PRO, unless you count where we are quoting the lies of CRC supporters.

    Protecting Children by Empowering Parents,
    Eric Potter MD

  24. January 31, 2011 9:49 pm

    Hello Concerned Parents,
    Please keep your eye on this blog as I respond to the propaganda in the comments above. I will take it apart paragraph by paragraph over the coming days.
    In order to whet your appetite, please check out my response to Ms. Cosgrove’s mention of my Parental Rights blog. I answered her objections quite easily at

    http://parentalrightstn.blogspot.com/2011/01/response-to-come-out-and-play.html

    During this debate, please keep in mind that Ms. Cosgrove does not live in our great country, but would like to tell us how to legislate and raise our children. That is part of the problem, non-Americans trying to tell us how to run our country. Besides that, she is wrong on many points and I will help you learn the truth about this issue soon enough.

    Protecting children by empowering parents,
    Eric Potter MD

  25. January 31, 2011 3:54 am

    Just to add to Jan’s well-made points, this comment is replete with errors:

    First, the Convention is not anti-parent: the Preamble to the Convention states that “the family [is] the fundamental group of society” and the Convention proper repeatedly emphasises the primary role of parents and the importance of maintaining parental relationships, referring to parents no less than 36 times: see articles 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 18, 24, 27 and 29, among others. For example, article 29 – which concerns the right to education – specifically provides that one of the aims of education is “development of respect for the child’s parents”.

    Second, the Convention is not the creation of “powerful leaders, activist judges and the United Nations … quietly working”. Following the same process as almost any other international agreement, the Convention was negotiated in open intergovernmental conferences through the course of the 1980s and opened for signature in November 1989. As the comment notes, it has now been ratified by 193 countries – that is, every country other than the United States and Somalia – and each of these countries independently decided whether to support the Convention in accordance with its own governmental procedures.

    Third – and with the exception of capital punishment of children, which states that ratify the Convention must first decide to renounce – ratification of the Convention has nowhere had the extraordinary consequences that this comment describes. As above, the role of parents is central to the Convention: if, as suggested, Dr Farris has claimed “that under the purview of this treaty, every decision a parent makes can be reviewed by the government to determine whether it is in the child’s best interest”, that is a farcical claim supported neither by the text of the Convention nor – more problematically for him – by any such development in any, let alone most or all, of the 193 countries that are party.

    Fourth, as a clear matter of United States law, the Convention would remain subordinate to the United States Constitution.

    Fifth, the claimed connection between removal of homeschooled children and the Convention is untenable, for at least two reasons: first, however Sweden and/or Germany may act towards particular instances of homeschooling, that is a matter of national policy and practice, not the Convention; and second, the claimed relevance of applications for refugee status by homeschooling families now in New Zealand (and also in Canada) rather overlooks the fact that both those countries are longstanding parties to the Convention.

    Sixth, there is – of course – no connection between the Convention, concluded late in 1989, and whatever may have happened in the unnamed Washington case sometime in the 1980s.

    Seventh, the Committee on the Rights of the Child is an independent body of experts that advises on the interpretation of the Convention. It has no binding authority.

    Eighth, the Convention does not “exchange … parental rights for the collective global good”. As above, it emphasises the primary role of parents in securing their children’s individual wellbeing.

    Last, and as for deception and ignorance: perhaps try rewriting this column on the basis of fact, not innuendo, smears and outright lies.

  26. January 26, 2011 4:23 pm

    Hi

    Much of what you claim is simply peddled from the PRO site and is untrue.

    Some of your claims:

    “Parents would no longer be able to administer reasonable spankings to their children.”
    Not true. The CRC aims towards a world where this is the norm but many states still allow what they call ‘reasonable chastisement’. The UN committee which monitors progress can only make recommendations.

    “A murderer aged 17 years and 11 months and 29 days at the time of his crime could no longer be sentenced to life in prison.”
    A crime committed whilst the person is a child means they are treated as a child – that is your own law – but often you appear in breach of its fundamental principles, never mind the CRC.

    “Children would have the ability to choose their own religion while parents would only have the authority to give their children advice about religion.”
    It doesn’t say that because parents have the role of direction and guidance so their influence is huge, and direction carries with it some notion of authority. But your own Constitution etc has provision for freedom of belief and no one has ruled that does not extend to kids.

    “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.”
    The words used are “a primary” not “the” which means this argument is flawed at its core.

    “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.”
    And most such claims would be thrown out of court as vexatious and having no prospect of success given the role the CRC recognises a role for parents. That role is well-spelt out, see my response to a PRO blog:
    http://parentalrightstn.blogspot.com/2011/01/part-15-un-convention-on-rights-of.html?showComment=1296074244695#c3146668359844834590

    “According to existing interpretation, it would be illegal for a nation to spend more on national defense than it does on children’s welfare.”
    Whose existing interpretation? Not one that has a monkey’s chance of being supported jn a court in ANY country. If it was so, I assure you some folk would have tried and cited the CRC. Bunkum.

    “Children would acquire a legally enforceable right to leisure.”
    No, but it does recognise a right to play, rest and recreation. The extent of this is not defined and it has to be balanced with other rights and their ramifications. Again, no case ever brought or likely to be brought on that basis anywhere in the world.

    “Christian schools that refuse to teach “alternative worldviews” and teach that Christianity is the only true religion “fly in the face of article 29″ of the treaty.”
    It hasn’t elsewhere. What might be argued is that e.g. those ‘alternate’ views should not be the sole views taught to children, and that maybe that creationism, etc, should not be taught as fact against verifiable science. Also, in your terms, separation of church and state.

    “Allowing parents to opt their children out of sex education has been held to be out of compliance with the CRC.”
    Not anywhere I know. N case ever succeeded in court. You confuse national laws with the CRC.
    “Children would have the right to reproductive health information and services, including abortions, without parental knowledge or consent.”
    This is a huge debate and the CRC is double-edged on this, it can be cited by both views, for and against. It will depend on national laws and constitutions.

    As I have said elsewhere, this is about whether a child has to follow his parents religious beliefs – the CRC repeats what I think is in your own Constitution – freedom of belief and conscience, but also that the child’s development, maturity and level of understanding must be taken into account.

  27. January 25, 2011 9:17 pm

    Thank you for this article.
    You can read more about the issue at my blog http://www.parentalrightstn.blogspot.com.
    This is a crucial issue for families and the future generations of our nation.

    Eric Potter MD
    Tennessee Director of Parental Rights.Org

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