Tuesday, February 19, 2008

UNCRC

I received an e-mail today from ParentalRights.org about the United Nations Covention on the Rights of the Child. Here is a clip.

Who knows best?

The Convention's emphasis on the "best interests" principle is a sharp break from American law.
In the 1993 case of Reno v. Flores, the U.S. Supreme Court held that "the 'best interests of the child' is not the legal standard that governs parents' or guardians' exercise of their custody." In the 2000 case of Troxel v. Granville, the Court struck down a grandparent visitation statute because decisions about the child were made "solely on the judge's determination of the child's best interests," without regard to the wishes of the parent.


The Court's decisions in Reno and Troxel reflect a fundamental tenet of American family law, which recognizes that parents typically act in the best interests of their children. Indeed, "United States case law is replete with examples of parents fighting for the best interests of their children," ranging from a child's right to an education to the right of personal injury compensation. Except in cases where a parent has been proven to be "unfit," American law presumes that the parent is acting in the best interests of the child, and defers to that parent's decision.

The UNCRC's Brave New World

But the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child changes all of that. The treaty supplants this traditional presumption in favor of parents with a new presumption in favor of the state.
According to Geraldine van Bueren, an international scholar who assisted in the drafting of the CRC, the language of "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."

So instead of placing the burden of proof on the government to prove that a parent is unfit, the Convention places the burden of proof on -- yes, parents. Any parent who claims that other interests might just be more important than the state's characterization of the "best interest" of the child could end up battling the state to protect their rights as a parent.

I would encourage every parent to be on alert for such language/court decisions in this country. This election could mean the ratification and signing of this treaty. Choose carefully when you vote.

19 comments:

Elliot said...

Thank you so much for explaining this for us. I knew the UNRC was a horrible thing for parental rights, but now I understand why. As a first-year law student, the way you explained it as abolishing the "presumption" that the parent was acting in the best interest of the child was very helpful. Thanks again, and God bless America that parents will never be forced to give up their God-given authority, and responsibility to GOD, to bring up their child "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."

Applied Christianity said...

Elliot,
Thanks, but I can't take credit. I got the info from ParentalRights.org. I am happy to be getting the word out.

Shawn said...

I would ask that everyone that read this go to parentalrights.org and read all about this. Sign the petition to amend the Constitution. Protect your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. If there was ever anything important enough to move you to action....

Naomi said...

Thanks for writing about this. I also received the same email today. But I am confused as to whether the UN CRC is for or against Christian beliefs. I read the first 6 Articles and it seems that if it's taken away then our rights to homeschool can be taken away and also the right to any abortion be made legal.

Anonymous said...

This is a completely biased stance on the UNCRC. The UNCRC actually promotes the rights of parents and states that parents are the primary caregivers of children and should be upheld by government and society. Only when the child is in danger with their parents will states intervene. There is a reason almost every country in the world has ratified this convention (the only besides the U.S. is Somalia... SOMALIA). This isn't about parental rights, it's about the U.S.A. refusing to be held accountable on the international scene.

Applied Christianity said...

Anonymous,

I think that what the UNRC would call "dangerous" I would call good parenting. Grounding, swats, and time outs are all ok in my book for unruly children. Having children attend church even when they don't want to is ok in my book. These things (among others) would be on the way out if this treaty gets passed.

Applied Christianity said...

Naomi,
Thanks for commenting. I am sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I have been out of state at a funeral.

I think that the UNCRC seeks to put children on the same authority level as their parents when it comes to life decisions. It gives them the right to decide if and when they go to church and what church or religion to go to if any. According to the Bible, parents are to guide their children's spiritual development. So though it is not explicitly anti-Christian, it would be hard to parent from a biblical standard under this treaty.

kathy said...

The UNCRC is designed to protect children from many evils in the world. Why is this bad? It states that children should not be used as soldiers, that children may not be bought and sold, that they may not be abused sexually, that they must be provided with a free education (this is not within the reach of many children whose families can not afford even primary school for their children). It states that part of a child's education is to encourage a child to respect their parents. It states that children who have committed crimes may not be put to death or given a life sentence (like the 11 year old currently being tried as an adult). It protects children from abuse and neglect. It says children who have been forced to flee from their own country by war shall have the same rights to protection food, water, health care and education as a child of that country. It says children should have the right to clean drinking water, good food, and good health care. These are good things. Do you want to deny any child in the world these protections? Do you think that children should be forced to serve in brothels or as soldiers? Why are you afraid of this, and why are you instilling fear into the hearts of your readers? I would encourage everyone to read the unicef website at: www.unicef.org.uk/youthvoice/pdfs/uncrc.pdf
READ IT FOR YOURSELF.

Applied Christianity said...

Kathy,

children in America are already protected from being soldiers, sold, etc. Children are already provided a free education.Here minors are only tried as adults in extreme circumstances. I don't know what 11-year-old you are talking about. We already have laws protecting children from abuse. We treat political refuges well. Children here have access to clean water, food stamps, and medicaid.

If the United States ratifies this treaty, it will do nothing to help the kids of other countries and will hurt our national sovereignty and our parental rights.

Heather said...

Thank you- well said.

Applied Christianity said...

You are welcome, Heather. Welcome to my blog.

Rich said...

Over 300 organizations representing the interests of the religious, education, health care, humanitarian, labor, legal, and social service communities have lent their support for ratification of the CRC. However, a small number of political organizations have spearheaded efforts to oppose U.S. ratification. These groups have sought to minimize the Convention’s value by employing “scare tactics” to fallaciously portray the CRC as a threat to American families. In general, opponents largely base their arguments on unsubstantiated claims regarding national sovereignty and interference in the parent-child relationship.
They allege that ratification of the CRC:

would endanger national and state sovereignty;

would undermine parental authority by allowing the UN to dictate how parents raise and teach their children; and
would enable children the right to do as they please, including taking legal action against their parents, having abortions, joining gangs, etc.

These false claims are the result of misconceptions, erroneous information, and a lack of understanding about how international human rights treaties are implemented in the United States. In many cases, the Convention's opponents criticize provisions which were added by the Reagan Administration during the drafting process in an effort to reflect the rights U.S. citizens have under our Constitution.

Please get the facts.

http://childrightscampaign.org/crcindex.php?sNav=getinformed_snav.php&sDat=faqs_dat.php

Applied Christianity said...

Rich,
First of all, I am not a political institution. I have read the UNCRC and formed my own conclusions. I do, however, find organizations like ParentalRights.org helpfulin pointing out things that I missed or hadn't thought about.

Second, as far as unsubstantiate claims go, one only has to look at other countries where the principles in the Convention are glorified to see what will become of this counry. Take half of Europe for example.

Third, what protection do you think the treaty would provide children that they do not already have in this country?

Anonymous said...

WHATEVER!!!! Have you people ever heard of a non-violent way to raise a child!! Apparently 80 ultra-neo-conservative haven't already.The preceding comment employed scare tactics to move spread the bull everywhere! The UNCRC is not a horrible thing for parental rights! Wake up people! Everyone that has posted obviously has beeen brainwashed by Michael Farris. Has it ever occurred to you that HSLDA hasn't done interviews on CNN OR MSNBC.Why? It's because Fox Noise is biased and ultra-neo-consevative. If HSLDA did an interview on MSNBC,they would proven wrong

Applied Christianity said...

Anonymous,
You are welcome to disagree, but when doing so it might be better to point out actual facts instead of just name calling.

Chris Shaw said...

I don't imagine that the founding fathers would think the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution (Article VI) would ever be construed to be applied in this way. Using treaties as a means of legislation? Sounds like a way to circumvent states' rights to me.

Centaur said...

Anonymous,

Investigate the facts: I've talked to CNN and MSNBC - they are simply refusing to have anyone wanting to speak on Parental Rights on the show. They have me the media two-step on several occasions (the "we will get back to you," or "we will look into it" answer).

Simply put, the media doesn't want coverage of this issue because it DOES threaten parents rights, and they won't wake up to that. Let us not be the Dwarfs who sat in open sunlight in "The Last Battle," covering their heads saying that they were in a dark stable. The truth is all around us.

Check out my blog for more information: I have lots of research there (http://narnianinsurgency.blogspot.com) which is helpful on the issue and the effects of international law and the UNCRC in particular on parental rights.

Do the research: the truth is there. Find it. Share it.

Watching the stars,
Centaur

Anonymous said...

The UNCRC is both good and bad.It is good in the sense that sometimes (not often) parents MIGHT fail to see the child's best interests.It is bad in the sense that an overzealous official could hijack the idea behind the UNCRC and create an exceedingly disgusting system of removing children for anything and everything.It probably will get ratified next year,however.And I say so because if you checked parentalrights.org,there isn't one Democratic supporter of the PRA.And btw,many countries in the world don't take the UNCRC seriously because we didn't ratify it.What kind of threat does the UNCRC pose to the USA's sovereighnty anyway? Will it instantly create a one world government once every country ratifies it? I don't think so. But in the mean time,God Bless America.

Steven said...

Anonymous it all boils down to how you answer the following question: Who knows what is best for my child? Me or the government.