From Parental Rights:
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, often called the CRC or the UNCRC, is an international convention seeking to establish “civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights [for] children.” After ratifying or acceding to it, nations are bound to the CRC by international law.
Imagine if your national government had the audacity to appoint a “guardian” to monitor your child from birth, charged with the legal responsibility to evaluate your decisions as a parent and armed with the legal authority to “intervene, prevent or rectify” any violations of your child’s rights. Public and private schools alike are policed by the national government, and classes begin with singing about the principles of peace, tolerance, and the United Nations. Your child’s confidential medical records, stored in a nation-wide electronic register from birth until age twenty, can be accessed at any time, without your knowledge, by any physician, teacher, or government social worker in the nation.
Now stop imagining, because for parents in the 193 countries that have ratified the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child, each of these scenarios is true.
Constant Supervision and Suspicion
Since its adoption by the United Nations in 1989, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) has become the most widely accepted international agreement in history, ratified by every nation of the world except for the United States and Somalia. All signatories 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 all this may sound harmless and even commendable, the reality is that the Convention allows and even demands that national governments interfere in the decisions of individual families and parents. By invoking the “best interests of the child ,” policymakers and government agents have the authority to substitute their own decisions for those of the child or parent. In short, parents lose their rights to be parents, and become merely caregivers. The result, as parents across the globe are now discovering, is that the family is being steadily undermined, often with tragic and devastating results for the very children who are supposed to be protected.
Ten things you need to know about the structure of the CRC:
- It is a treaty which creates binding rules of law. It is no mere statement of altruism.1
- Its effect would be binding on American families, courts, and policy-makers.2
- Children of other nations would not be impacted or helped in any direct way by our ratification.3
- The CRC would automatically override almost all American laws on children and families because of the U.S.Constitution’s Supremacy Clause in Article VI.4
- The CRC has some elements that are self-executing, others would require implementing legislation. Federal courts would have the power to determine which provisions were
- The courts would have the power to directly enforce the provisions that are self-executing.6
- Congress would have the power to directly legislate on all subjects necessary to comply with the treaty.This would be the most massive shift of power from the states to the federal government in American history.7
- A committee of 18 experts from other nations sitting in Geneva has the authority to issue official interpretations of the treaty which 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.8
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.11
- Children would have the ability to choose their own religion while parents would only have the authority to give their children advice about religion.13
- 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.14
- A child’s “right to be heard” would allow them to seek governmental review of every parental decision with which the child disagreed.15
- 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.16
- Children would acquire a legally enforceable right to leisure.17
- Teaching children about Christianity in schools has been held to be out of compliance with the CRC.18
- Allowing parents to opt their children out of sex education has been held to be out of compliance with the CRC.19
- Children would have the right to reproductive health information and services without parental knowledge or consent.20
- 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.12
Are you paying attention yet? In essence, the UN CRC bill would supersede parental authority covering the broadest interactions a parent and child share.
On March 10, the Obama administration told the UN Human Rights Council that it supports the UNHRC’s recommendations that the United States should “ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child [CRC].” Moreover, the administration promised that it “intend[s] to review how we could move toward its ratification.”
In the meantime, SR 99 opposing ratification of the CRC is very close to its first major milestone. As of yesterday, Senator Jim DeMint’s resolution, which expresses the reasons Senators oppose the UN child rights treaty, has 32 cosponsors, with 2 more senators committed to sign next Monday.
This is great news – but it is not enough!
We need to recognize that the Obama administration and the UN will not give up so easily. Thirty-four senators signed a similar measure regarding the Panama Canal treaty a few years ago, and the administration twisted arms until enough changed their minds to ratify that controversial treaty.
We cannot be satisfied with 32 Senators, or even with 34. We need to aim for at least 40 co-sponsors of SR 99 to make sure that the CRC cannot move forward in this term of Congress.
Additionally, state legislators in both Illinois and Rhode Island have introduced resolutions calling for the ratification of the CRC. Amazingly, the Rhode Island resolution admits, “If enacted, the [CRC] would become superior to the laws of the states and their judicial systems, and would be subordinate only to the text of the [U.S.] Constitution.”
Any state legislator who wants a treaty to become superior to his or her own state’s law is confessing the inability to enact state laws that are sufficient to protect children. They should do the honorable thing and resign if they feel so incompetent.
Jim DeMint’s Senate Resolution 99, which states unequivocally that the family is the protector of the family. Read through DeMint’s resolution, it is very readable. Check and see if your Senator is on the Foreign Relations committee where this resolution currently sits.
For the Hoosiers out there, our senior Senator Dick Lugar is the ranking member on the committee and surprise surprise he has NOT signed on as a co-sponsor of the resolution. It’s time to tell your Senator’s that you will not allow a foreign agency and/or international law to control any aspect of your family. We have sovereign rights as Americans.