Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Rights of the Child Treaty is at our Door Step

Senator Barbara Boxer is urging the U.S. to ratify the United Nations measure known as “The Rights of the Child Treaty. This treaty was signed by the Clinton administration in 1995, but it was never ratified by the U.S. Senate. Nearly every country in the world (193 nations) is party to the treaty -- only the U.S. and Somalia are not.

To the casual observer, approving a child’s rights treaty is a no-brainer. After all, the world’s children deserve basic human rights. However, there are many problems with this innocent-sounding treaty. Because of the Supremacy Clause in Article VI of the Constitution, the treaty would be rendered "the supreme law of the land," superseding America’s preexisting state and federal statutes. Any rights or laws established by the U.N. convention could then be argued to hold sway in the United States. An outside body of unaccountable so-called experts in Switzerland would have a say over how children in America should be raised, educated and disciplined, amounting to an erosion of American sovereignty.

The U.N. very craftily says that it has no way to enforce the treaty or punish those nations that fail to follow its precepts. However, it can be very difficult for a nation to extract itself from a treaty once it has been implemented. We should understand that where a child has a right fulfilled by the government, the responsibilities shift from parents to the government.

This treaty has the potential to mount a gross assault on parental rights, and it could rob the U.S. of sovereignty. If implemented, it will intrude on the family and it will strip parents of the power to raise their children without government interference. Parental rights groups see in the U.N. convention a threat that the government will meddle with even the simplest freedoms to raise their children as they see fit. Whether you ground your kids for smoking marijuana, whether you take them to church, whether you let them go to junior prom, all of those things . . . will be the government's decision It will affect every parent who's told their children to do the dishes. The treaty could prohibit children from being spanked or homeschooled, and forbid parents from deciding their families’ religion.

According to the Parental Rights website, the treaty dictates that: Parents would no longer be able to administer reasonable spankings to their children; children would have the ability to choose their own religion; the government would have the ability to override every decision made by every parent; a child would have the right to seek a governmental review of every parental decision with which the child disagreed; teaching children about Christianity in schools would not be permitted; parents will not be able to opt their children out of sex education at school; children would have the right to reproductive health information and services, including abortions, without parental knowledge or consent. The government would decide what is in the best interest of a child in every case. Parents could be treated like criminals for making every-day decisions about their children’s lives. If the parents thinks the child should go to church three times a week, but he child wants to go to church only once a week, the government would be able to decide what is in the best interest of the child.

It takes a two-thirds Senate majority to implement the treaty, not too difficult with a current democrat majority in the Senate. It is time for us to wake up and vote for conservative leaders who will protect us from such treaties and laws.

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