Sen. Barbara Boxer
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., is urging a hurry-up timetable for adoption of a United Nations treaty she says provides for “basic human rights” for children but opponents argue would destroy parental rights to raise their children as they choose.
“Children deserve basic human rights … and the convention protects children’s rights by setting some standards here so that the most vulnerable people of society will be protected,” Boxer said, according to Fox News.
Boxer wants quick action on the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, a proposal on which for 20 years Congress has refused to act because of concerns and questions.
The instrument was signed by President Clinton in 1995, but opposition and critics’ concerns that it would override centuries of practice, policy and law regarding children have left it unadopted.
The document would create “the right of the child to freedom of thought, conscience and religion,” which critics say would usurp the role of parents in directing their children’s religious training.
But Boxer said during a hearing in the Senate recently she feels a “humiliation” that the U.S. has not adopted the plan.
WND reported just a week ago one of the nation’s top experts on children’s rights, Michael Farris, president of ParentalRights.org and chancellor of Patrick Henry College, said the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child would mean every decision a parent makes can be reviewed by the government to determine whether it is in the child’s best interest.
“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,” he warned.
The 1990s-era document was ratified quickly by 193 nations worldwide but not the U.S. or Somalia. In Somalia, there was then no recognized government to formally recognize the measure, and in the U.S. there’s been opposition to its power. Countries that ratify the treaty are bound to it by international law.
The international treaty creates specific civil, social, cultural and even economic rights for every child and states that “the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.” While the treaty states parents or legal guardians “have primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child,” Farris said government will ultimately determine whether parents’ decisions are in their children’s best interest.
According to the Parental Rights website, 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.
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.”
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.”
Fox News reported the standing U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child, an 18-member panel in Geneva, would review the rights of children in all disputes.