Thirty-one Republican senators have agreed to oppose the United Nations’ “Convention on the Rights of the Child” treaty, and critics of the international plan to vest children with a long list of rights – such as a right to seek government review of parental decisions – are looking for three more names.
So far, the senators who have joined to oppose what critics have described as a usurpation of parents’ rights by international bureaucrats are: Jeff Sessions of Alabama, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Sens. Jon Kyl and John McCain of Arizona, Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson of Georgia, Sens. Mike Crapo and James Risch of Idaho, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Sens. Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts of Kansas, Sen. Jim Bunning of Kentucky, Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Sen. Christopher Bond of Missouri, Sen. Mike Johanns of Nebraska, Sen. John Ensign of Nevada, Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, Sens. Tom Coburn and James Inhofe of Oklahoma, Sens. Jim DeMint and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, Sens. John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, Sens. Robert Bennett and Orrin Hatch of Utah and Sens. John Barrasso and Michael Enzi of Wyoming.
The resolution states the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child should not even be presented to the Senate for a vote, which would require two-thirds approval for ratification, because it “is contrary to the principles of self-government and federalism, and … because the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child undermines traditional principles of law in the United States regarding parents and children.”
Michael Farris, a key force behind the move to deny the U.N. plan authority in the U.S., told WND only 34 names are needed because of the two-thirds requirement in the Senate for treaty adoption.
More and more opposition is rising up to challenge the idea because of the recent intrusion by government into citizens’ personal lives, he said.
“The whole notion that government wants to invade our lives in every sphere has awakened the American public, and frankly has aroused a sleeping giant,” he said.
Already, with 31 names on the list, the understanding is “this is not a good thing for America,” Farris told WND.
The 1990s-era plan was pushed through the U.N. and ratified quickly by 193 nations worldwide, but not the U.S. or Somalia. In Somalia, there was no recognized government to do the formal recognition, and in the United States there’s been opposition to its power.
When ratified, nations then are bound to follow the international document as law.
It would create specific civil, economic, 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 that parents or legal guardians “have primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child,” Farris said government ultimately would decide if parents’ decisions are good, and, therefore, to be followed.
Among the provisions of the treaty, according to the Parental Rights website:
- Parents no longer would 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 no longer could 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.
During the presidential campaign season of 2008, then-Sen. Barack Obama promised that the CRC was an issue he would pursue.
“It’s embarrassing to find ourselves in the company of Somalia, a lawless land,” Obama said at the time. “I will review this and other treaties to ensure the United States resumes its global leadership in human rights.”
Among other opponents, several states have adopted resolutions criticizing the treaty, including Louisiana where lawmakers voted unanimously against it.
ParentalRights.org also advocates for an addition to the U.S. Constitution.
The amendment would state: “The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children is a fundamental right.”
It would add that, “Neither the United States nor any state shall infringe upon this right without demonstrating that its governmental interest as applied to the person is of the highest order and not otherwise served.”
Lastly, it specifies, “No treaty may be adopted nor shall any source of international law be employed to supersede, modify, interpret, or apply to the rights guaranteed by this article.”
Along with its support in the Senate, it has more than 140 sponsors in the House. Under the Constitution’s amendment process, a plan approved by Congress would need to be ratified by three-fourths of the states.
Besides Louisiana, lawmakers in South Dakota, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Hawaii, Michigan, California, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, North Carolina, New York and Utah have reviewed the issue.
Farris, in a previous commentary, warned of the ramifications.
“If we really believe in children’s rights – in a form that is recognized by the Bill of Rights – then we need to do everything we possibly can do to defeat the U.N. Convention on the ‘Rights’ of the Child,” he said. “And we need to pass the Parental Rights Amendment … to see that it stays defeated for good.”
In the United Kingdom, the CRC already has been used to assert that authorities have complete access to the homes – at any time – of students who are homeschooled.
The Home School Legal Defense Association, founded by Farris, has been warning of the CRC’s impact.