A Christian organization in the United Kingdom on Wednesday launched its legal challenge to the ultimate “Big Brother” law – a Scottish plan that appoints a government official to oversee the life of each newborn.
“We are making a stand for all mums and dads who are doing their best for the children they love,” said Colin Hart, director of the Christian Institute.
He confirmed that papers were lodged at Edinburgh’s Court of Sessions by the Institute, several other organizations and parents who would be subjected to the law’s requirements.
The “Named Person” initiative, the Institute has explained, would “see a state guardian assigned to every child between birth and 18-years-old.”
Those government officials would have access to all information about the child, whether the parents allow it or not, and could make recommendations and suggestions about the upbringing of the child.
Parents would be allowed to decline their advice, but then those government officials would “be able to share information with a wide range of public authorities and may intervene without parental consent.”
While the law is set to be imposed nationwide by 2016, it already is working in some areas.
The Institute said the challenge was joined by Christian charity CARE, Tymes Trust and the Family Education Trust as well as parents James and Rhianwen McIntosh and Deborah Thomas.
The Institute explained the McIntoshes reported last month that they already were being subjected to the law when they were told their child’s private medical documents were being shared with the state-employed “named person.”
“I love my child better than anyone else and so for the government to tell me that I needed someone who knew better about my child to see to their well being, that was really quite belittling to me as a parent,” said Rhianwen McIntosh.
Thomas reported discovering the reaches of the law’s tentacles when her son was told to fill out a “creepy and weird” survey at school. She discovered questions were about “things like his perceptions of our family’s income, the seriousness of our family’s arguments, and whether he sometimes felt like he couldn’t go on – which is effectively a suicide question.”
“This marks the beginning of a landmark case which has implications for every family in Scotland,” said Hart. “We are not prepared to stand by and watch as the roles of parents and their rights to a family life are diminished and trampled over by an authoritarian big brother government intent on making its presence felt in every living room in the land.”
He said the idea behind the law may have been to prevent children who have needs from slipping through the net, but “that safety net will only be stretched to [a] breaking point as a result of this policy, raising the prospect that genuine child protection cases will fall through the holes.”
The BBC reported that the government has argued the plan will help with “vulnerable children,” but its critics say in simply violates the European Convention on Human Rights, which recognizes parental authority.
WND reported several weeks ago that physicians already were telling parents, “We are now required to inform the Named Person for your child if your child fails to attend an appointment.”
The Institute reported one family who received the letter told the Scottish Daily Mail: “We were absolutely shocked. The health board seems to be acting in advance of the law being implemented.”
“I shows the extent to which the law will impact on families and their private lives,” the family continued.
The Children and Young People Act, however, already has been condemned by a prominent human rights lawyer, Aidan O’Neill, who said in a legal opinion that the measure amounted to “unjustified interference” and “may be unlawful.”
He said the European Convention on Human Rights calls for governments to respect “private and family life.”
WND has reported the idea for a government watchdog for each child comes from the philosophy of the United Nations.
“This law shows the natural progression for a country that has ratified the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child and attempts to live up to its treaty provisions,” said Michael Donnelly, the director of international relations for Home School Legal Defense Association.
HSLDA has been exposing the pitfalls of the U.N. treaty, which has not been adopted by the United States.