A United Nations report is blasting procedures in the United Kingdom that have school students attend assemblies that are of a “Christian” character.
It’s because the international group claims that violates the students’ human rights.
But according to the U.K. Telegraph, one lawmaker, Conservative MP David Burrowes, suggested that such reports be put “in the bin where they belong.”
“The committee is concerned that pupils are required by law to take part in a daily religious worship which is ‘wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character’ in publicly funded schools in England and Wales, and that children do not have the right to withdraw from such worship without parental permission before entering the sixth form. In Northern Ireland and Scotland, children do not have the right to withdraw from collective worship without parental permission,” said the statement from U.N.’s Committee of the Rights of the Child.
The U.K. has a different setup for schools, and it includes public schools with tax funding, some private schools that also have public funding, and some private schools where tuition and fees are charged to cover costs.
The Christian Institute said, “Parents can already withdraw their children from collective worship but the committee wants children to be able to act independently of their parents.”
It is in parts of the U.K. that officials already have begun a program that allows the government to monitor church children’s and youth groups and their activities, and intervene under some circumstances.
Now the U.N. report challenges the acknowledgment of a Christian history in the country.
“The collective act of worship is not an indoctrination exercise,” said Burrowes. “It is recognizing and respecting the Christian heritage of the country and giving people an opportunity to reflect.”
He suggested the U.N. “should spend more time doing its main job of preventing war and genocide rather than poking its nose in other countries’ classrooms.”
The Institute reported under Article 43 of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, the committee offering the criticism includes representatives of Bahrain, Egypt and Russia.
The Telegraph said the U.N.’s complaint was that the assemblies undermined kids’ human rights.
The U.N. report is directed to the government, and invites full compliance and acceptance of the recommendations.
“The committee welcomes the ratification of or accession to international instruments, including the extension of its ratification of the Convention to the Bailiwick of Jersey, as well as the progress achieved by the state party in various areas related to children’s rights and the adoption of a number of new laws and institutional policy measures since its last review,” the U.N. wrote.
The U.K., said the U.N., should bring “its domestic legislation … in line with the convention in order to ensure that the principles and provisions of the convention are directly applicable and justiciable under domestic law.”
The international coalition also said the U.K. needs to make changes in his “state budget” to more directly allocate funding for “child-rights.”
The U.N. also is demanding that corporal punishment “in the family,” including “reasonable chastisement” be banned.
And it wants created a “children’s right to play” throughout the legal system. The few such policies that exist are “underfunded,” it said.