Scotland’s ambitious government scheme to appoint for every child a “Named Person” who has the authority to overrule parents in child-raising matters apparently is near its end.
The U.K.’s Christian Institute, which won a court ruling that found the original plan violated the rights of Scotland’s citizens, says the latest, water-down version may not succeed.
The organization said Deputy First Minister John Swinney, long an advocate for the government plan to monitor children and their parents, including in matters of health and religious belief, previously claimed he had the authority to approve it.
Now, in the face of continuing opposition, he’s agreed that lawmakers will be allowed to vote on it.
Swinney recently told a Scottish government committee that parliament will have the final say.
He also admitted, during an appearance before lawmakers to defend the plan, that if the current legislation fails, “the concept of the Named Person goes into a hiatus.”
“The procedure outlined in the bill affords parliament a high level of scrutiny on the draft code of practice, and my intention has always been to ensure meaningful dialogue with both practitioners and parliament in relation to its contents,” he said.
Swinney said officials are preparing an amendment to give parliament “final approval of the code of practice.”
When the Named Person program was first proposed in 2014 it called for “covert” psychological tests on children, including “questions on their home life, their sexual health and whether or not they feel close to their parents.”
Polls showed two-thirds of the Scottish people believed it was an “unacceptable intrusion” into family matters.
And WND reported when the Scottish government was putting cab drivers through a new training course in which they were told they must spy on children they drive to schools. The drivers even were instructed to inform teachers in the schools if they hear something that is concerning.
The nation’s high court, however, rejected the proposal in 2016 as in violation of human rights.
When the plan was rejected, the court noted: “The first thing that a totalitarian regime tries to do is to get at the children, to distance them from the subversive, varied influences of their families, and indoctrinate them in their rulers’ view of the world. Within limits, families must be left to bring up their children in their own way.”
WND has reported the concept of 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, director of international relations for Home School Legal Defense Association.
When the court ruling was issued, the government was ordered to cover the estimated $623,000 in legal fees incurred by those who challenged the plan.
The Supreme Court in the United Kingdom struck down the plan sought by social workers to make sure every child meets government standards for being “safe, healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, responsible and included” because the laws don’t allow massive amounts of private information to be distributed randomly.