United Nations seeks to protect child rights.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child has made a few blips in the news headlines recently. The convention, or the CRC as it is often referred to, is an international human rights treaty which sets forth a list of basic human liberties for children under the age of eighteen.
The treaty was signed by the United States in 1995 under the Clinton Administration but has not been ratified. Both Senator Barbara Boxer and President Obama have stated their support for the treaty and have vowed to revisit US ratification during this administration.
That has upset some conservatives, such as Michael Farris, president of ParentalRights.org. Mr. Farris believes that the adoption of this treaty by the United States would contribute to the erosion of our American civil liberties. He has proposed an amendment to the constitution called the Parental Rights Amendment which he claims would undeniably secure the rights of the parents as having sole authority over what happens to their children.
Doesn't this pretty much exist as an implicit assumption anyway, without needing to elucidate it with a constitutional amendment? Mr. Farris regards the treaty (which has been ratified by 193 other nations) and "anti-parent judges" as posing an imminent danger to parental rights in America.
Others believe Farris is taking the language of the treaty and making some pretty bold and widely-drawn assumptions. According to the Child Rights Campaign the CRC provides nothing more than the basic human rights over one's mind and body that all humans deserve and spells it out for children specifically.
"As an international framework for children and youth, the CRC protects and respects children, youth, parents, and their families. Children are individuals with inherent rights and play an important role in society. U.S. ratification of the CRC will help protect the well-being and safety of children and youth."
Mr. Farris has rebuked all other interpretations of the treaty and has taken his crusade all the way to the the nightly news shows asserting that ratification potentially could bar U.S. parents from spanking their children, allow young women to choose abortion and give children the right to choose a religion without parental consent.
No more spanking, choose your own religion and have rights over your body by not allowing another person to force you to bear a child that you do not want? Hmmm, are the violins bowing for Mr. Farris?
Lori Petro is a Mom, Children's Advocate and Speaker. She is passionate about transforming our world through conscious parenting compassionate communication, and peaceful conflict resolution.
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