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H. Lewis Smith, Founder and CEO - UVCCUN Treaty on the Rights of a Child:  Government (not Nature) vs. Nurture?

By:  H. L. Smith

There was a time when a child’s every remark to an elder was precluded or capped off by a very solemn and respectful, “yes, ma’am; no ma’am’ or “yes, sir; no sir.” During these days of well-mannered up-bringing and children understanding their rank relative to adults, youths would not dream of forming their lips to utter a profanity in the presence of adults. This was a time when parents’ authority and right to discipline their child in the home was not usurped by authoritative figures and lawmakers.

Today, should one attempt to seek and restore this natural order, you, the parent, are likely to be cussed out by your six-year-old child—whose right to “voice their opinion” is lawfully protected and prosecuted in the United States courts.

This shift toward basically retiring parental rights or diminishing parental authority brings to mind the UN treaty on Children’s Rights. The UN treaty on Children’s Rights is a “…human rights treaty setting out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children.”  

The United States government played an active role in drafting the UN Convention on the Rights of Children (CRC). This treaty was signed by the Clinton Administration in February 1995, but the US Senate has yet to ratify the treaty, and will likely not ratify it in the foreseeable future because the CRC forbids both death sentences and life imprisonment for children. The position can be taken that if children are allowed to act and enjoy the same freedoms as adults, they must also contend with the same responsibility, accountability and consequences of their actions as would any adult.

The Convention has been ratified, accepted, or acceded to (some with stated reservations or interpretations) by 193 other countries. It is important to note that every member of the United Nations has openly agreed to the doctrine; however, Somalia, South Sudan and the United States are the only three countries in the world which have not ratified the Convention. President Barack Obama has described the failure to ratify the Convention as “embarrassing” and had promised to review its current status; however, one can only speculate that the current administration’s “diligence” in this matter stems from their awareness of the potential (and apparent) harm or damage to the home and child-parent relationships full implementation of this treaty could cause even though it is meant to serve well.

Experts who have studied the document unequivocally state that the treaty, which creates “the right of the child to freedom of thought, conscience and religion” and outlaws the “arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy”, intrudes on the family and strips parents of the power to raise their children without government interference.

Many believe that opposition to the CRC stems primarily from political and religious conservatives. For example, the Heritage Foundation sees it as threatening national control over domestic policy. On their website, they provide an example where in 1995, a CRC committee rebuked the United Kingdom for permitting parents to withdraw their children from sex-education classes if they disagreed with the content. Further, the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) argues that the CRC threatens homeschooling due to making primary education compulsory and taking measures to encourage regular attendance at schools.

As well, CRC’s provision forbidding capital punishment of children is at odds with America’s domestic policies towards minors. For instance, a 43-year-old woman who was freed in June 2013 from an Indiana State Prison was put on death row at age 16 for a heinous murder she committed as a juvenile.

Currently, 38 States authorize the death penalty. Of those 38 states, 23 of them permit the execution of offenders who committed capital offenses prior to their 18th birthdays; however, the laws governing application of the death penalty in those states vary, and the variation is not necessarily tied to rates of juvenile crime. Since 1973, when the death penalty was reinstated, 17 men have been executed for crimes they committed as juveniles and 74 people in the United States currently sit on death row for crimes they committed as juveniles.

In April of this year, Tulane University college professor and MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry said your children are not yours – they are owned by the community. She said public education has failed because Americans have not allowed the state to confiscate more of their money. “We have to break through our private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families.”  Kids belong to whole communities, she insists, and once Americans realize this, “better investments” will be made in the government indoctrination of children.

The UN treaty, as harmless as it may appear, is capable of attacking the very core of the child-parent relationship, removing parents from their central role in the growth and development of a child, and replacing them with the long arm of government supervision within the home.

The vital child-parent relationship is deeply valued in millions of homes across the nation, yet most American families have no idea of the extent to which this precious relationship is now jeopardized by the threat of international treaty law. Any parent that values and appreciates the relationship they share with their children, as well as the rightful application of privately deciding for and parenting their children in the home without formidable government interference must speak up and voice their concerns before the US begins to even consider fully ratifying the Convention.

H. Lewis Smith is the founder and president of UVCC, the United Voices for a Common Cause, Inc. (www.theunitedvoices.com),  and author of “Bury that Sucka: A Scandalous Love Affair with the N-Word”. Follow H. Lewis Smith on Twitter: www.twitter.com/thescoop1

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