Thursday, April 30, 2009

MSNBC Reports on UNCRC and Parental Rights

Yesterday MSNBC ran an article titled Clash brewing over global Rights of Child pact. In the article they report how ratifying the UNCRC is up for debate again and how "both sides agree that its chances of ratification — while still uncertain — are better under the Obama administration than at any point in the past."

I am certainly glad to see this issue getting media attention and I was pleased with the article. However, there still seems to be no coverage on the impact the supremacy clause in our constitution would have if we ratified this treaty. (See my blog about Hoekstra on O'Reilly to learn more about that.) With that in mind I would like to comment on a few statements made within the article.

"The reality is that no country that is a party to the convention has seen parental rights encroached," said Jonathan Todres, a law professor at Georgia State University who has worked with Gardinier's coalition.
There are two things wrong with this statement, one is that it is not true. Michael Farris gives an instance in which the UNCRC was used to violate a parent's right in Wales.

The Committee on the Rights of the Child is the official UN tribunal granted the authority to interpret and enforce the Children's Convention, which sets forth an exhaustive index of children's rights, many at odds with the rights of parents. The tribunal has held, for instance, that the United Kingdom violated children's rights in Wales by allowing parents to withdraw their children from public school programs without first considering the child's wishes. (Elitism Threatens Parental Rights)

As we can see, in other countries parents have seen this right encroached upon and the UNCRC was specifically used to take that right away.

The other error is, of course, his failure to recognize the supremacy clause in our constitution. I have mentioned it before, and I suppose I will have to keep mentioning it until it gets properly reported. What Jonathan Todres fails to mention is that no other country that has ratified the treaty has a constitutional clause that automatically makes the UNCRC the supreme law of their land. As a law professor, I have to assume he knows that the supremacy clause exists, and therefore knows that his own argument is flawed. I am saddened that he attempts to fool Americans by making such a statement. He has to realize the supremacy clause means ratification would impact our country like no other.

Todres goes on to say:

The treaty "has the potential to be a great tool for parents," Todres said. "It's something the parents could use to say, 'My child has the right to freedom of religion and the state cannot encroach on that. My child has education rights, health care rights, and the state cannot ignore that.'"

We already have a great tool for parents to use in America and it is called our Constitution. I do not need a UN treaty to fight for my child's right. You should note that he mentions certain rights here that are not specifically guaranteed in our constitution. If Todres wants Americans to have a tool that says health care is a "right" then he needs to work on amending our current constitution or passing laws within our own country that will grant his wishes. That is how laws that govern civil life in this country should be made. They should be made by the legislators we elect to represent us, not a board of international delegates who do not live or reside in the country they rule. That is the kind of tyranny we fought against in the Revolutionary war. We should not look to the UN to write and in some cases over-write our laws for us, we have our own methods for protecting children in this country.

One of the biggest arguments against the Parental Rights Amendment is that most people do not like to amend our constitution. It is such a great document that people are leary to mess with it. I certainly agree. What they fail to understand is that if we ratify the UNCRC we are pretty much doing the same thing, only we are doing so without the tough approval process amendments require. The only way to stop this threat is to amend our constitution to say that no treaty will supersede our fundamental rights.

I am very encouraged that the issue is getting media attention. Please read the full article
Clash brewing over global Rights of Child pact at MSNBC. To learn more about the proposed Parental Rights Amendment and help protect us from the threat of the UNCRC visit or

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