The Dangerous Worldview of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

By Brannon S. Howse

The Bible and the Gospel of Jesus Christ are based upon absolute truth. As a result, many individuals and organizations—including the United Nations—go to great lengths to suppress this truth for which they have such hatred. In 1995, for instance, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization prepared the International Declaration of Principles on Tolerance that stated: “Tolerance is respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world’s cultures…it is not only a moral duty, it is also a political and legal requirement.”

There is actually a desire by the United Nations to make laws enforcing “tolerance.” That means if you were charged with being intolerant, you could be found guilty of a crime punishable by the state. The UN document goes on to say:


•    “Intolerance is a global threat.”


•    “Tolerance involves the rejection of dogmatism, and absolutism.” 


•    “Tolerance means that one’s views are not to be imposed on others.”

Note the use of the word “impose.” If the UN ever accomplishes its goal of making tolerance a legal standard, sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ could become illegal. In fact, many nations have already adopted this UN policy.

“Protecting children” becomes another doorway for UN incursion on individual freedoms. As a former board member of the radically liberal Children’s Defense Fund, now Senator Hillary Clinton actively supports the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. While the idea of “children’s rights” may sound nice, this is just one more effort by liberal agents of change to demean and negate traditional family values. In November 1973, The Harvard Educational Review published then Hillary Rodham’s radical views of children’s rights in an article entitled, “Children Under the Law.” In her article, Ms. Rodham (now Clinton) stated that some children “may have interest independent of their parents or the state.” Senator Clinton disapproves of “the belief that families are private, non-political units whose interests subsume those of children.” In other words, she prefers to view the child as distinct from the family. 

With that in mind, it is no wonder Hillary suggests that age restrictions on children’s activities must be legally justified: 

"The state should no longer be allowed to assume the rationality of regulations based upon age, and should at least be required to justify its action on the basis of modern legislative or administrative findings."

And what does that mean? Dr. Dennis Cuddy, nationally syndicated columnist and former U.S. Department of Education official, explains that Senator Clinton is really saying, “If individuals can vote at eighteen years of age, drive at sixteen, and have sex and abortions at a particular age, then the state should have to justify why they’re not allowed to do those things at earlier ages.”

In an article in the October 1992 issue of Harper’s magazine, Christopher Lasch defined Senator Clinton’s opinion this way: 

[quote] The traditional family is, for the most part, an institution in need of therapy, an institution that stands in the way of children’s rights—an obstacle to enlightened adults.… She condemns the State’s assumption of parental responsibilities, not because she has any faith in parents themselves but because she is opposed to the principle of parental authority in any form….Her writings leave the unmistakable impression that it is the family that holds children back; it is the state that sets them free. [end quote]


Why all this emphasis on the “state”? Could it be that Hillary favors the use of the federal government to set children free from parental authority? Why would she want to do that? 

Similarly, what is the purpose for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and who came up with this idea anyway? The pretext for the convention was provided by Poland in 1979 as their contribution to the Year of the Child. And remember: In 1979, Poland was controlled by a Marxist-Leninist, socialistic government. Does that give you an idea of why this treaty is so dangerous—and why Hillary is no friend of the family? 

Let’s be clear about what constitutes some of the legal “rights” that would be guaranteed by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Consider this sweeping statement proposed by the treaty:

"The right of every child to a standard of living adequate for the child’s physical, mental, spiritual, moral, and social development.”

Again, it may sound good at first blush, but who will determine the adequacy of these intangible factors? On what basis will judges and social workers determine what is “adequate”? Social workers certainly are a likely candidate for the job. Yet consider the track record they display. An Alabama social worker once testified under oath that even if she received anonymous complaints against the governor himself, she would need to inspect his home, no matter what evidence was offered to rebut the allegations. 

What if your sixteen-year-old son demands his own car upon receiving his driver’s license, and you won’t provide him one? He could claim that he is not living in an environment adequate for his physical, mental, or social development and bring the state into the argument against you. What if your family only has one car and your son is unable to go out with his friends on a Friday night because you are using the car? Will you have hindered his “social development”? Not to mention that you may also have deprived him of his “right to freedom of association and peaceful assembly,” according to Article 15 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. 

Does this sound far-fetched? Not if you are aware of what is taking place in courts across America today. The Supreme Court of Washington state recently ruled that it was not a violation of parents’ rights to remove a child from her family because she objected to the parents’ “reasonable rules which were reasonably enforced.” The parents had grounded their eighth-grade daughter because she wanted to smoke marijuana and sleep with her boyfriend. She objected, and the court removed her from the home. That alone should take your breath away, but the implications of the UN action are far more sweeping. Article 13 of the Convention lists the right of every child (any individual under 18) to be: 


"The right of freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child’s choice."


This article would give the child the right to view pornography whether in print or through the computer. You would be in violation of the law if you tried to prevent it. Every child would have the right of “access to information and material from a diversity of national and international sources,” and the state must “encourage the mass media to disseminate information and material of social and cultural benefit to the child” as well as “encourage the production and dissemination of children’s books” (Article 17). 

Again: Who will decide the content of these “children’s books” to be produced and disseminated by the state? Can we trust the same government who funds blasphemous and homo-erotic art through the National Endowment for the Arts to decide what is of “social and cultural benefit”? What about parents who don’t want their children reading books the state has deemed as “information”? 

Just so you’ll know, other “rights” provided for under the UN Convention include: 


• The right of “freedom of thought, conscience, and religion” (Art. 14); 


• The right of the child to “education” (Art. 28); 


• The “right . . . to benefit from child-care services” (Art. 18); 


• The “right of the disabled child to special care” (Art. 23). 


I have no problem with the right of every child to receive an education, or for the disabled to receive necessary care. Potential problems arise, however, from the vague wording of many of these rights. Hillary Clinton believes that some families can go “to the point of depriving [children] of an advanced worldly education.”

 Most of the Christians I know are doing everything they can to keep their kids from having a “worldly” education! 

The question then becomes: How do Hillary, the UN, and other “agents of change” define education? If you home school your child or send him or her to a private school that does not fit the government definition of an “education,” will you then be guilty of depriving your child of an education? Obviously, the UN and company are not opening the doors to greater freedom but to more totalitarian-style control.

What about Article 23, which provides for the rights of the disabled child? Who will determine which children are disabled? Liberal educators regularly hand out new disability labels. What if your child is determined to have dyslexia or have ADD (attention deficit disorder)—or any of myriad other so-called disorders? What if you don’t want your child to take Ritalin or some other mind-altering drug to control his or her hyperactivity? Suppose you refuse to allow your child to take part in special classes, programs, or courses—many of which are filled with psycho-babble, New Age thinking, and humanistic garbage. Will you then be depriving your “disabled” child from special services? 

Consider this frightening real-life example. A school guidance counselor examined a first grader and diagnosed the child as hyperactive. The counselor recommended psychotherapy. In response, the mother took her daughter to four sessions but stopped after concluding that the little girl’s problems were due to the classroom environment at school and not the result of any personal or emotional issues. It was also apparent that counseling was not helping her daughter. When the mother refused to take the daughter back to therapy, social workers removed the child from the home. The court, claiming the right to intervene whenever “medical intervention will have a beneficial effect,” ruled the mother guilty of child neglect. [matter v. Ray, 408, N.Y.S. 2d 737 (1978)

There are children in this country and around the world who do not receive the kind of love and nurture that every child craves and needs. And there are parents who do not take the responsibility of parenting seriously, some of whom should have children removed from their custody because of physical or sexual abuse. Nevertheless, this does not mean the problem in our nation is so great that all parents should have the rights of parenting taken from them. Why strip the constitutional freedoms of the majority in order to get at an irresponsible minority? There is no cause or justification for such action.  

Article 37 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child provides every child “deprived of his or her liberty” with the right of free legal counsel and access to the courts to let his or her case be heard. Will children be encouraged by their public school teachers, guidance counselors, school nurses, school phychologists, or friends to sue you the next time you deprive them of their liberty? Under the right of freedom of religion, you could be sued by your child for forcing him or her to go to church with you. Under the right of freedom of expression, you could be sued by your child if you refuse to let her pierce her nose or deny him the “right” to wear a T-shirt with profanity written on it. 

In a report for a Washington D.C. think-tank Dr. Lucier, a former congressional staffer, explains how these “rights” could be used against parents: 

[quote] The child is guaranteed these rights, no matter what the parents’ religion, political, or other opinion. If the parents, on the basis of their religion or political views, or even ethical views, object to the so-called “rights” guaranteed in the Constitution, the state must step in and uphold those rights “irrespective” of the parents’ opinion. The state, or agency acting on behalf of the child, can sue in court against the parents so that the child can think what it pleases, and associate with whomever it pleases.…If parents refuse to grant these rights, even on the basis of conscientiously held religious or other opinions, the child may be removed from the parents “when competent authorities subject to judicial review determine, in accordance with applicable law and procedures, that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child. [end quote]


Common sense tells us that any treaty built on ideas from the the one-time communist regime of Poland cannot be good for America, Americans, or U.S. Constitutional freedoms. So why do liberals want such a treaty? The answer is clear: To undermine parental authority and to take all power, control, and influence away from moms and dads. 

Author and syndicated columnis Thomas Sowell provides this warning: 

"Parents are the greatest obstacle to any brainwashing of children…if parents cannot be gotten out of the picture or at least moved to the periphery, the whole brainwashing operation is jeopardized."


Such brainwashing is not new. In the 1940s, Nazi Germany tried to do away with parental influence. In her book, The Story of the Von Trapp Family Singers, Maria von Trapp recalls her childhood experience with the Nazis: 

"This morning we were told [by the Nazis] at the [school] assembly that our parents are nice, old-fashioned people who don’t understand the new Party. We should leave them alone and not bother. We are the hope of the nation, the hope of the world. We should never mention at home what we learn at school now."


The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child gives children the right to do almost anything. Why do I say almost anything? Because there is one very important right that this treaty does not grant every child: It does not give a child the right to say, “I was wrong.” 

When, in a moment of anger and rebellion, a child picks up the phone and files a complaint against his or her parents for supposedly violating one of the “liberties” given by the UN, this treaty does not give the child the right to say later, “I was wrong.” The treaty does not allow the child to change his or her mind and have the complaint withdrawn. 

Your child is sure to receive at school or through radio or television the proper number to call when he feels his liberties have been violated. How many parents will find themselves embroiled in a court case or being subjected to the regular visits of a social worker simply because their child got angry and made a call which the child later regrets but cannot reverse? Who will provide the official interpretation of this treaty? A group of parents? Certainly not. Even the interpretation will be up to the UN—through its Committee on Children. 

In Great Britain and some European countries, the committee has already determined that it is in the best interests of the child to outlaw corporal punishment and conduct public education campaigns to accept the prohibition of corporal punishment. That means it becomes illegal for parents to spank their children. 

The Associated Press reported in August 1995 that a Norwegian father who smacked his four-year-old daughter on the bottom was fined $470 for violating Norway’s strict child protection law. The law bars corporal punishment—even in the privacy of a family’s home. 

But the UN goes even further. The committee wants to limit the rights of parents to withdraw their children from sex education classes and intends to change laws so as to increase the ability of children to participate in their parents’ decisions concerning them.

The socialist, liberal agenda, with their one-world viewpoint, seeks to take away America’s pride, prestige, and prosperity. They know the best way to do that is to remove any influence that traditional family values may have on children. When all else fails, they must resort to removing children from homes that are not politically and socially correct. In order to do that, they need laws on the books that will give social workers, teachers, judges, and psychologists the authority to determine whether you are a fit parent and whether or not your child’s “rights” are being denied. 

And what is the present status of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child? It was “approved by the UN General Assembly on November 20, 1989, and entered into force on September 2, 1990, after the 20th nation ratified.” So far, liberals and social engineers in the United States have done a fine job of sugar-coating this bitter pill that they hope Americans will swallow. During the first years of the Clinton Administration, 47 U.S. Senators in the 103rd Congress co-sponsored the U.S. proposal in the Senate, called for the president to sign the treaty and send it to the Senate to be ratified. 

If the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is ever ratified by a two-thirds majority vote by the U.S. Senate, it would become the law of the land—as the U.S. Constitution Article 6, paragraph 2 states: 

"This Constitution and the laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding."


If this treaty is passed, Christian parents in America will find themselves on the wrong side of the law of the land. It will represent the greatest restriction of freedoms yet foisted on the American people.


Copyright 2006 ©Brannon Howse. This content is for Situation Room members and is not to be duplicated in any form or uploaded to other websites without the express written permission of Brannon Howse or his legally authorized representative. 

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