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If US adopts UN Rights of the Child - Page 2

post #21 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
What scares me more is the "freedom from parents' religion" aspect- how will that affect vaccine exemptions?
I don't know. Now I'm getting a little scared again.

Someone on a list I'm part of, just explained to me that there's a difference between rights and practice. I had mentioned on that list, what I'd heard on this thread from some mamas in countries where this has already been passed -- about how they have total freedom to unschool, refuse vaccination for their children, and do unassisted pregnancy and unassisted childbirth if they so choose.

This woman says that just because they're enjoying these freedoms now, doesn't mean the enforcing authorities will continue to allow that. She says passage of this declaration is a "train wreck waiting to happen."

So I don't know ... maybe there's more to it than just hearing how things are going in other countries where it's been passed. I know that in the U.S., there are already lots of people who'd like to enforce vaccination ... I recently read an article by a New York City mom about her son's first day of "Unkindergarten' -- and there were all these hateful comments about what a horrid parent she is for letting her 5yo sleep in and play in the mud ...

So, given all these judgmental attitudes (though I honestly don't know whether American parents tend to be more or less judgmental than European parents) -- I'm wondering if somehow the passage of this declaration could open the way for more coercive practices in the U.S.

Still, I really like Obama and am hoping for the best.
post #22 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
What scares me more is the "freedom from parents' religion" aspect- how will that affect vaccine exemptions?
I think most children, if given the choice, would be religiously opposed to having needles stuck into their bodies. So if this declaration causes people to really start taking children seriously, I imagine they'd all be refusing vaccination.
post #23 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
PreggieUBA2C -- you make some awesome points. I was wondering, since you are in Canada where this has already been in effect for -- how long? -- have you found it to affect your rights and freedoms in any way thus far?
I'm not PreggieUBA2C, but I am unschooling in Canada and there has been absolutely no threat to our unschooling. If anything there is more choice nowadays, including in some instances governmental financial support of unschooling, than there ever has been.

I agree too with Ann_of_loxley that overall we seem to have more choice and more freedom than those of you in the US -- despite the lack of rhetoric about freedom. Perhaps it's that we focus on "freedom from ..." and not just "freedom to ..." But I don't think that's the result of a UN declaration. I think it's cultural/historical differences.

Miranda
post #24 of 57
Thread Starter 
Yes, I guess the question is whether the passage of this declaration could potentially put more power in the hands of government officials, give them more access than they already have to homes, that kind of thing ...

Someone (I can't remember where) mentioned that whereas this declaration is non-binding in the other nations where it's been passed, it would somehow be more binding in the U.S. because of the way our laws are set up regarding treaties ... does anyone here know more about this? ...
post #25 of 57
Quote:
What scares me more is the "freedom from parents' religion" aspect- how will that affect vaccine exemptions?
I imagine if it is like here and the rest of europe (etc) - You wont need the exceptions any longer.
post #26 of 57
Quote:
But I don't think that's the result of a UN declaration. I think it's cultural/historical differences.
Yes I suppose, this UN declaration could look very different in America. Take the bible for example...and how many religions you get from it!...They all read the same thing, they just took different things from it to mean something different than the other (does that make sense? lol).

Though I would hope if they were thinking of adopting the UN declaration, they would also look to adopt its ideal and style as seen here, say, in europe - rather than fitting it around the way the US currently runs. If they adopted this, they would have to change a lot I think. But if they did not change, yet still adopted this...it could indeed look very different.
post #27 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
I think most children, if given the choice, would be religiously opposed to having needles stuck into their bodies. So if this declaration causes people to really start taking children seriously, I imagine they'd all be refusing vaccination.
Can I play devil's advocate. Why would these children opposose vax at all (despite religion?) and if they do willingly (based upon religion), why would it be because of religion alone?

If older, I could see my children opposing for a variety of reasons, but none for the reason that we are wiccan simply because our faith is regarded in mainstream media as counter-current.
post #28 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by ann_of_loxley View Post
I imagine if it is like here and the rest of europe (etc) - You wont need the exceptions any longer.
You are the only country that has them... the rest of us have vaccines as "recommended" not "required".
post #29 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heket View Post
Can I play devil's advocate. Why would these children opposose vax at all (despite religion?) and if they do willingly (based upon religion), why would it be because of religion alone?
I was making a play-on-words -- basically saying I think all children are "religiously" opposed to pain.
post #30 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ann_of_loxley View Post
Yes I suppose, this UN declaration could look very different in America. Take the bible for example...and how many religions you get from it!...They all read the same thing, they just took different things from it to mean something different than the other (does that make sense? lol).

Though I would hope if they were thinking of adopting the UN declaration, they would also look to adopt its ideal and style as seen here, say, in europe - rather than fitting it around the way the US currently runs. If they adopted this, they would have to change a lot I think. But if they did not change, yet still adopted this...it could indeed look very different.
I think you've hit the nail on the head, Ann! It could be just awful if this declaration got superimposed over all the heavy-handed practices/attitudes that are currently in place here -- but it could be just wonderful if our government rooted out all the heavy-handedness and just focused on encouraging and supporting families in the way this declaration advises.

Hmmm ... am I being pessimistic when I worry that the former seems more likely to happen here? ... It seems that whenever I get to hear what the "general public" thinks about issues like parents not vaccinating, pregnant mothers choosing not to see a doctor and/or to birth at home with just friends and family, or homeschooling parents choosing not to follow a "state-approved curriculum" ...

Well, what's scary to me is I think the "general public" would view someone like me as an "unfit mother" and might see it as "in my children's best interests" for someone else to step in and take over my decision-making power. Would you say that the general public in Great Britain and Europe tends to be less judmental of parents who diverge from the norm?
post #31 of 57
Quote:
Would you say that the general public in Great Britain and Europe tends to be less judmental of parents who diverge from the norm?
Thats a tough question there!...hehe
Individually...I think they can be just as judgmental. (What? You don't vaccinate! Thats neglect and being inconsiderate of others - what if my kid gets measles because you didn't vaccinate! Eww...you still breastfeed your three year old? Thats sexual abuse! What you practice EC? - Thats forcing potty training! Eh - You want to home educate? Your child will not learn how to socialise! You don't punish? Your child is just manipulative and you are just permissive!... The list goes on, I have got all of these replies and more!)

As a whole country though...I would like to say they are more 'accepting'...of course, behind closed doors with a cuppa and some mates, theres all the gossip where all the judgment lies. But as a whole, out in the open, people tend to keep things to themselves and I think they plan on keeping it that way.

If it all goes tits up...You can move here with me - We can start that commune of mine I have been planning hehe
post #32 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ann_of_loxley View Post
If it all goes tits up...You can move here with me - We can start that commune of mine I have been planning hehe
Sounds like a good backup plan, LOL.
post #33 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
I'm not PreggieUBA2C, but I am unschooling in Canada and there has been absolutely no threat to our unschooling. If anything there is more choice nowadays, including in some instances governmental financial support of unschooling, than there ever has been.

I agree too with Ann_of_loxley that overall we seem to have more choice and more freedom than those of you in the US -- despite the lack of rhetoric about freedom. Perhaps it's that we focus on "freedom from ..." and not just "freedom to ..." But I don't think that's the result of a UN declaration. I think it's cultural/historical differences.

Miranda
Exactly. Look at how easy it is to get a vaccine exemption here, and not every province "requires" vaccination, and the ones that do only "require" a couple.
post #34 of 57
There have definitely been changes in Canada, but so far, none that impede my role as mother any more than would have been previously.

The most visible changes are in the courts (change to Youth Criminal Justice Act from Young Offender Act in 2005) which has affected my dh's job (he works in this field, which is really the only way I would have known about the changes) mostly in how youth are treated, and overall, it has been a very positive change, although it has placed a lot more stress on the administrators of the law such as youth workers and police because there is much more leeway given to offenders. I personally see little to no value in a punitive system for the purpose of creating/maintaining an ethical/moral society, but that's why I don't participate in it, at either end.

The other very visible change has been in public school curricula, more specifically in Ontario and BC; there is a lot more attention to cultural diversity and mutual respect, which is great, but also a lot of responsibility placed on teachers that I don't think belongs to them, such as teaching morality and ethical practice. In theory, it may seem like a good idea, but in the way these ideas are taught, and the unreasonable requirements of teachers to carry this out have probably both contributed to widespread over-diagnosis of adhd, add, etc...

My concern is like that of others; it is the interpretation of this declaration that will show it to be either beneficial or detrimental, and I expect it will be a big mix of both.
post #35 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post

Well, what's scary to me is I think the "general public" would view someone like me as an "unfit mother" and might see it as "in my children's best interests" for someone else to step in and take over my decision-making power.
This is how I feel. Is it really about the rights of the child? If so, if someone thought I was an "unfit mother" would they ask my son how he feels or would they decide for themselves "what is best for him"? But the truth is it's not about the child. It's about government being able to use that excuse as a way of taking away parental rights to favor the state. Like the PP said, it's all about interpretation. And because it's intrepretted one way now doesn't mean that interpretation can't or won't change.

Keep in mind that our U.S. Constitution already ensures our rights as human beings and free from government control. It already covers all the UN covers and then some (like the right to protect oneselves against a government run rampant). Our government, their ignorance of our current law and their unlimited power are the problems we need to fix. We have all the laws and solutions we need in our current Constitution which we allow our government to ignore. No amount of additional beaurocracy will ensure us anything.

Why don't the U.S. government try following OUR OWN CONSTITUTION first without adding more (foreign) government to it.

"History convinces me that most bad government is the result of too much government." - Thomas Jefferson

post #36 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbitmum View Post
Obama has called the US failure to ratify the convention "embarrassing", no one I have ever spoken to in Norway finds it anything short of shocking.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convent...s_of_the_Child
I read through the Wikipedia link and thought this was notable:

"The U.S. Constitution not only limits federal jurisdiction over children, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that to some significant degree, no government—federal, state, or local—may interfere with the parent-child relationship.[26][27]." (Bolded by me)

Further:

"The Heritage Foundation sees the conflict as an issue of national control over domestic policy: "Although not originally promoted as an entity that would become involved in actively seeking to shape member states’ domes*tic policies, the U.N. has become increasingly intrusive in these arenas."[28] They express concern about "sovereign jurisdiction over domes*tic policymaking and preserving the freedom of American civil society",[29] and argue that the actual practice of some UN Committees has been to review national policies that are unrelated, or are marginally related to the actual language of the Convention.[30] Some supporters of homeschooling have expressed concern that the Convention will subvert the authority of parents.[31]"


I would agree with those who oppose the UN's Convention on the above grounds.
post #37 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
Yes, I guess the question is whether the passage of this declaration could potentially put more power in the hands of government officials, give them more access than they already have to homes, that kind of thing ...

Someone (I can't remember where) mentioned that whereas this declaration is non-binding in the other nations where it's been passed, it would somehow be more binding in the U.S. because of the way our laws are set up regarding treaties ... does anyone here know more about this? ...
From another homeschool list I am on, someone forwarded an e-mail from Michael Smith, HSLDA's President. Here's the part that addresses your concern:


"Should the UN Convention be ratified, it would impose the United
Nation's view of children's rights on America. Under the U.S.
Constitution, treaties become the Supreme Law of the land, taking
precedent over state laws and state supreme court decisions."


That's what I read anyhow, don't know how accurate it is.
post #38 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenthumb3 View Post
I read through the Wikipedia link and thought this was notable:

"The U.S. Constitution not only limits federal jurisdiction over children, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that to some significant degree, no government—federal, state, or local—may interfere with the parent-child relationship.[26][27]." (Bolded by me)

Further:

"The Heritage Foundation sees the conflict as an issue of national control over domestic policy: "Although not originally promoted as an entity that would become involved in actively seeking to shape member states’ domes*tic policies, the U.N. has become increasingly intrusive in these arenas."[28] They express concern about "sovereign jurisdiction over domes*tic policymaking and preserving the freedom of American civil society",[29] and argue that the actual practice of some UN Committees has been to review national policies that are unrelated, or are marginally related to the actual language of the Convention.[30] Some supporters of homeschooling have expressed concern that the Convention will subvert the authority of parents.[31]"


I would agree with those who oppose the UN's Convention on the above grounds.
Both these paragraphs are taken from the section about the arguments of those who oppose the Convention, and must not be taken as objective facts, but rather as expressing the fears of specific groups.

As for the US constitution already providing sufficient protection I can't see how that can be true when children lack protection from violence and eight year olds can be put in jail.

I'm crossing my fingers that Obama will do something about this!
post #39 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenthumb3 View Post
"Should the UN Convention be ratified, it would impose the United
Nation's view of children's rights on America. Under the U.S.
Constitution, treaties become the Supreme Law of the land, taking
precedent over state laws and state supreme court decisions."

In Norway the UN Constitution of the Rights of the Child has been incorporated in Norwegian law since 2003 (it was ratified in 1991). We still have the right to homescool, we can still choose not to vaccinate, we still have the right to homebirth (in fact the royal princess Märtha Louise has recently done so for the third time), and none of these rights have been challenged in any way.


The Constitution of the Rights of the Child wasn't made for the sake of government, but to give children extra protection in addition to the protection that they already have through the Human Rights Declaration - extra protection that they need because they are smaller, and more vulnerable than grown-ups, and in many areas have specific needs due to being immature and still developing.
post #40 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbitmum View Post
Both these paragraphs are taken from the section about the arguments of those who oppose the Convention, and must not be taken as objective facts, but rather as expressing the fears of specific groups.
Yes, you are correct, they are opinions from those who oppose the Convention, and yes, I still agree with those two viewpoints.

Yes, there are injustices happening in America and no, the way the government works is not problem-free, but it is a framework that allows change to happen. I see no need to adopt another organization's framework to impose their will on us. But that's just me, your typical freedom lovin' American parent.

I would rather work within the U.S. Constitution and the way our government currently works and improve within the structure we have in place than try to reinvent the wheel, and introduce the possibility of losing some freedoms.
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