Guest Post: Don’t Let the United Nations Dictate How We Raise Our Kids

Hi Folks! This provocative piece on a topic I hadn’t encountered before comes to us from Elizabeth Ely. She blogs at Kitchen Sink Included, where she tells stories, preserves memories, and shares opinions that she simply can’t keep to herself. Like this one! – L.
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KEEP THE U.N. OUT OF PARENTING by Elizabeth Ely
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Why should Free-Range parents have any interest in a United Nations Convention treaty currently up for ratification before the U.S. Senate?  I’ll give you a short answer:  Because the treaty would make government, rather than parents, the ultimate authority on what constitute the “best interests” of a child.  This means that if government bureaucrats feel your parenting choices are out of line with their idea of what is appropriate, you could lose guardianship of your child.
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Let me expound on that just a bit.  First of all, the treaty is called the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  Proponents are claiming that the treaty is necessary to protect the rights of disabled Americans travelling abroad. In reality, it does not provide any protection that is not already available to disabled Americans under current laws. What it does do, is place U.N. bureaucrats in charge of determining the best interests of disabled Americans, giving those bureaucrats the authority to tell us how such people must be treated.
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But that isn’t even the part that should disturb a Free-Range parent.  What should disturb them is the provision in this treaty that states that if your child is disabled, the U.N. will tell you how to raise him (or, of course, her):  How he must be educated, what type of accommodations you must make for him in your home, what type of therapy you must provide, and how you are allowed to discipline…all this will be decided not by you, the parent, but by a committee of concerned U.N. personnel. This is even more troubling when one realizes that “disabled” is not defined in the treaty.  Is a child on Ritalin disabled?  What about bed-wetters?  Stutterers?  Introverts?  Imagine a world where the government could define practically anyone as “disabled,” and then tell that person’s parents how to raise their son or daughter.
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That is what this treaty gives us.
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Closely related is the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, which will also be coming up before the Senate for ratification soon, and which simply states that ALL children should be raised as the government thinks best.
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If you are concerned about what this would do to the rights of American parents to raise their children as they think best, please call your senators today and encourage them to vote against ratification of this treaty. The simple truth is, it doesn’t protect disabled Americans.  Our own laws do that.  What it does do is give up American sovereignty to the U.N., and threaten the right of American parents.
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Here is a list of how to contact your local senator.  The Senate votes on this tomorrow. – E.E.
International parenting regulations. A good thing?
UPDATE: Reading the comments makes me see that this post possibly reflects a larger movement which distrusts the U.N., period.  Personally, I do not distrust the U.N. But here at Free-Range Kids I’ve watched a lot of well-meaning rules passed by other bodies intrude on parental discretion. For instance, the desire to save children from dying in cars (a noble intent) has led to laws in several states that criminalize parents who believe their kids can be safely left in the car for a few minutes. So I ran today’s post, thinking about how sometimes the best intentions — and who doesn’t want to treat the disabled fairly? — can lead to unintended consequences. – L.

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