UN Convention on the Rights of a Child

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Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D.



By: Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D.

Fort Fairfield Journal, April 8, 2009

Back in 1995, coming up on 15 years ago, the United States joined on and signed the United Nations convention on the rights of the child.

I remember reading through it and saying, “Oh my gosh!” The UN wants to actually step in and force parents to let their children watch television or to force them to do all sorts of other things that many parents consider as inappropriate. The UN Convention on the Rights of a Child is basically a treaty. It’s a document that all other countries except the United States and Somalia have put into effect in their own nations. It does a lot of things but raises, really, the rights of the child to be equal to—if not higher than the rights of the parents. It sounds great on its face, but when you get into some of its terminology, you realize the implications of it. In some of the countries where it’s been implemented, it has had very negative effects on parental rights.

Now when you think of the term respect, one of the places you definitely need it is in your home and one of the groups you need to have it from is your own children. If you start looking closely at the UN convention on the rights of a child, it really becomes quite the recipe for some open defiance on the part of children, especially if they figure out that they have these “rights” under international law that would enable them to say to their parents “we’re going to be doing things our way around here because we’re the ones with the power, the control and the rights. Talk about a recipe for downright insubordination!

I’m certainly not one to believe in parental authority with an iron fist; I think that there should certainly be open communication and mutual respect between parents and children, but I’m not comfortable with this treaty at all.

While President Clinton signed the treaty, the Senate failed to ratify it into law. But now, it looks like there may be some movement forward on that front under the Obama administration.





This editorial was transcribed and adapted for print from a recent Katherine Albrecht radio program, by David Deschesne, with her permission.  Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D. is a syndicated radio talk show host on the Genesis Communication Network. Listen to her program live daily, or download her podcast for listening at any time at www.gcnlive.com Katherine’s website is:  www.katherinealbrecht.com