The Convention on the Rights of the Child

The Making of a Deception
by Robert Karolis


The first National Conference on children's rights was held in London on March 11-12, 1972. It was jointly sponsored by the National Council for Civil Liberties and the London Co-operative Society's Education Department. The Conference was an effort on the part of organizers to promote the controversial concept that children should have rights of their own as opposed to the traditional right to be protected by parents and adults.

A report of that conference entitled 'Rights of Children' was published by the National Council for Civil Liberties. The following bizarre statements are taken from that report:

"Professor Green advocates that children should be allowed to choose their own home and school, and when asked by a member of the audience when children should be allowed to vote with their feet, he said As soon as they can walk!'

"You may say that such a choice is unrealistic, that our social system would collapse if children were allowed to opt between alternative households. All I can say is that if the present lunatic system manages to survive with a monumental toll on human suffering then any system can be made to work."...

"Am I, then, advocating that children should be allowed to choose the adults with whom to spend their domestic lives? Well, I won't pussy-foot around the issue. Yes, in principle, I am putting forward precisely that proposal."

These are sentiments that few people would have imagined they'd ever hear expressed by a sane human being. Whatever the professor's motives may be, he was certainly not out to win a popularity contest amongst parents. The thought of such a proposal becoming law would strike fear into the hearts of all responsible people.

Is it mere coincidence then that this attack on the heart of parental authority is reflected in Articles 6 and 10 of the draft Convention on the Rights of the Child, presented by communist Poland to the United Nations in 1979—the same draft that provided the basis for today's final product?

Article 6: The parents shall have the right to specify the place of the child's residence unless, guided by his best interests, a competent state organ is authorized, in accordance with national law, to decide in this matter.

Article 10: A child of preschool age shall not be separated from his parents with the exception for cases when such separation is necessary for the child's benefit.

A Child's 'Best Interests'!...?

Here we see, with less deception than in the final draft, the proposal that children be given the right to live other than at home with their parents. The basis for this right is nothing more than an arbitrary decision by a state organ that it is in a child's 'best interests'.

It should be highlighted here that the term 'best interests', along with other motherly terms like well-being' and 'morals' are just three of many terms used deceptively in the Convention today. They are used no less than fifteen times in the final draft, but try and find a meaning or definition of any of them within the pages of the Convention and you'll waste your time.

Why? Because the United Nations is using, to its advantage, the fact that these terms mean different things to different people. Most people will tend to relate them to traditional values and cultural norms but, once we know the humanist traditions of the United Nations, we know that is not what they mean.

In humanist terms 'best interests' has a very different meaning. The authorities won't admit what it is but children's liberationists will.

Richard Farson, children's rights advocate and guru amongst liberationists, like Professor Green, believes in getting to the point. In 1974, in his book 'Birthrights' he outlined fundamental rights that he believes all children should have. But before I list them, they need to be seen in light of the liberationists' attitude towards the concept of childhood itself.

Children: An "Invention"!

The following quotes are from 'Birthrights'.

'Children did not always exist; they were invented. The idea of childhood is a European invention of the sixteenth century. Before the latter part of the Middle Ages there simply was no concept of childhood. "...

Today we look at these little people around us and think we know what they are. '...

"We have named these little people 'children' and have come to regard them as special But childhood is not a natural state. It is a myth.'...

"Children became important as a result of the profound changes to our civilization surrounding the Reformation and Renaissance. It is not the new humanists, but the new moralists, mainly Jesuits, who came to see children as `fragile children of God who need to be both safeguarded and reformed'."...

"Whatever else may be wrong with a child, his fundamental disability is that he is a child. In comparison to the overwhelming problems of being a child, almost everything else is less important. His behavior, his relations with others, his chance for happiness, all are determined for the most part by the socially-imposed limits of being a child. So whether we are interested in curing a child's `pathological' problem of hyperactivity or delinquency, or in achieving a child's higher potential for creativity or genius, the major barrier to overcome is the oppressive condition of childhood itself,"

These statements speak for themselves. According to Farson, as indeed according to the whole liberation movement, the best interests of the "little people" can only be achieved by removing from them the "oppressive condition" of adult-imposed childhood.

That means giving children freedom in the home and in society to do whatever adults have the right to do. This is the unstated meaning of the term 'best interests' and the unstated bottom line of the Convention.

Though Farson's arguments for the abolition of childhood will be seen by nearly everybody as preposterous it should be realized that they are in accord with humanist philosophy and therefore in perfect harmony with the basic beliefs of all Australians who have fully embraced a humanist lifestyle.

The tragic irony of this is that most people don't realize it. In the same way they didn't realize it when manipulative forces were at work socializing Australia into discarding traditional male and female roles; into accepting and legitimizing prostitution, homosexuality, pornography, blasphemy, nudity, abortion, adultery etc. All these things, though abhorrent and considered evil in the past, are now, dare it be said, a natural part of the Australian way of life. Once intellectualized as 'liberation', and then legitimized in the name of International Human Rights, Australians took to these changes like ducks take to water because the changes were, long before they ever realized it, in perfect accord with their taught humanist beliefs.

And, so too will they take to the abolition of childhood, complete with all its consequences.

The task of the liberation/rights 'revolution' is, figuratively speaking, to entice them into the water gradually, lest they take fright, and in their flight, realize that they are not really ducks at all.

Child Protection or Child Rights?

It is to this purpose that the Convention is presented deceptively—as a humanitarian document—a treaty for the protection of children. This is a simple but very effective misrepresentation. The Convention is not, even on the surface, about the protection of children, but about protection of 'so called' children's rights.

The difference between the two concepts can be compared to the difference between chalk and cheese, and yet, they are frequently intermingled to convey the impression that they mean the same thing.

The protection of children is, and has been traditionally, the duty and responsibility of parents and adults. It is this tradition that liberationists and rights advocates say is responsible for the 'oppression, abuse and exploitation' of children.

Thus they argue the need for children to have completely independent rights of their own; rights protected by law; rights that must, in the 'best interests' of the child, provide the child with the knowledge, experience and legal support to protect itself.

What Then, Are These Rights?

In essence, they are simply those conditions that advocates believe will bring about equality between parent and child; adult and child. In other words, conditions that will destroy the authority of parents and adults. It is because the public is not yet ready to embrace the prospect of this reality that the rights within the Convention are cloaked in a web of deception. To see these rights in their original form we will look once more to the shameless liberationists and Farson's ten point plan for the abolition of childhood.

The following paraphrased version of Farson's 'Bill of Rights' is taken from Elise Boulding's book Children's Rights and the Wheel of Life.

It must be said that all these rights have representation in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

1. THE RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION. Children should have the right to decide the matters that affect them. This is the basic right upon which all others depend.

[Farson says "Children would, for example, have the right to exercise self-determination in decisions about eating, sleeping, playing, listening, reading, washing and dressing. They would have the right to choose their associates, the opportunity to decide what life's goals they wish to pursue, and the freedom to engage in whatever activities are permissible for adults.]

2. THE RIGHT TO ALTERNATIVE HOME ENVIRONMENTS. Self-determining children should be able to choose from among a variety of arrangements: residences operated by children, child exchange programs, twenty-four-hour child-care centres, and various kinds of school and employment opportunities.

3. THE RIGHT TO RESPONSIVE DESIGN. Society must accommodate itself to children's size and to their need for safe space. To keep them in their place, we now force children to cope with a world that is either not built to fit them or is actually designed against them.

4. THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION. A child must have the right to all information ordinarily available to adults—including and perhaps especially, information that makes adults uncomfortable.

5. THE RIGHT TO EDUCATE ONESELF. Children should be free to design their own education, choosing from among many options the kinds of learning experiences they want, including the option not to attend any kind of school.

6. THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM FROM PHYSICAL PUNISHMENT. Children should live free of physical threat from those who are larger and more powerful than they.

7. THE RIGHT TO SEXUAL FREEDOM. Children should have the right to conduct their sexual lives with no more restriction than adults. Sexual freedom for children must include the right to information about sex; the right to non-sexist education, and the right to all sexual activities that are legal among consenting adults.

8. THE RIGHT TO ECONOMIC POWER. Children should have the right to work, to acquire and manage money, to receive equal pay for equal work, to choose trade apprenticeship as an alternative to school, to gain promotion to leadership positions, to own property, to develop a credit record, to enter into binding contracts, to engage in enterprise, to obtain guaranteed support apart from the family, to achieve financial independence.

9. THE RIGHT TO POLITICAL POWER. Children should have the right to vote and be included in the decision-making process.

10. THE RIGHT TO JUSTICE. Children must have a guarantee of a fair trial with the due process of law, an advocate to protect their rights against the parents as well as the system, and a uniform standard of detention.

It would be fair comment to say that, were we to have any choice about it, few Australians would put the best interests of their children in the care of people who think like Farson. Unfortunately, once the Convention is ratified none of us will have any choice about it whatsoever. A vast Australian bureaucracy will then, in accordance with international law and provisions within the Convention, set about systematically replacing the traditional concept of childhood with the humanist concept of 'equality'. The legal ground work for this has already been laid. right2.htm

.../Next Page

.../Back to Index