Friday, January 14, 2011

The Rights of the Child - Part I

Still trying to figure out why some homeschoolers are horrified at the idea of Children's Rights.


Article 1
For the purposes of the present Convention, a child means every human being below the age of eighteen years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier.

Nothing to object to here we already consider those below the age of 18 to be children in the United States.


Article 2
1. States Parties shall respect and ensure the rights set forth in the present Convention to each child within their jurisdiction without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child's or his or her parent's or legal guardian's race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status.
2. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that the child is protected against all forms of discrimination or punishment on the basis of the status, activities, expressed opinions, or beliefs of the child's parents, legal guardians, or family members.
So it would be unlawful to discriminate against a child. What is wrong with this?


Article 3
1. In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.
2. States Parties undertake to ensure the child such protection and care as is necessary for his or her well-being, taking into account the rights and duties of his or her parents, legal guardians, or other individuals legally responsible for him or her, and, to this end, shall take all appropriate legislative and administrative measures.
3. States Parties shall ensure that the institutions, services and facilities responsible for the care or protection of children shall conform with the standards established by competent authorities, particularly in the areas of safety, health, in the number and suitability of their staff, as well as competent supervision.

So daycares, schools and other institutions that serve children would have to conform to certain standards. Wouldn't this be a good thing? Isn't this what most parents in the United States want?


Moreover, the majority of parents logically assume that standards are in place in child care programs to ensure that children are safe. Parents overwhelmingly think that caregivers are trained in child development and safety and undergo a background check, and that child care programs are inspected. This is simply not true in too many states.


Article 4
States Parties shall undertake all appropriate legislative, administrative, and other measures for the implementation of the rights recognized in the present Convention. With regard to economic, social and cultural rights, States Parties shall undertake such measures to the maximum extent of their available resources and, where needed, within the framework of international co-operation.
Article 5
States Parties shall respect the responsibilities, rights and duties of parents or, where applicable, the members of the extended family or community as provided for by local custom, legal guardians or other persons legally responsible for the child, to provide, in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child, appropriate direction and guidance in the exercise by the child of the rights recognized in the present Convention.

Parentental Rights are RESPECTED!!!!! Isn't this what the homeschoolers who are objecting to the treaty want?

Article 6
1. States Parties recognize that every child has the inherent right to life.
2. States Parties shall ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child.

Now why would HSLDA be objecting to children having the right to life?

Article 7
1. The child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and. as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents.
2. States Parties shall ensure the implementation of these rights in accordance with their national law and their obligations under the relevant international instruments in this field, in particular where the child would otherwise be stateless.

We are already required to get birth certificates and social security cards for our children at birth. This is not a new requirement. It also states that children have the right to be raised by their birth parents when possible. What is wrong with this?

Article 8
1. States Parties undertake to respect the right of the child to preserve his or her identity, including nationality, name and family relations as recognized by law without unlawful interference.
2. Where a child is illegally deprived of some or all of the elements of his or her identity, States Parties shall provide appropriate assistance and protection, with a view to re-establishing speedily his or her identity.

Why would HSLDA object to this?

Article 9
1. States Parties shall ensure that a child shall not be separated from his or her parents against their will, except 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. Such determination may be necessary in a particular case such as one involving abuse or neglect of the child by the parents, or one where the parents are living separately and a decision must be made as to the child's place of residence.
2. In any proceedings pursuant to paragraph 1 of the present article, all interested parties shall be given an opportunity to participate in the proceedings and make their views known.
3. States Parties shall respect the right of the child who is separated from one or both parents to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis, except if it is contrary to the child's best interests.
4. Where such separation results from any action initiated by a State Party, such as the detention, imprisonment, exile, deportation or death (including death arising from any cause while the person is in the custody of the State) of one or both parents or of the child, that State Party shall, upon request, provide the parents, the child or, if appropriate, another member of the family with the essential information concerning the whereabouts of the absent member(s) of the family unless the provision of the information would be detrimental to the well-being of the child. States Parties shall further ensure that the submission of such a request shall of itself entail no adverse consequences for the person(s) concerned.

Again this is nothing new. Children are granted the right to be raised by their birth parents unless their parents are abusing or neglecting them. We already have these laws. This isn't something new.

And in the case of divorce the child has the right to maintain a relationship with both parents. Isn't this a good thing?

Article 10
1. In accordance with the obligation of States Parties under article 9, paragraph 1, applications by a child or his or her parents to enter or leave a State Party for the purpose of family reunification shall be dealt with by States Parties in a positive, humane and expeditious manner. States Parties shall further ensure that the submission of such a request shall entail no adverse consequences for the applicants and for the members of their family.
2. A child whose parents reside in different States shall have the right to maintain on a regular basis, save in exceptional circumstances personal relations and direct contacts with both parents. Towards that end and in accordance with the obligation of States Parties under article 9, paragraph 1, States Parties shall respect the right of the child and his or her parents to leave any country, including their own, and to enter their own country. The right to leave any country shall be subject only to such restrictions as are prescribed by law and which are necessary to protect the national security, public order (ordre public), public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others and are consistent with the other rights recognized in the present Convention

And article 10 is about reuniting families and keeping them together. What does HSLDA find objectionable about this. Children belong with their parents. We should encourage laws that promote the reuniting of families.

I'll pick up with article 11 in my next post.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Carnival of Homeschooling

I will be hosting the Carnival of Homeschooling  January 18th and would love for my readers to submit  a post. Thank you in advance, ~Alasandra

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fables Versus Reality

Why Dave, Andy and Georgia aren't real scientist?

Why Do Some Homeschoolers Object to Children's Rights?

For some reason many homeschoolers (both the HSLDA & NHELD) appear to be opposed to the U.N. Convention on the Rights of The Child.  I took the time to read the treaty for myself and fail to see why they are opposed to it. Nothing in the treaty is hostile to homeschooling and the treaty is very respectful of the bond between parents and their children. You can read the treaty for yourself  here.

HSLDA is using the fact that Sweden has banned homeschooling to denounce the UN Rights of the Child.  But even a lawyer with HSLDA admits it is Swedish law that is at fault.

Sweden's laws, according to Mike Donnelly, a lawyer with the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, are even contrary to the European Convention, which states that families have the right to school within their own religious and philosophical convictions.

Many homeschoolers apparently fear that if the United States ratifies the treaty homeschooling will be abolished. But since homeschooling is legal in the United States in all 50 states this is nonsense.

"No U.N. treaty will ever usurp the national sovereignty of this country," said Meg Gardinier, chair of a national coalition backing the treaty. "Ratification would boost our credibility globally."

According to Jonathan Todres "The reality is that no country that is a party to the convention has seen parental rights encroached," said Jonathan Todres, a law professor at Georgia State University who has worked with Gardinier's coalition.

Todres also noted that while U.N.'s expert committee monitoring the treaty can make recommendations to governments that have ratified the pact, there are no enforcement mechanisms or penalties

So why does HSLDA & NHELD object to children's basic rights — including education, health care and protection from abuse —? Why in a country that was founded on the ideal of individual rights do they wish to deny that children have rights.

From The Declaration of Independence ~ We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. —

The only other country that hasn't ratified the treaty is Somalia.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

National Home Education Legal Defense Opposed to Parental Rights Amendment

NHELD is opposed to the Parental Rights Amendment HSLDA is pushing, you can read why here.

Warning to parents:  A Constitutional amendment purporting to protect the rights of parents actually could erode the rights of parents even further.

At the behest of another homeschool organization (HSLDA), Congressman Pete Hoekstra of Michigan, once again, has introduced a bill that would amend the United States Constitution, ostensibly to protect the right of parents.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Why are Fundamentalist Christians Opposed to Children Having Rights?

A Fundamentalist Homeschooling Mom who believes those evil secular humanist are out to take her children away from her used these court cases to try to prove that Christians are being persecuted.

Home-schooler ordered to attend public school
In this instance the girls FATHER had requested that she be sent to public school. Unfortunately when parents disagree about the best educational choice for their child a Judge gets to choose. I do find this troubling

In the New Hampshire case, the court ruled that extreme religiosity by itself constitutes grounds on which to rule against a parent's wishes.


We are suppose to enjoy religious freedom in America. But considering the child said this.

The ruling also said Amanda told a counselor she was distressed by her father's refusal to accept her religious beliefs and that "his choice to spend eternity away from her proves that he does not love her as much as he says he does."

I totally understand the ruling. It seems that in Amanda's view accepting her religious beliefs doesn't mean accepting her right to believe them but forcing the Father to believe them too.Certainly the Mother needs to be prevented from brainwashing the child into believing her Father doesn't love her just because his religious views differ from the Mothers. And keep in mind the court was INVITED to intervene by the parents in the custody dispute.

Judge Grants Asylum to German Home Schoolers
Homeschooling is ILLEGAL in Germany.

The reasoning behind the German law, cited by officials and in court cases, is to foster social integration, ensure exposure to people from different backgrounds and prevent what some call “parallel societies.”

“We have had this legal basis ever since the state was founded,” said Thomas Hilsenbeck, a spokesman for the Ministry for Culture, Youth and Sport in the Romeikes’ state, Baden-W├╝rttemberg. “This is broadly accepted among the general public.”

The family was breaking the laws of Germany. This does not show that Christians are being persecuted. It also shows that our homeschool freedoms are safe in America where homeschooling is legal in all 50 states.


In a harshly worded decision, the judge, Lawrence O. Burman, denounced the German policy, calling it “utterly repellent to everything we believe as Americans,” and expressed shock at the heavy fines and other penalties the government has levied on home-schooling parents, including taking custody of their children.

As for the The United Nations Convention On The Rights Of The Child one can only wonder what Fundamentalist Christians find objectionable.

Article 6
1. States Parties recognize that every child has the inherent right to life.
2. States Parties shall ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child.
Article 7
1. The child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and. as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents.
Article 9
1. States Parties shall ensure that a child shall not be separated from his or her parents against their will, except 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. Such determination may be necessary in a particular case such as one involving abuse or neglect of the child by the parents, or one where the parents are living separately and a decision must be made as to the child's place of residence.
2. In any proceedings pursuant to paragraph 1 of the present article, all interested parties shall be given an opportunity to participate in the proceedings and make their views known.
3. States Parties shall respect the right of the child who is separated from one or both parents to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis, except if it is contrary to the child's best interests.
Article 12
1. States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.
2. For this purpose, the child shall in particular be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting the child, either directly, or through a representative or an appropriate body, in a manner consistent with the procedural rules of national law.
Article 13
1. The child shall have the right to 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.
2. The exercise of this right may be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:
(a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others; or
(b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals.
Article 14
1. States Parties shall respect the right of the child to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
2. States Parties shall respect the rights and duties of the parents and, when applicable, legal guardians, to provide direction to the child in the exercise of his or her right in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child.
3. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health or morals, or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.


Sunday, January 09, 2011

Religious Right Screaming Persecution Again

The Religious Right are screaming persecution again The Third Wave of Homeschool Persecution. Please people get a grip. There are secular humanist that homeschool, they treasure their homeschool freedoms as much as you do. Accusing a group of people of persecuting you because your religious views differ is idiotic and counter productive.

Homeschool Groups & Resources for Secular, Agnostic, Secular Humanist, & Atheist
Homeschooling Freethinkers! 
Atheist Homeschool
Freethinking Unschoolers
Homeschool Atheist
Global Village School