Posted by: admin on June 24th, 2008Tag(s):
Part I of an In-depth Look at Article 18 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
During our series on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, most of the articles we have considered have focused on the relationship between the state and the child. Article 18 is therefore unique in its emphasis on the responsibilities of parents, and the supervised relationship that these parents have with the state.
Article 18 is also one of the more complex articles in the Convention, divided into three sections that address distinct facets of the relationship between parents and the state. This week, we will focus on the first section, which says that “States Parties shall use their best efforts to ensure recognition of the principle that both parents have common responsibilities for the upbringing and development of the child,” and that parents are primarily responsible for their children. As parents, “the best interests of the child will be their basic concern.”
The danger of Article 18 is that it places an enforceable responsibility upon parents to make child-rearing decisions based on the “best interests of the child,” subjecting parental decisions to second-guessing at the discretion of government agents.
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If this Article 18 is put into place by the UN Convention, children will be on the same plane as co-autonomous persons in their relationship with the state and that under the Convention, it is the state that is ultimately responsible for the fate of its children, and has authority to supervise its parents. So in the best interest of the children we as parents are subject to the government and what they think is best. I wonder how that will affect separation of church and state? Shouldn't children and state have that same separation until they are able to actually contribute to society? This was rejected by the US because it is contrary to its heritage of freedom to raise our children apart from government control but still pressed forward despite the US objections. The wording is some what grey but the underlying message is clear. Some thing is fishy and there needs to be more done to protect the rights of parents.
So if you read the article please give me some input!