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Forums > Social Discussion > US clash over childrens rights proposal

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Mynci
BRONZE Member since Apr 2005

Mynci

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Total posts: 8737
Posted:Link to article

Quote: "If the American public is informed on this, there's no chance it will be ratified," said Michael Farris, a conservative lawyer who founded the Home School Legal Defense Association and helped draft the parental rights amendment.

Farris recently wrote a detailed critique of the Rights of the Child treaty, contending that it potentially could bar U.S. parents from spanking their children and empower young people to have abortions and choose a religion without parental consent. Even if the treaty did not overrule the U.S. Constitution, Farris contends, it would trump all forms of state law.


I have just been reading the above article and the quote is directly from it. It seems abhorrent to me that a world leading superpower would struggle against something that may help protect children.


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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Mother_Natures_Son
SILVER Member since Aug 2007

Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!

Total posts: 2418
Posted:Excuse me if I'm a little uninformed here, I've not had time to read the article, just the quote and a skim of the article but. ..

Of the examples stated above there are three things brought up, I agree with one, disagree with one and partially agree with another.

I agree with children being able to choose a religion of their own, I partially agree on the abortion component, but I don't believe they should be able to do so without parental knowledge unless theres some sort of real issue with them knowing in which case it would have to be especially cleared by a psych of some description.

And by my statements its clear the point I disagree with is removing the ability to spank ones child.

I'm not saying that you should be allowed to beat your child with crowbars, whips and chains, not even a closed fist. An open palm should be available as a last resort.

I know I was spanked as a last resort by both of my parents at different times and there is no end to my love and respect for them. I think I've grown up reasonably well adjusted and as a teacher I can say I believe that some children really would be well out of control without such measures.

Not to say that in these cases I know whether or not they have been spanked and also not to say that I believe teachers should be able to use these measures.

These measures should be available as a last resort disciplinary measures for ones own child


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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

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Posted:i havent looked at the article at all but just from the quote i can see why it should be stopped.

children are exactly that, children. the quote makes it sound like the law/bill/amendment/thing is giving rights to clear thinking responsible adults, which children of course are not. quite simply children are not always the most knowledgeable people to make rational decisions with full understanding of the implacations and that is why parents are already legally responsible for their children. parental involvement and guidence is crucial in protecting their own children and no laws should trump that.


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LMSP
BRONZE Member since Aug 2005

LMSP

veteran
Location: , United Kingdom

Total posts: 1588
Posted:The actual fact is it's there to prevent domination of a child by it's parents, not preventing a parent from parenting, giving the child the rights it deserves, the right to a voice. the spanking issue is a potentiate, the actual proposition is to protect a child from abuse, and provide them rights to things like a complete education, healthcare. it gives the child the right to an opinion. the parents still have the right to discipline, and the state to punish abusive parents.

Saying a child is not a responsible, rational adult isn't saying a child isn't human. to be fair the treaty will do the most good in impoverished areas, the UN will have the power to protect and demand better by national governments (although I wonder how much they can do physically). the US believes the right for a US citizen to spank his or her child, force a minor to give birth to an unwanted child (even one caused by rape) or indoctrinate a child into a religious sect before it is old enough to decide which religion it wants; is more important than the ability for the UN to interceed in cases of child neglect, abuse or slavery in other nations.

it takes no rights from parents, just gives children protection.


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zyonchaos


journeyman
Location: Anglesey, Wales, UK soon to be...

Total posts: 77
Posted:Im with MSN on this one the right to smack a child (not in temper) as a punishment shouldnt be taken away it is an option of last resort for parents, I was smacked I grew up fine, my two boys get smacked when they do something severe. I dont see the problem with that, if you are beating the hell out of your kids then yes I see a problem with that.

I was never christened or baptised or whatever it is you do with the water, my parents left my religion up to me to decide, so I will never argue with a childs right to choose religion. As for abortion there are times when a child does not want parents to know, abuse, rape or just plain stupidity. But there should be some kind of adult influence just not neccessarily a parent.
We have seen what has happened in the UK with the gradual erosions of discipline, first teachers were stopped from handing out punishment, then the police hand their hands tied (i remember getting a smack round the head and told to behave or hed lock me up from a copper in town when I was little because I was giving my mom grief), and slowly but surely parents are being told how to act with their children. Grrrr


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FireTom


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Total posts: 6650
Posted:hmm, one plyground at a time... I can see why the US has problems with a "childrens rights treatey" - they got heavy issues with "the human rights treaty" already (which is now about 50yrs old).

Clearly they are overstrained with that one. wink

Giving children basic rights - generally - is a good thing. Yet I fail to understand why childrens would require a special charter. There is one already in place... This now might have the potential to step in a few potholes, so I ask to read the following with a dash of goodwill and another dash of common sense.

Originally Posted By: UDoHR1. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

So why would children then be "more special" than adults?

Originally Posted By: UDoHR3. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
4. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
5. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.


That seems to cover quite a lot of rights and as I see it there is not a fine, but a clear and destinct line between spanking and (domestic) violence.

Originally Posted By: UDoHR6. Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
7. All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
8. Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Meaning that children already do have rights within this charter - which offers them protection.

Originally Posted By: UDoHR25. (1)Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

"Special care and assistance" - maybe that should be elaborated a bit further, however: again children find mentioning in this charter.

Originally Posted By: UDoHR26.(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

That covers another huge area.

Personally I didn't receive THAT much spanking back then, certainly I didn't like it much when it happened. Yet IF I'd be given the opportunity to sue my mother in case she'd touch me, certainly I would have grown up being a worse child than I've been already.

It's maybe a terrible thing to say, but a(n average) child has not the same access to rationel as an (average) adult.

Parents already do have a great deal of problems setting boundaries - where physical punishment should be "last resort" anyway - I feel that if children would become "untouchable", certainly things would change for the worse.

("YOU WILL BUY ME THIS PSP NOW OR I WILL SUE YOU FOR HARRASSMENT!" with a bunch of lawyers waiting at every cashiers desk!)

I feel the human rights should become standard all over the (western) world and then we should start talking about imposing more regulations ... certainly a charter for the universal rights of animals would not be to the worst of human development either (in no way equating children and animals AT ALL).

However I'd conclude with offering parents more assistance to (successfully) raise their children skillfully without using ANY physical punishment at all (Supernannies galore!!!!!)...

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1243156197)
EDIT_REASON: slight correction in wording


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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

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Posted:Originally Posted By: FireTom Yet I fail to understand why childrens would require a special charter.

"Special care and assistance" - maybe that should be elaborated a bit further, however: again children find mentioning in this charter.

It's maybe a terrible thing to say, but a(n average) child has not the same access to rationel as an (average) adult.

you've answered your own question. children need a special charter because their youth makes them more vulnerable than adults.


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FireTom


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Total posts: 6650
Posted:possible spoiler here...

so maybe my post appears trivial enough for such answer wink

however, children are more fragile and vulnerable. agreed on this one. as they often cannot speak up for themselves, or defend their own rights, they are granted special attention and mentioning within this charter (Article 25/2).

Would you see a line between "protection" and "wild card"?

[edit, after reading the article]

Originally Posted By: NewsvineIts supporters view the treaty as a valuable guidepost for children's basic rights including education, health care and protection from abuse and say its global goals are undermined by the refusal of the world's lone superpower to ratify it.

these issues are adressed in the declaration of human rights already.

Originally Posted By: Newsvine(...)it potentially could bar U.S. parents from spanking their children and empower young people to have abortions and choose a religion without parental consent.(...)

I can see a lot of trouble here, expecially within the US, though it doesn't say anything about forced pregnancies. I'm split over the religion's topic.

Originally Posted By: NewsvineThe treaty "has the potential to be a great tool for parents," Todres said. "It's something the parents could use to say, 'My child has the right to freedom of religion and the state cannot encroach on that. My child has education rights, health care rights, and the state cannot ignore that.'"

I see that already tackled in the human rights decleration as well.

Please don't get me wrong - I'm not anti-children or vigurously pro spanking... I'm not sure whether childrens rights has been improved only because of this treaty - which does not have any ways of getting enforced by anyone - or because people evolve. Not certain whether improvements can be traced back to the treaty itself.

Only that I feel that the human rights charter already covers quite some areas - if anything then childrens rights should be a little more elaborated within this charter. A special charter - as I feel it - is not necessary.

Children are humans - as such they do receive special attention. As do mothers... All humans are born equal - some are a little more equal and that's already been taken care of.

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1243183467)


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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

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Posted:i agree tom, perhaps the "special care and assistance" clause should be elaborated on a bit further.

there is an inherent danger in trying to protect people (children) who are not fully capable by giving them the legal power/rights of someone that is fully capable.


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zyonchaos


journeyman
Location: Anglesey, Wales, UK soon to be...

Total posts: 77
Posted:Holy crap have we all started arguing the same point and ended up agreeing with each other will wonders never cease lol?

There is no need for a special law as Tom already stated the current Human Rights law, just needs clarifying in a lot of places, not just in the case of children and mothers. As there are a lot cases of human rights abuse as there are a lot of cases of human rights law abuse.


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FireTom


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Total posts: 6650
Posted:errm, Majestic... umm

there is no "inherent danger"... it is only that children already are included in the Human Rights Charter and are entitled to "special care and assistance". That charter (very unfortunately) even is no law but merely in parts a part of a few countries constitutions...

Maybe you explain to me what you think the difference does this charter do, when it can not be enforced and when the general one for human rights already is not being followed?

shrug

But I see, at least we do have a charter... kids could use it the same way as inmates at Guantanamo...


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FUNFunFUN wink

I feels it another "self satisfactory" measure... like ... we do a charter stating that "greenhouse gases" should be stopped by 2010...


EDITED_BY: FireTom (1243334537)
EDIT_REASON: too big of a picture - everybody needed to scrol


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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

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Posted:laugh3 a very good use indeed.

i mean to say the ramifications for a charter meaning children could take their parents to court for discipline or basic disagreeing is irresponsible on the part of the charter writers. that is the inherent(and you would think) obvious problem with giving children more rights than they can be responsible for.

Originally Posted By: zyonchaosHoly crap have we all started arguing the same point and ended up agreeing with each other will wonders never cease lol?

...yeah it happens a lot on HoP, you'll get used to it wink


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

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zyonchaos


journeyman
Location: Anglesey, Wales, UK soon to be...

Total posts: 77
Posted:Originally Posted By: Mr Majestik

Originally Posted By: zyonchaosHoly crap have we all started arguing the same point and ended up agreeing with each other will wonders never cease lol?

...yeah it happens a lot on HoP, you'll get used to it wink

It makes a change most forums I have been on, people just tend to keep arguing the same points and never bother to look at the other side of things.


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FireTom


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Posted:psst - don't tell..

Majestic: I bet some children would just LOVE to take their parents to court... and that in the US... some could make enough money for their rest of their lives wink

At the same time I would believe that the sentences for (sexual) abuse of children is still not high enough - at least the past has shown that murder of a baby would only get one in jail for 10yrs... I don't think that's right... shrug


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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

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Posted:personally i think hardly any sentences for causing the death of another person are ever long enough, likewise the failure of mass companyies and all the past and present directors having no fiscal consequence is absurd. that is however a separate issue.

"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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Dom
BRONZE Member since Dec 2001

Dom

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Bristol, UK

Total posts: 3009
Posted:I haven't read the whole thread but I'd like to say something:

I was never smacked as a child and I grew up fine, respectful and well balanced.

I think the "Well, I was ..." statement in any discussion is null and void, serving no purpose than to re-enforce the already established opinions people hold. For every person claiming they were slapped and fine I'm sure it's possible to find people who were slapped and are far from fine.

I don't slap children for the same reasons I don't slap adults. Why is there a difference?

And children shouldn't even have religions, let alone have one enforced by their parents. Then maybe the blindness will end.


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FireTom


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Total posts: 6650
Posted:yes, there is a lot of truth in this, Dom - and personally I don't support slapping as the educational measure of choice, also I'm certain that the "slapping issue" is not what this charter is about exclusively.

I certainly don't slap children - yet I don't have any to bring up - but what difference there is? I have seen children who treated their parents with the greatest of disrespect, completely entrenched in their "needs", better saying "demands", pushing their parents quite far.

Ideally every parent is centered enough to never loose their temper - only that there are occasions where I can find compassion for a parent who uses it as a last resort. To me it's not about "I was(n't)" - to me it is not to take this away from parents and make them subject to legal persecution (as long as they stay 'gentle' and within reason).

What is the difference between slapping ("your") child and ... an adult? Well, when it goes down the alley - we can always turn away from that adult and abandon them - never having to see her/him again in our lives. It doesn't quite work that way with "own" children, living in a very strong (emotional) bond, does it?

I side you that children shouldn't have religions - so do adults. But there is nothing wrong with "spiritual practise" either - and the charter only says that governments should not have the right to force a religion on children, against the will of their parents.

However - as I see it - all of this is already taken care of in the "Universal declaration of human rights", which some of the western civilized countries still seem to have problems commiting to - some 50years later.

[edit: reading the following posts makes me aware how limited my perception sometimes is... thanks MNS and Charles - very good points hug ]

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1243650996)
EDIT_REASON: respect! ; )


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Mother_Natures_Son
SILVER Member since Aug 2007

Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!

Total posts: 2418
Posted:I think I probably got smacked about 2 or 3 times growing up and at the time my parents weren't out of control or angry... they grew up with the cane at school and didn't agree with it one bit, but its not to say they didn't think it a last resort.

More than being a last resort it was always a boundary that you didn't cross, not only because you'd get a smack for it, but because you knew that meant that it was very, very wrong.

What is the difference between an adult and a child? There are two main differences there as far as I'm concerned...

The first is that you're not in any way responsible for the behaviour/moral growth of the adult in the same way that you are for the child.

And to hinge off that, children don't have as finely tuned sense of what is right and what is wrong, judgement is limited by their lack of knowledge and in the early years there is even psychological development to be done before they can fully understand the consequences of some actions... but if they understand the consequences in a concrete way that involves them, then they're likely to comprehend that.

But to clarify, I think there is very much a line between what is acceptable and what is not... chains, maces and broken glass are all out. Smacking someone elses kid is also out.


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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Total posts: 3989
Posted:As a parent, I agree with MNS.

Smacking falls into two categories in my opinion...

1. A release of anger stemming from the need for the parent to hit anything, liekly because of what the child has done, but, it is an expressive need by the parent to hit.

Category One is NEVER appropriate, and usually involves more than one smack, as it is due to the adults rage more than anthing else.

2. A physical form of punishment, charcterised by a single smack, in a carefully chosen place by a calm parent who want's to distinguish the difference between a non smacking offense, like not eating their dinner, with a smacking offense, like running into the middle of a busy road full of traffic.

The ONLY excuse for smacking IMHO, is to show the child that what they just did is a whole different league of 'naughty', and typically singifies a serious risk of harm to themselves or someone else.

Category two is still a grey area...


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zyonchaos


journeyman
Location: Anglesey, Wales, UK soon to be...

Total posts: 77
Posted:Category two as you call it isnt a grey area, why should someone else decide whether we as parents can do this or not?

I agree category one is never appropriate, but category two.

The other reason for smacking a child, is a warning. When they are little they will touch everything would you rather your child learn that touching the oven whilst it is on will hurt, by giving them a short sharp smack on the back of the hand or by letting them burn themselves?


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FireTom


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Total posts: 6650
Posted:as a parent
slapping a child in rage is off
slapping a child in frustration is just human
slapping as an educational measure is in a grey area - IMHO (*)
slapping should be "last resort"

However slapping someone elses child is completely off

But why this is now all about "slapping" anyway?

(*) physical violence is never a proper instrument of education, be it child or pet. IMHO never teach (by) fear.


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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin, USA

Total posts: 3556
Posted:spanking never hurt anyone, and some people even like it

"empower young people to have abortions"
the wording of that concerns me


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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zyonchaos


journeyman
Location: Anglesey, Wales, UK soon to be...

Total posts: 77
Posted:Originally Posted By: faithinfirespanking never hurt anyone, and some people even like it

"empower young people to have abortions"
the wording of that concerns me

Agreed it leads to the culture of kids using an abortion as birth control. The amount of teenage pregnancies in the UK really winds me up, especially when half of these kids cant be bothered to use contraception and dont care less as the state will look after them.

Fair play to the handfull that realise they have cocked up, by having a baby young but still manage to raise it without the states help.


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Felex
SILVER Member since Jun 2009

Felex

Destroyer of worlds and ooo shiny.
Location: In my own head, United Kingdom

Total posts: 268
Posted:Its like that thirteen year old who has just become a dad.
The kids own father said he couldnt help forgetting to use protection it he was drunk.

First of all what was a thirteen year old doing being drunk.
Second what was a thirteen year old doing having sex anyway.

Kids have too much power.
I work in a school. Two kids fighting if I pull them apart IM the one who could end up in trouble.


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Felex
SILVER Member since Jun 2009

Felex

Destroyer of worlds and ooo shiny.
Location: In my own head, United Kingdom

Total posts: 268
Posted:Oh I was spanked as a child didnt do me any harm. [twitch twitch]

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