Save the Children – Part MCVXII

This past week, in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Maureen Downey penned an editorial in which she decided it was time for the US to “right a wrong”. A “wrong”?

The point of the editorial is we, the US, are one of only two countries that hasn’t signed on to the U.N. treaty that upholds the rights of children. The other is Somalia, and of course, Downey excuses that country because it doesn’t have a functional government. So that makes you-know-who the bad guy in this scenario. That established, Downey says:

Adopted by the United Nations in November 1989, the convention enumerates children’s fundamental entitlement to life, survival and development.

And our law doesn’t enumerate that? Such protection has been the focus of many laws before and after this scrap of paper came into being.

Then the irony-impaired Downey writes:

Children lack rights and protections in many parts of the world. Since 1990, more than 1.5 million children have been killed in armed conflicts. An estimated 2 million children are exploited annually by the growing commercial sex industry.

So that treaty’s really been working out well hasn’t it (unless, of course all those children killed or exploited live in the US or Somalia)?

Indeed, few Americans would fault the treaty’s contention that children have an “inherent right to life” and the right “to the highest attainable standard of health.” Most would also embrace the treaty’s insistence that “children must be cared for, respected and allowed to be a child.”

Yup, she’s right. We even have laws and a culture that pretty much supports all of that (depending, of course on when you decide that right to life begins). So again, why do we need to sign on to this? In fact, Downey says:

And Americans would handily endorse the treaty’s premise that the best interest of the child should guide all legal proceedings, a principle embedded in U.S. law for more than a century. In fact, the convention is compatible with most areas of U.S. law.

Again, the purpose?

Ah, here we go:

There’s also no enforcement mechanism to compel countries into action. Nations submit their own data on child well-being measures to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, which evaluates the information and reports on how the country is performing. The committee reports have led some countries to introduce reforms; Rwanda stopped housing children in adult detention centers and Sri Lanka revised its laws on child abuse, child labor and adoption.

Huh, how about that? The two mentioned are signatories. And the US? Well we don’t house children in adult detention centers and have had strict child abuse, child labor and adoption measures on the books for a century.

Yup, it’s all about an international body – which puts nations with sterling human rights records as Cuba, China, Bosnia and Saudi Arabia on the Human Rights Commission – gathering data on your country and telling you what you should do to protect your children’s rights?

This is more of the feel-good nonsense the left is so enamored with. If we sign it somehow things will certainly change for the better for children in the US, won’t it? And, of course, we’ll also be one step closer to that coveted one-world government and a time when we can all join hands and sing Kumbaya.

Originally posted at QandO. Come by and visit us.

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