Children Will Soon Be Able to Haul Their Parents Before a UN Tribunal
On June 9th, the Human Rights Council of the United Nations approved a new treaty that will operate in parallel with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Under this “Optional Protocol to the Convention of the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure” children will be able to file a quasi-judicial complaint against their parents, their government, or anyone else alleged to have violated their rights under one of the three existing child’s rights treaties.
In addition to the main CRC, there are separate treaties regarding child soldiers and sex trafficking. These parallel treaties are also called “optional protocols.”
While the United States has not become a party to the main CRC, it became a party to the other two protocol treaties in 2002.
There are two remaining steps for this new Communications Protocol to become fully operative. First, this new treaty must be approved by the United Nations General Assembly. This is a foregone conclusion. Second, ten nations must become parties to this new treaty by signing and then ratifying under whatever process is followed in their own nation. In the United States this would mean the President (or his representative) would have to sign the treaty and the U.S. Senate would have to vote to ratify.
For a long time, we have pointed out that the CRC would give children the ability to file lawsuits against their parents in American courts. The advocates for the CRC have tried to downplay this idea. But now, in broad daylight, the United Nations itself—with the full cooperation and approval of the United States in the Human Rights Council—is creating a new mechanism that forthrightly allows children to “sue” their parents and haul them before the UN Committee in Geneva.
If the United States Senate approves this Communication Protocol, even if we do not approve the main CRC treaty, legal actions could still be filed by American children before this UN tribunal. Such actions would have to arise under one of the two optional protocols to which we are a party.
As is routine for UN treaties, this new protocol requires a child to first exhaust all domestic judicial remedies before turning to the UN tribunal.
One U.S. case that would almost certainly have been appealed to the UN if this new protocol had been in place involved two California cities that banned military recruiters on high school campuses. These cities claimed that such recruiting violated the UN optional protocol on child soldiers to which we are a party.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the authority of the cities to pass such an ordinance. The disgruntled parties could then have pressed their action in the United Nations—if this new protocol had been in effect.
Obviously, the far greater danger lies in the possibility that the United States will adopt both the main Convention on the Rights of the Child and this new optional protocol. If this happens, then American parents can expect their children to threaten to “take them to Geneva” if there is a conflict over internet usage, dating, recreation, school choices, religious choices, or anything else. The scope of the UN's CRC is absolutely unlimited and any parental decision at all could become the basis for a complaint.
A friend of mine says that the goal of every committee is to rule the world. The Committee on the Rights of the Child is making a serious run at achieving this objective. There is no doubt that some nations will adopt this new protocol and the UN will have an excuse to intervene in a great number of families in ways that would have been unimaginable just a generation ago.
Whether the UN will gain the ability to rule the families of the United States will largely depend on efforts of people like you and me. If your Senator is not already a co-sponsor of SRes 99, please call them today and urge them to stop the UN from gaining this stunningly dangerous power.