United Nations Children's Fund Seeks to Usurp Parental Rights
By: Rev. Louis P. Sheldon
Chairman, Traditional Values Coalition



Washington, D.C. Whenever a United Nations agency meets to discuss children's rights, parents should be wary. In September, 2001, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is organizing a New York summit on children's rights. UNICEF is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the implementation of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In U.N. Newspeak, "children's rights," typically means that the state will become the final authority over a child. The parent is relegated to the role of caretaker. In the U.N.'s view, the "family" is just a subunit of the state and is subservient to the state's needs.

The officials who are organizing this UNICEF summit have recently created new rules for determining who can participate in various closed negotiating sessions over children's rights. UNICEF has ruled that the Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) participating in this summit can only have two representatives in each closed negotiating session. This children's summit will discuss abortion as well as homosexuality this fall as "human rights."

What this means in practice, is that pro-family NGOs will be vastly outnumbered in the final sessions. They are usually outnumbered anyway, but this new rule will severely limit the ability of pro-family groups to fight these pro-abortion and pro-homosexual proposals.

The primary goal of this UNICEF summit is to redefine the role of the traditional family and to promote the idea that children ages 10-18 have an inalienable right to be sexually active with same-sex partners and to abortion their unwanted babies if they choose opposite sex partners. These notions spring directly from the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of the Child.

The U.N. Declaration, a treaty that has been warmly supported by President Clinton and Senator-elect Hillary Clinton, is a parent's nightmare. Clinton has been reluctant to send this treaty to the Senate because he knows Senator Jesse Helms will keep it bottled up in the Foreign Relations Committee. Helms is a vigorous opponent of any U.N. treaties that would erode parental rights or American sovereignty. If ever passed by the Senate, however, this treaty would usurp the right of parents to determine the moral and spiritual development of their children.

In rather innocuous language, this U.N. document turns the United Nations into a global parent, wipes out parental rights, and gives children nearly unlimited freedoms to determine their own destinies without parental interference. The full text of this frightening document is available on UNICEF's web site.

It is sobering to realize that even though this U.N. Declaration has been passed by nearly every nation on the earth, except the United States and Somalia, it has really done little to stop the abuse of children. Boys are still being routinely molested by homosexual predators in Thailand, kids are still being sold into sex slavery in the Sudan, and NAMBLA's worldwide outreach is still promoting the molestation of children. The Declaration usurps parental authority, while not really protecting children.

The upcoming UNICEF summit will prove to be yet another effort of the United Nations to destroy the traditional family and to place all authority for parental decisions in the hands of a totalitarian U.N. agency. If the U.N. ever gains authority over parenting in the United States, we can say goodbye to freedom. It is our hope that President George W. Bush will never send this treaty or any other treaty to the Senate that gives this kind of totalitarian power to the United Nations.

It is also our hope that pro-family NGOs at this UNICEF summit will be successful in overturning any U.N. proposals that will further erode parental rights in nations that have already signed the U.N. Declaration. Parenting should be left to parents, not a U.N. agency.