Convention on the Rights of the Child

It would be much more helpful to look at this issue without pre-conceptions, in an unbiased way. It is accepted that increasingly many more institutions including the education system have encroached on the ‘roles and responsibilities’ of parents. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? The evidence has to be examined to arrive at a balanced view. The background of this inquiry is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989. It harks back to more fundamental Human Rights legislation in the West dealing with respect for the ‘dignity and worth of the individual regardless of race, color, gender, language, religion, opinions, origins, wealth, birth status or ability…’ (
However, when extended to apply to children, although many nations have signed up for the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, the United States has been dragging its feet. Already, there are problems arising from the Human rights legislation in the UK. For example, a schoolboy who had committed arson could not be excluded from returning to the classroom, on grounds that the teachers, by law, could not deny him the right to education ( The Convention replaces parental rights with parental responsibility. Indeed it is said that the ‘charter undermines parental rights … by vesting children with various fundamental rights which advance notions of the child’s autonomy and freedom from parental guidance’…’ The Convention is intended to emancipate children from the parental authority within the home and invests them with “rights” that can be enforced against their parents’ (
Under the Convention, if a child decides he has a “right” to join a street gang or religious cult, for example, the parent’s role would be to engage in “dialogue,” rather than exercising parental&nbsp.authority in ways that inhibit the child’s “freedom of association” or “freedom of religion.”