Written by Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research at HSLDA
The government of Scotland is proposing the ultimate invasion of the family in order to “protect” children. According to legislation proposed by the government (and which faces no organized opposition), a social worker will be assigned to monitor each and every child from birth. The government social worker would have the authority and responsibility to “safeguard the wellbeing of the child or young person” through “(i) advising, informing, or supporting the child…, (ii) helping the child…to access a service or support, or (iii) discussing, or raising, a matter about the child” with other government agencies.1
In short, every child will be assigned his own mandatory reporter/government monitor from birth.
According to the bill itself, this legislation is proposed to comply with Scotland’s duties under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC, or CRC)2 which —like the related Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)—requires that the government ensure that in every decision the “best interests” of the child be the paramount consideration. According to international law scholar and University of London professor Geraldine Van Bueren, this “Best interests [standard] provides decision and policy makers with the authority to substitute their own decisions for either the child’s or the parents’, providing it is based on considerations of the best interest of the child.”3
Appointing a social worker to monitor every child in the nation is the logical response to the demand from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2008 that the United Kingdom should establish independent Children’s Commissioners “equipped with the necessary human and financial resources in order…that the rights of all children in all parts of the State party are safeguarded.”4
“This is the most invasive, anti-parent proposal since ancient Sparta,”said Michael Farris, President of Parentalrights.org. The Supreme Court in Meyer v. Nebraska gave us this explanation of the Spartan practice that Farris references:
In order to submerge the individual and develop ideal citizens, Sparta assembled the males at [age] seven into barracks and entrusted their subsequent education and training to official guardians. Although such measures have been deliberately approved by men of great genius their ideas touching the relation between individual and state were wholly different from those upon which our institutions rest; and it hardly will be affirmed that any Legislature could impose such restrictions upon the people of a state without doing violence to both letter and spirit of the Constitution.5
Sadly, while Scotland was once based on foundations similar to our own, they are abandoning these vital principles.
“The recognition of the importance of privacy, of the authority of parents and the protection of this privacy and authority by society is declining fast,” Stuart Walton explained in an interview with Lifesite News. Walton is a sociology and criminology lecturer at Albertay University in Dundee. “Today it is assumed parenting is simply too hard, children are simply too vulnerable, and risks are simply too great to allow for this luxury called ‘privacy’. This is why nobody is attacking this new bill….”6
Minister for Children and Young People Aileen Campbell (MSP) pretty well agrees, though she sees no problem with that. Campbell asserts, “Children and young people deserve services that can intervene more effectively and earlier in their lives and that listen and take full account of their views and rights. Achieving this involves a programme of change that is not limited to any one service, but embraces a change in the culture and practice of all services that affect the lives of children, young people and their families.”7
There is no consideration for family privacy or the right of parents to direct a child’s upbringing. Apparently, if the destruction of these liberties is the only way to ensure this early intervention, Scotland is willing to pay that price.
The Privacy Impact Report of the Scottish government reflects this: “As wellbeing becomes the focus, information sharing will become more common and may at times occur contrary to the wishes of the child or family; this may result in the child or family having a lack of trust.”8 Despite this, the bill continues uncontested in the Scottish Parliament.
In contrast, our Supreme Court has held that “the statist notion that governmental power should supersede parental authority in all cases because some parents abuse and neglect children is repugnant to the American tradition.”9
Sadly, though, policy leaders and lawmakers in America are looking to lead us away from our roots, onto the same path that Scotland has adopted.
Coming to America?
The CRPD, which was narrowly defeated by a 61-38 vote in December (only 5 votes shy of the two-thirds majority needed for passage), is once again rumored to be on the agenda of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. If ratified, this treaty would eliminate the legal presumption of parental fitness and introduce in its place this “best interests of the child” standard.
To combat this trend, the proposed Parental Rights Amendment contains language that protects the presumption of parental fitness, as well as a section to prevent the use of any source of international law in overriding the liberty of parents to raise their child. Once this Amendment is adopted by Congress and ratified by 38 states, the danger of these treaties to American families will be neutralized.
In the short term, we must convince the Senate not to ratify the CRPD. If you have not already done so, please call your senators and urge them to preserve parental rights and family privacy by rejecting the ratification of this treaty. You cancall the Capitol Switchboard at (202)-224-3121 or find your senator’s office phone number by clicking on your state at ParentalRights.org/States.
The long term solution, however, is to adopt the Parental Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Encourage your congressman to become an original cosponsor of this important resolution
To see whether your congressman is already a sponsor, and to find contact information for their D.C. office, click on your state at ParentalRights.org/States. If your congressman is not already a cosponsor, ask that he contact Patrick Fleming in Rep. Mark Meadows’ office to sign on.
Only through perseverance together can we prevent America from stumbling onto Scotland’s dangerous and tyrannical path.