Ten things you need to know about the structure of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC):
- 1. It is a treaty which creates binding rules of law. It is no mere statement of altruism.
- 2. Its effect would be binding on American families, courts, and policy-makers.
- 3. Children of other nations would not be impacted or helped in any direct way by our ratification.
- 4. The CRC would automatically override almost all American laws on children and families because of the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause in Article VI.
- 5. The CRC has some elements that are self-executing, while others would require implementing legislation. Federal courts would have the power to determine which provisions were self-executing.
- 6. The courts would have the power to directly enforce the provisions that are self-executing.
- 7. Congress would have the power to directly legislate on all subjects necessary to comply with the treaty. This would constitute the most massive shift of power from the states to the federal government in American history.
- 8. A committee of 18 experts from other nations, sitting in Geneva, has the authority to issue official interpretations of the treaty which are entitled to binding weight in American courts and legislatures. This effectively transfers ultimate authority for all policies in this area to this foreign committee.
- 9. Under international law, the treaty overrides even our Constitution.
- 10. Reservations, declarations, or understandings intended to modify our duty to comply with this treaty will be void if they are determined to be inconsistent with the object and purpose of the treaty.
Ten things you need to know about the substance of the CRC:
- Parents would no longer be able to administer reasonable spankings to their children.
- A murderer aged 17 years and 11 months and 29 days at the time of his crime could no longer be sentenced to life in prison.
- Children would have the ability to choose their own religion while parents would only have the authority to give their children advice about religion.
- The best interest of the child principle would give the government the ability to override every decision made by every parent if a government worker disagreed with the parent’s decision.
- A child’s “right to be heard” would allow him (or her) to seek governmental review of every parental decision with which the child disagreed.
- According to existing interpretation, it would be illegal for a nation to spend more on national defense than it does on children’s welfare.
- Children would acquire a legally enforceable right to leisure.
- Christian schools that refuse to teach “alternative worldviews” and teach that Christianity is the only true religion “fly in the face of article 29” of the treaty.
- Allowing parents to opt their children out of sex education has been held to be out of compliance with the CRC.
- Children would have the right to reproductive health information and services, including abortions, without parental knowledge or consent.