Tuesday, August 17, 2010

International Law Enforcers?

Dear Reader,

I was reading through the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child's Concluding Observations on Article 8 of the Optional Protocol for the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) for Tunisia in 2009, and came across the most startling passage. After mentioning how a new commission must be created within the nation, the purpose of this new commission is outlined in Article 10:

"This body should be provided with the necessary human and financial resources that would enable it to establish a child rights unit to adequately monitor and promote the implementation of the Convention and its Optional Protocols, including this Optional Protocol."

Now, proponents of international law--and CRC proponents in particular--have often claimed that the CRC and other pieces of international law are harmless; it has no teeth, no enforcement. Um, really? While law enforcement powers are not mentioned by name in this passage, the unit gains investigation powers:

"should be mandated, inter alia, to receive and investigate complaints from children alleging that their rights, including those enshrined in the Optional Protocol, have been violated."

Is this the "harmless" treaty everyone speaks about? A commission which is only accountable to an international body, not elected by Americans, is given the power to investigate (a law enforcement function, notice) cases regarding any claim of abridging parental rights. Presumably, your constitutional rights under the 4th and 5th Amendments must be upheld during this investigation, but again, that is not stipulated in the treaty. So, we don't know.

If we want to run a grave risk of losing face, losing sovereignty, or losing our sacred honor, we can pursue ratification of the CRC. But if we want to stay with the protections which we currently provide to children--which, by the way, are among the most comprehensive and effective child protection laws in the world--we run none of these risks. Your choice.

Still in the fight,


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