The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC or CRC) is a convention agreed upon by the United Nations (Signed on 20 November 1989), that aims to provide a basis for the human rights of "children" under eighteen. Nearly all of the modern nation states have singed the CRC - at least in part (the document is divisible).
- "The CRC, like all other treaties produced by nation states, is meaningless posturing, which serves only to reinforce the existing social order.
- Hence, for example, the governing principle behind all the 'rights' it (purports to) enumerate is 'the best interests of the child'. Who determines what is in a "child's best interests"? The CRC 'reaffirms' that 'the family is the fundamental group of society and the natural environment for the growth and well being of all its members - and particularly children' (Preamble); that 'parents or legal guardians have the primary responsibility for promoting children's development and well being' and that States parties should 'respect the primacy of parents, mothers and fathers' (Arts. 18.1 and 27.2).
- In other words, it reinforces the State's most effective cell of control: the nuclear family.
- Further, all the 'rights' are qualified (e.g. the 'right to expression' is qualified by the need to give "due weight" to "the age and maturity of the child" (Art. 12.1) - which effectively means that parents get to decide whether their property (their children) are entitled to free expression; the 'right to education' becomes "primary education should be made compulsory" (Art 28); and the ubiquitous and overarching qualification that 'children' have rights subject to 'the protection of national security, public order, public health or public morals' - i.e. the rights are not 'rights' at all, but gestures that a State can grant or remove depending on convenience.
- In any event, like all international treaties, the sting is in the implementation - it's down to national states to give effect to the provisions. Hence the Committee on the Rights of the Child has stated that the CRC requires an end to corporal punishment - yet of the almost 200 States that are party to the CRC, less than 20 have implemented relevant national laws, and others (including most recently the UK) deliberately enshrined in national law the right of parents to use corporal punishment. Additionally, States may adopt 'reservations' to the treaty - provisions that they refuse to accept. Thus Malaysia, for instance, somehow managed to ratify the treaty, while excusing themselves from (among others):
- Article 1 (Definition of a child)
- Article 13 (Freedom of Expression)
- Article 14 (Freedom of thought, conscience and religion)
- Article 15 (Freedom of association)
- Article 37 (Torture and Deprivation of Liberty)
- Apparently such provisions were 'in conflict' with Malaysian law and custom. They stated that "the government sees such reservations as necessary to protect the best interest of the Malaysian children. Furthermore, to apply freedom of religion to the practices of children is extremely dangerous and against the teachings of Islam."
- Ultimately international and national laws will always reflect the interests of the ruling regimes...young people would/will have to revolt (by any/all means possible) against their regimes and it's governing structures (including the nuclear family)."