For much of the 20th Century, the Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1924) (1959) served as a beacon for national and international organizations alike, promoting aid in the forms of childhood vaccination, food and water, shelter, and education for children around the world. Recently, however, “the best interest” of children is being drastically redefined to include their abortion- even to the detriment of essentials for survival. “Education” in these new terms includes instructing children on their “reproductive rights,” ignoring the relationship of parent to child in their role as primary educators and presents youth with an incomplete and misleading view of what is necessary for their flourishing.
In 1924, the League of Nations adopted the first Declaration of the Rights of the Child, aimed at protecting the world’s youth and promoting their flourishing. This document stated that:
1. Children must be given the means requisite for its normal development.
2. Children must be given adequate food, health care, discipline and shelter.
3. Children must be the first to receive relief in times of distress.
4. Children must be protected against every form of exploitation and given tools to earn a living.
5. Children must be brought up in the consciousness that its talents must be devoted to the
service of its fellow men.
Nearly 40 years later, the United Nations (UN) adopted its own Declaration (1959), based upon the original five rights, but adding that:
6. Children “shall be entitled from his birth to a name and a nationality.”
7. Children “shall enjoy the benefits of social security…including adequate pre-natal and post-natal
8. Children “shall, wherever possible, grow up in the care and under the responsibility of his parents,
and, in any case, in an atmosphere of affection and of moral and material security…”
9. Children are entitled to an education, and the “best interests of the child shall be the guiding
principle of those responsible for his education and guidance; that responsibility lies in
the first place with his parents…”
10. Children shall enjoy these rights “…without distinction or discrimination on account of race,
colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property,
birth or other status, whether of himself or of his family.”
In 1989, member states of the United Nations (excluding the United States and Somalia) signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which further defines the rights and liberties owed to the child. At its core, the document seeks to protect “the best interests of the child; the right to life, survival and development; and respect for the views of the child.”
While the UN claims that the Convention protects these inherent rights via “health care; education; and legal, civil and social services,” in recent years, the “best interest of the child” has been re-interpreted to encompass a range of progressive ideologies. Under the guises of health care, children now have the “right” to abortion on demand, regardless of age, and birth control for children as young as 12. Education has come to include sexual “education” that ignores the dignity of the sexual act, and instead encourages children to “explore themselves” and promotes contraception and extramarital acts. More and more, what is in the “best interest” of the child includes removing educational decisions from those who know the children best - the parents- and the respect for the “views” of the child is honored insofar as their views are in line with modern sensibilities. These “rights” of the child are to be achieved by legal, civil and social means.
In 2000, the UN provided a set of two optional protocols that protect children against military service, child prostitution, and child pornography.