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6/12/2009 3:28:33 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Oregon--House Memorial Urges Ratification of UN Treaty

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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June 12, 2009

Oregon--House Memorial Urges Ratification of UN Treaty

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Many of you may be familiar with the United Nations Convention on the
Rights of the Child (CRC). This convention, or treaty, has been
ratified by 193 countries. While the CRC was signed on behalf of the
United States in 1995 by Madeleine Albright, then the U.S. Ambassador
to the United Nations, it has never been ratified by the U.S.

However, the Oregon House has introduced a Joint Memorial to urge
Congress to ratify this treaty. Introduced late last month by
Representative Chuck Riley, this bill was urged by Dr. Jessica Ritter,
an assistant professor at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon.
Dr. Ritter has given several talks on the CRC and was responsible for
getting a similar resolution passed by the Portland City Council
supporting the CRC.

If the CRC were to be ratified here in the United States it would
radically change family relationships and negatively impact our legal
system in several ways. Under the U.S. Constitution, ratified treaties
become the supreme law of the land, and as such would be enforced in
our state and federal courts. This places the U.S. in a unique
situation, different from all other nations that have ratified the
CRC. In most other nations, the CRC is international pressure and not
as binding as it would be here in the U.S.

Among other things, the CRC would require the government and every
government agency to apply the "best interest of the child" doctrine
to every situation involving children. Currently, this principal is
generally only applied in cases of parents getting divorced, a minor
seeking to be emancipated, or where the parents have been convicted of
abuse or neglect of the child.

Under the CRC, 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. The CRC
would also give a child the "right to be heard," which would allow him
(or her) to seek governmental review of every parental decision with
which the child disagreed.

While the CRC does not specifically address home education, it does
give a child the "right to a specific quality of education." However,
a report requested by the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and
Families in England was just released yesterday by Graham Badman. This
report makes many recommendations to increase the regulation of
homeschool families in England, including allowing local government
officials the ability to enter the home and question homeschool
children away from their parents to ensure that they are safe and
receiving a quality education. The report argues that this is
necessary to comply with the CRC. You can read this report at:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=6639 .

There was a public hearing on House Joint Memorial 23 which was
attended by OCEANetwork legislative liaison Rodger Williams. Mr.
Williams testified against the bill, as did another individual. Only
the sponsor spoke in favor of the bill. At this time no work session
has been scheduled for HJM 23. However, we are closely monitoring this
bill and will immediately notify you if your action is needed to help
defeat this resolution.

If you are not a member of HSLDA and would like to join to help us
protect your right (and that of parents in general) to teach your
children at home please visit us at:
http://www.hslda.org/join/join.asp . If you would also like to follow
the concerns with the CRC more closely, please go to
www.parentalrights.org .

Sincerely,

Thomas Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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-> Can you look at the clouds and tell the direction of the wind?

An interesting phenomenon of wind is that it can blow in multiple
directions at the same time, at different heights from the ground.
But usually there is a prevailing wind. HSLDA watches the gusts
and monitors the prevailing trends of change in the legal climate
of home education. So no matter which way the wind is blowing,
we're there to protect your family.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1938

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