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Children’s Rights vs. Parental Rights?
By Peter Porumbachanov
A draft “Children’s Rights” bill, introduced by the current government, has sparked a heated public debate in Bulgaria. Many non-governmental organizations, including the Bulgarian Homeschool Association, have presented their opposition to the authors of the bill. We expressed before the authorities our true surprise that the draft claims that children’s rights are inconsistent with the rights of the parents. Yet our disagreement with the draft has not been acknowledged by the government.
The draft children’s act finds its basis in the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Since governments around the world seem to rely increasingly upon the UNCRC to consolidate more control for the State, I would like to share our points of opposition that attack the philosophy of the law.
- The draft law is in direct conflict with the philosophy of current international legislation concerning the family and its responsibility to children. Not a single law in the international sphere regarding family relationships has ever considered children outside the context of the family to the degree outlined in the proposed Bulgarian law.
- The idea that the child should become the center around which each and every law is adjusted effectively moves parents into the periphery as an unessential party in family life. No longer would traditional family environment determine the development of the child as a person who shares the philosophical and religious values of his parents. The draft law also deliberately gives the child responsibilities that it cannot bear and implies that the State would then assist in his or her decision-making. This is another way in which parents are constantly and skillfully pushed out of the picture.
- In the field of education, the rights of the family are completely crushed by the authors of the draft. Bulgarian lawmakers again compromise themselves unreservedly in the eyes of the civilized world as the draft ignores international law that explicitly states that parents have the prior right to choose the form of education their children receive. The draft categorically excludes home education as a legal educational option and once again rejects the wish of an increasingly growing number of Bulgarian parents to educate their children at home.
What is astounding to us is that the draft defines the role of parents as supportive, but not a determining factor in the development of their children. Parents are regarded as background to the child’s emotional whims and desires, yet are not persons to control the child’s dangerous strivings toward self-destruction. The parents are forbidden to form character in the child by teaching their philosophical and religious views. This bizarre and absurd strategy of the legislature to separate the children from their parents is easily opposed by every parent who loves his children and holds to his own values.
The conclusions that we can draw from the draft “Child Act” are as follows:
If the Bulgarian government supports this draft, then it seeks to protect children by destroying their protectors; it wants to reach the children, but it demolishes the bridges that lead to them; it wants to understand children, but does not speak their language; it wants to give rights to the children, but strikes down those that can guarantee them; strives to ensure their best interest, but leaves the interest to be defined by the anarchistic philosophy of situational ethics; it aims to educate the children, but keeps them on a socio-evolutionary diet; it tries to ensure their health, while helping them self-destruct; it teaches them immoral morality; it protects them by betraying them; it forms them by crushing them; it raises them from the dirt by lowering them into the mud; it permits them, but only by prohibitions; pretends to be a father, but it actually is an oppressor; it wants to be a mother, but it is an evil step-mother; it says it is a divinity whilst it is a fiction, behind which a foe hides.
The statist philosophy behind the draft reveals a totalitarian government that seeks extreme influence—and even ownership—of children. Instead, current international law and indeed, millennia of practical experience, shows clearly that it is the family where a child’s philosophical and religious views are developed. The state’s role in this process should be limited to respecting the choice of each individual family and ensuring a free environment that makes this choice possible.
The Bulgarian Homeschool Association stated unconditionally to the Bulgarian government that the proposed “Children’s Rights” Act should remain simply a project to remind the public about the madness of the state genocide against the Bulgarian family.
For further information, please see the Alliance Defense Fund’s legal analysis on the draft “Child Act.”
Peter Porumbachanov is the president of the Bulgarian Homeschool Association and a homeschool father.
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