Thursday, October 8, 2009

Mothers' Alliance statement more relevant now than ever

In the lead up to Ireland's second vote on the Lisbon Treaty Mrs. Nora Bennis, of the Mothers’ Alliance, made a very strong plea – both by way of information leaflets and in a You Tube video – to the people of Ireland that they should reject the Lisbon Treaty by voting NO in the referendum last Friday. In a press release she stated that:

‘Parents and grandparents are particularly horrified that they have been kept in the dark for so long about the deadly consequences of this Treaty for them, for their children and grandchildren. They did not know that ratification of the Lisbon Treaty will enable the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to become legally binding on them. … Lisbon is the first EU treaty to include children’s rights. Article 3 of Lisbon [TEU] and Article 24 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights open the door so that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child can become legally binding on ALL children. Article 2 of that Convention makes it quite clear that “States Parties” – NOT PARENTS OR LEGAL GUARDIANS – WILL DECIDE FOR THEIR CHILDREN, and this is totally contrary both to the way Irish parents rear and educate their children.’

Article 52 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights is also relevant.
Her warnings are borne out by statements from a number of prominent Irish politicians confirming what she says.

Mrs. Bennis went on to say that parents and legal guardians could be prosecuted for simple disciplinary actions within the home, for example, for ‘interfering’ with the privacy of their children – Article 16 CRC states that:
'No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his or her honour and reputation. The child has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.’

Parents could also be prosecuted if they try to control the information that their children are receiving or imparting to others – Article 13 CRC states:
‘The child shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child’s choice.

‘The exercise of this right may be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary: (a) for respect of the rights or reputations of others; or (b) for the protection of national security or of public order, or of public health or morals.’

Article 15 CRC could very well be used to prosecute parents if they try to prevent their children from associating with undesirables:
‘States Parties recognize the rights of the child to freedom of association and to freedom of peaceful assembly.

‘No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of these rights other than those imposed in conformity with the law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safely, public order, the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.’

Mrs. Bennis rightly refers to various Articles of Bunreacht na hÉireann (the Constitution of Ireland) that emphasise the unique place the Family – the natural primary fundamental unit group of society – including the children, holds in Society. Article 42.5 of the Constitution provides for the interference of the State only in the case of obvious neglect of the children on the part of parents, but with due regard to the natural and imprescriptable rights of the child. However, under the Lisbon Treaty, the Charter of Fundamental Rights will allow for the legally binding enforcement of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the ensuing usurping of the rights of parents over their children. Article 2.2 CRC states:
'States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that the child is protected against all forms of discrimination or punishment on the basis of the status, activities, expressed opinions, or beliefs of the child’s parents, legal guardians, or family members.

Please see (4 October 2009) for further comment on the dangers to which children can very well be exposed by forces outside the family.