Accuracy in Media

      The U.N. conference on racism has come and gone, but another one ? on children ? is coming up in mid-September. This time, the Bush Administration is sending a high-level delegation, although it has expressed concern about some pro-abortion language in a conference document. A representative of the Family Research Council is working with the Administration to remove that language.

      But on issues other than abortion, you might have a hard time figuring out why the conference is so controversial. Alan Sipress of the Washington Post reported, “U.N. organizers say 75 heads of state and government have confirmed they will attend the session, which is meant to promote education, health care, better sanitation and safer living conditions for children.” Neil A. Lewis of the New York Times quoted a State Department spokesman, as saying, “We strongly support the goals of the special session in the areas of immunizations and improved health care and nutrition; increased access to basic quality education; protection of children from sexual exploitation and trafficking, the worst forms of child labor and armed conflict.”

      It appears that neither the State Department nor the reporters covering this event have read the actual document. It reflects a shift away from parental rights and responsibilities to children having their own rights that have to be guaranteed by government.

      It says that “The right of children and adolescents to express themselves must be respected and promoted and their views taken into account in all matters affecting them.” This might be interpreted to mean that parents should not insist on children doing chores or homework from school. It says governments should “Adopt special measures to eliminate discrimination against children on the basis of race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status.” The phrase “other status” can be interpreted to mean that parents should not object if kids become homosexual.

      The document claims that children’s rights are in jeopardy because of certain perceived environmental problems. It says, “A number of environmental problems and trends, such as global warming? need to be addressed to ensure the health and well-being of children.” This is a clever way to use kids as pawns in forcing governments to implement the global warming treaty that President Bush has already rejected. The conference document also includes a demand to “Develop systems to ensure the registration of every child at or shortly after birth, and fulfill his or her right to acquire a name and nationality.” That sounds like a national I.D. card to track children from cradle to grave.

      Finally, the conference document says that “Regional and international organizations, in particular all United Nations bodies? have a key role to play in achieving full collaboration to accelerate progress for children.” We’re not so sure if most American parents want the U.N. to play a role in raising their children. But they won’t understand this threat if the media don’t tell them about it.

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