Senator Santorum and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Recently, I have been receiving multiple e-mails from people and organizations, including Senator Santorum and Mike Farris, urging me to ask my US Senators to vote against the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Now, I find myself in agreement with both the Senator and Mr. Farris on many occasions, however, I work very hard to not just accept a message because of who the messenger is.

So, I read the Convention to see what the big deal was.

And it looked pretty innocuous. It seemed to protect those with disabilities with an application of international law that also protected life and the family unit.

And then I got to Article 23… and got concerned.

Article 23, sections 4 and 5, reads,

“4. States Parties shall ensure that a child shall not be separated from his or her parents against their will, except when competent authorities subject to judicial review determine, in accordance with applicable law and procedures, that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child. In no case shall a child be separated from parents on the basis of a disability of either the child or one or both of the parents.

5. States Parties shall, where the immediate family is unable to care for a child with disabilities, undertake every effort to provide alternative care within the wider family, and failing that, within the community in a family setting.”

You see, I have this old fashioned idea that parents should decide what is in the best interests of their children, not the state. Crazy idea I know.

And these sections become even more disturbing when you refer back to Article 6 of the US Constitution.

“All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

In short, treaties that the US enters into, and this UN Convention is considered a treaty, become the supreme law of the land and are binding on every state.

Basically, this treaty would put the federal government and the United Nations in charge of determining whether your parenting of a disabled child is in the child’s best interest. And, if they decide it is not, they have the power to remove the child from you.

There are some good things in this Convention. Some well meaning ideas. But the price, in my opinion, is too high. Instead, people in the US should work on this issue, state by state, to ensure our family members, friends and neighbors with disabilities are protected. But international law and the federal government is not the place for this. It is just too unaccountable to the people.

If you would like to contact your US Senators on this matter, you can find all the details over on the HSLDA website.

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