As most people in the Down syndrome community know, World Down Syndrome Day is March 21st every year (3/21). The United Nations has a conference every year.
As it is written on worlddownsyndromeday.org,
Down Syndrome International is delighted to announce that the World Down Syndrome Day Conference will once again take place on 21 March 2013 at the United Nations Headquarters, New York, USA.
This year's World Down Syndrome Day Conference is entitled: "Right To Work".When I saw it again this year, I felt like I should say something. As much as I support Down syndrome awareness, I do not support the WDSD conference at the United Nations. You may wonder why, so I will explain below.
The United Nations has brought forth multiple treaties which are horrible and extremely detrimental to our freedoms in America. We'll just focus on the treaties involving families. One treaty is called the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). You can watch a documentary on the CRC and the dangers of it here. There is also the treaty called the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). This treaty is a big reason I do not support the WDSD conference at the UN.
One might wonder what the CRPD is, as you may not have heard about it, or may not know the details of it. You can view the full treaty in PDF here. You can also view more about the UN Committee, who is responsible for and behind this treaty here.
Article 1 of the CRPD states the following,
The purpose of the present Convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities...That sounds so wonderful, right? I mean, we want people with disabilities to be able to have the same rights as people without disabilities. So much of the treaty says things along these lines. No discrimination in education. No discrimination in healthcare. No discrimination in work. No discrimination in the community. Over and over again. And it goes on and on (37 pages to be exact). But....there's more to it.
Article 7, Section 2 of the CRPD states the following,
In all actions concerning children with disabilities, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.This is the main and biggest problem I have with it. I do not want a committee of 12-18 "experts" (as the CRPD calls them) to decide what they believe are the "best interests of the child." This completely takes away the rights of the parents, so that parents may easily be held liable for something they do or don't do. If this committee of 12 gets a report (as they are supposed to get from each country that ratifies this treaty) and there are things in it that don't fit with what they think is "the best interest of the child," then they change their recommendations and say what needs to be done.
People might try to argue and say this won't happen. But, read Article 23, Section 4:
The quote right above shows that the power is in the hands of "competent authorities" to "determine....that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child." That is very bad news.
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. (bold added)
So, what if you have a family whose child has an allergy to a whole slew of foods? Or, a child who is homeschooled? Or, a child who has allergies to certain medications? Or, what if a family does not vaccinate? The list really could go on. The parents in these situations knows what is best for their child, therefore they take the appropriate measures. They make sure they eat foods which are good for them and they aren't allergic to. They make sure they don't take medications that they may have an allergy to. They teach them at home to make sure they receive the best education, because they might need a little extra help or have problems in school. They don't vaccinate their children, because they are concerned about the problems with vaccines. But, this committee of 12, or the "competent authorities" in the Country, who are the ultimate deciding factor on all of this could come a long and say these good things the parents are doing, which are for the "best interests of the child," are wrong and not "in the best interests of the child." They become the authority to constituate what are "the best interests of the child." They take away the rights of the parents, family & caregivers who actually do know what is best for the child.
It's sickening to me to see this. It sounds so good on it's face, but it's horrible. I love my brother with Down syndrome and I do not want a far away, international body of 12 so called "experts" to have the say as to what is best for my brother. Because, they.don't.know.
There are plenty more problems with the UNCRPD, but this should be enough to stop someone in their tracks and take a second look at this.
There is plenty of support and awareness for people with disabilities in the United States. Many of these "protections" this treaty calls for are already covered in the Americans with Disabilites Act. We are doing a fine job without the United Nations. And I hope, by God's grace, it stays that way.