Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Parental Rights- CRPD Ruling Proves Threat to Sovereignty

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October 8, 2013

CRPD Ruling Proves Threat to Sovereignty

A September 9 “ruling” by its committee has proven what opponents of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD, or Convention) have claimed all along: that the United States cannot both ratify the Convention and preserve American sovereignty.

According to an October 2 release from Human Rights Watch, an internationalist organization which supports the treaty, “A landmark ruling by a United Nations body found that Hungary’s voting laws are disenfranchising people with disabilities…. These governments are required to review their laws and practices to eliminate any provisions that [conflict with the ruling].”

This proves the point that has concerned constitutional lawyer Michael Farris of ParentalRights.org and the Home School Legal Defense Association all along: the CRPD-created committee is issuing rulings on the meaning of the treaty, and the international community and non-government organizations (NGOs) are recognizing these rulings as legally enforceable under international law.

Secretary of State John Kerry and the State Department have persistently denied that the committee has any such power, assuring senators and concerned voters that ratification of the CRPD would not affect American sovereignty. Next to this recent CRPD committee decision, Human Rights Watch’s release, and the warnings of treaty opponents, however, it is clear that the State Department’s view is the outlier.

“We don’t buy [Department of State’s] attempts to mislead the Senate on the meaning and application of international law,” Farris, who holds a degree in Public International Law, declared in a statement. “We as a nation must interpret a treaty as the international community looks at it.”

The ruling, according to Human Rights Watch, “applies to all 137 countries that have adopted the [CRPD]” – not only the 78 who have agreed to be bound by the optional protocol regarding a complaint procedure. 

ParentalRights.org is concerned that the intentions of US supporters of the treaty will not matter if our nation ratifies the CRPD: as Human Rights Watch points out, international law will march forward and threaten to bury any differing opinions under its weight.

The optional protocol, under which individuals may file complaints against their governments for violating the CRPD, grants to the committee the authority to act as an international tribunal to hear such cases. This allows the committee to establish as legal precedent under the optional protocol any principle they have issued as a “recommendation” under the primary treaty. Given the right case, the committee can turn its own interpretation of the treaty into binding international law.

Despite this threat, proponents of ratification are bent on seeing the treaty brought before the Senate this year for another vote. The number of editorials pushing for the treaty has greatly increased in mainstream newspapers in recent weeks, at the same time that internationalist and misled disabilities groups have urged their members to call the Senate to support ratification.

According to contacts on the Hill, treaty proponents are attempting to create Reservations, Understandings, and Declarations (RUDs) – added language upon which ratification is conditioned – that they will claim has “fixed the home school problem.”

But opponents of the treaty aren’t buying that, either.

“If the State Department, the D.O.J., and American courts have refused to respect much stronger language in the text of treaties themselves that would protect parental rights pertaining to the Romeike case, how can we trust that they would respect such language in a much weaker RUD?” Farris asks. Farris refers to an asylum case in which the Obama administration has opposed a German refugee family’s human rights recognized under Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, of which the United States is a signatory.

In its September ruling (available here), the Committee found Hungary to be in violation of “article 29 of the Convention, read alone and in conjunction with article 12 of the Convention.” As a result, they asserted that Hungary “is under an obligation to remedy” the violation, “including by providing [the complainants] with adequate compensation for moral damages incurred… as well as for the legal costs incurred in filing this communication.” The report also instructs Hungary to change its constitution and laws to comply with the treaty.

Action Items

Proponents of this treaty are not going to stop pushing for its ratification, even in light of this proof that it threatens American sovereignty. They have made clear that they will stop at nothing to see America subjugated through the adoption of this treaty and all the U.N. oversight that goes with it.

And their pockets are deep.

Please help us ramp up our efforts to halt their attack on our self-government with your most generous donation to ParentalRights.org. Only with help from donors like you can we be ready to counter the internationalists when they bring the CRPD back before the Senate.

Also, if you are contacting your Senators this week for any reason, please also mention your opposition to this dangerous treaty.
Though Senate offices are currently not taking calls due to the shutdown, you can find their email address by clicking on your state at parentalrights.org/states. Tell them you oppose the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities because it threatens American sovereignty and parental rights, and you would urge them to oppose its ratification.

Only together can we halt the erosion of parental rights in America through attacks like this one.


Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research

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