Yesterday, the U.S. Senate voted 61-36 to take up discussion of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Many believe that a move for cloture was avoided thanks to constituent heat.
Some recent treaties have moved toward a positive rights stance, allowing international bodies the de jure ability to overrule, in effect, any law of the sovereign nations regarding the domestic rights therein.
The following is a snippet of testimony by Michael Farris in front of the Untied states Foreign Relations Committee (See also his Ten Specific Problems with the CRPD). It is the main reason why this treaty is bad, but not the only reason.
Geraldine van Bueren, who is one of the world’s leading experts on the international rights of the child and helped to draft the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) (and was one of my professors at the University of London), clearly explains the meaning and application of this best interests standard in her course material.
Best interests provides decision and policy makers with the authority to substitute their own decisions for either the child's or the parents', providing it is based on considerations of the best interests of the child.
Section 7 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) uses the exact same legal terms as those contained in the UNCRC.
Accordingly, today, under the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) parents get to decide what they think is best for their child—including the right to walk away from government services and provide private or home education. Under the UNCRPD, that right is supplanted with the rule announced by Professor van Bueren. Government officials have the authority to substitute their views for the views of parents as well as the views of the child as to what is best. If parents think that private schools are best for their child, the UNCRPD gives the government the authority and the legal duty to override that judgment and keep the child in the government-approved program that the officials think is best for the child.
Ask virtually any parent who has dealt with school officials in the IDEA context: Are you willing to give the government the final say on what it thinks is best for your child’s special needs or disability?
There always seems to be some attempt of state encroachment in the works, but this one is a real doozy.