Wednesday, May 27, 2009

False Autism Advocacy and the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child 1959

Attacks on parents of autistic children advocating for treatment and cure of their autistic children have been ramped up of late. Jenny McCarthy is but one parent, albeit very high profile, who is vilified by mainstream media that typically report one side of the vaccine autism debate (the pro-vaccine side) and by the Neurodiversity ideological groups that insist that they know better than parents what is good for their autistic children. Some of the attacks are cheap and some are just plain irrational. All ignore the UN declared rights of autistic children to treatment and cure for their neurological disorder and their right to be represented, in the first instance, by their parents.

When a fully functioning adult with Aspergers or High Functioning Autism tells the world that "we don't want to be cured" referring to all persons, including children with severe autistic disorder, he, or she, is practicing false advocacy and is in fact advocating against the rights of autistic children to be treated for their neurological disorder, to develop fully and to be represented by their parents. When a person who can meet with judges, presidents and other potentates and conduct endless media interviews, purports to speak on behalf of a severely autistic child he, or she, does not know, a child who can barely communicate with the world he, or she, is practicing false advocacy.

Such persons, when they attack the parents seeking to treat their child's autism disorder, are advocating against the UN declared rights of that child.

Such persons are practicing false advocacy.

Declaration of the Rights of the Child

Proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 1386(XIV) of 20 November 1959

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have, in the Charter, reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights and in the dignity and worth of the human person, and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas the United Nations has, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaimed that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status,

Whereas the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth,

Whereas the need for such special safeguards has been stated in the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child of 1924, and recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the statutes of specialized agencies and international organizations concerned with the welfare of children,

Whereas mankind owes to the child the best it has to give,

Now therefore,

The General Assembly

Proclaims this Declaration of the Rights of the Child to the end that he may have a happy childhood and enjoy for his own good and for the good of society the rights and freedoms herein set forth, and calls upon parents, upon men and women as individuals, and upon voluntary organizations, local authorities and national Governments to recognize these rights and strive for their observance by legislative and other measures progressively taken in accordance with the following principles:

Principle 1

The child shall enjoy all the rights set forth in this Declaration. Every child, without any exception whatsoever, shall be entitled to these rights, without distinction or discrimination on account of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, whether of himself or of his family.

Principle 2

The child shall enjoy special protection, and shall be given opportunities and facilities, by law and by other means, to enable him to develop physically, mentally, morally, spiritually and socially in a healthy and normal manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity. In the enactment of laws for this purpose, the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration.

Principle 3

The child shall be entitled from his birth to a name and a nationality.

Principle 4

The child shall enjoy the benefits of social security. He shall be entitled to grow and develop in health; to this end, special care and protection shall be provided both to him and to his mother, including adequate pre-natal and post-natal care. The child shall have the right to adequate nutrition, housing, recreation and medical services.

Principle 5

The child who is physically, mentally or socially handicapped shall be given the special treatment, education and care required by his particular condition.

Principle 6

The child, for the full and harmonious development of his personality, needs love and understanding. He shall, wherever possible, grow up in the care and under the responsibility of his parents, and, in any case, in an atmosphere of affection and of moral and material security; a child of tender years shall not, save in exceptional circumstances, be separated from his mother. Society and the public authorities shall have the duty to extend particular care to children without a family and to those without adequate means of support. Payment of State and other assistance towards the maintenance of children of large families is desirable.

Principle 7

The child is entitled to receive education, which shall be free and compulsory, at least in the elementary stages. He shall be given an education which will promote his general culture and enable him, on a basis of equal opportunity, to develop his abilities, his individual judgement, and his sense of moral and social responsibility, and to become a useful member of society.

The best interests of the child shall be the guiding principle of those responsible for his education and guidance; that responsibility lies in the first place with his parents.

The child shall have full opportunity for play and recreation, which should be directed to the same purposes as education; society and the public authorities shall endeavour to promote the enjoyment of this right.

Principle 8

The child shall in all circumstances be among the first to receive protection and relief.

Principle 9

The child shall be protected against all forms of neglect, cruelty and exploitation. He shall not be the subject of traffic, in any form.

The child shall not be admitted to employment before an appropriate minimum age; he shall in no case be caused or permitted to engage in any occupation or employment which would prejudice his health or education, or interfere with his physical, mental or moral development.

Principle 10

The child shall be protected from practices which may foster racial, religious and any other form of discrimination. He shall be brought up in a spirit of understanding, tolerance, friendship among peoples, peace and universal brotherhood, and in full consciousness that his energy and talents should be devoted to the service of his fellow men.

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1 comment:

Jemma Lee said...

The United Nations Human Rights Council periodically reviews the human rights record of each member. Here is a 2006 review of Canada, in which the Council expresses its "disappointment" and "shock":

Here are some excerpts:

The Supreme Court was considering, in Auton, really for the first time, the constitutionality of doing nothing to meet the needs of an extremely disadvantaged group in society. It appears to have affirmed, in shocking fashion, the government’s ‘right’ to do nothing. The Court made no reference to international human rights law, and made no effort to interpret the right to equality in a more substantive manner, consistent with this Committee’s General Comment No. 9.

In light of earlier equality jurisprudence from the Supreme Court of Canada, the Committee is concerned to learn that governments have urged the courts not to recognize positive obligations to provide for the unique needs of disadvantaged groups such as children with autism as derived from the right to substantive equality. The Committee is concerned to learn that the Supreme Court of Canada may have adopted, at the encouragement of governments, an interpretation of the right to equality which may deprive vulnerable groups with unique needs of any effective remedy to decisions to deny them services or benefits.

The Committee is disappointed that in important judicial rulings on the application of the Charter to the right to an adequate standard of living and the right to health, neither governments, in their pleadings, nor the Supreme Court of Canada, in its decisions, have made any reference to the Covenant as a relevant and persuasive source for the interpretation of the scope of Charter rights. The Committee is concerned that in a number of cases, the result reached by the Court would appear to be incompatible with the provision of effective remedies for Covenant rights.