But UNICEF is non-inclusive in its advocacy

UNICEF’s internet homepage currently displays a promotion for 18 @ 18, a celebration of the 18th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The event will be held Nov. 20. If the document was a person, it would be able to vote in Canada. What type of policies would it support?

UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, has for many years been parading around as the champion of children’s rights, and has attempted to enforce provisions outlined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. But far from being a benefactor to children, UNICEF has fallen short of what it outlines as its principal mission: “to advocate for children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential.” How can an international organization pushing for population control and legalization of abortion pretend to serve the interests of children?

UNICEF and its guiding force, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, have proven to be masterful players in a game of who can best utilize semantics to further their hidden agenda. Many provisions of the convention create a dialectic, pitting the rights of the child to against the rights of parents. For example, Article 16 of the convention focuses on the right to privacy. The right is so loosely defined that such a provision could be utilized to forbid parents from doing what they consider to be necessary for the safety of their children – for example, reading a child’s correspondence would be prohibited because doing so invades the child’s private space. This denies a parent the ability to make appropriate decisions for the well-being of her child. It fragments the parent-child relationship, as opposed to upholding the family structure.

The peculiar thing is that UNICEF and the Convention on the Rights of the Child attempt to strip parents of their rights once the child is born, but do not see fit to promote the humanity of the future children of our world. About the rights of the unborn, they are silent.

The hypocrisy does not stop there. On Sept. 26, in the absence of Ann Veneman, the head of UNICEF, a representative of the UN Children’s Fund addressed a panel, “Saving 77 million lives by 2015: Advancing the health of women and children,” in New York. He made a direct connection between better living conditions and smaller-sized families. The panel discussion was a preamble to a conference entitled, “Woman Deliver,” which took place in London, England Oct. 18-20. Prior to the conference, Samantha Singson of the Catholic Family Human Rights Institute said, “The conference schedule shows that out of 98 sessions, some 35 of them focus on abortion, while only two address newborn health.” The London conference supported one of the most offensive provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 24 section F, which states that member states are “to develop preventive health care, guidance for parents and family planning education and services.” The convention, and UNICEF by endorsing it, promote family planning and population control. It is well understood at the United Nations that the loose definition of health leaves the door open for the inclusion of abortion as a “basic” health service.

It is sad and ironic that UNICEF, which purports to protect children, at a minimum supports abortion and at its worst, promotes it. As Jim Hughes, president of Campaign Life Coalition and vice-president of the International Right to Life Federation, says, “UNICEF should remember that the first step to protecting children is to allow them to be born.”