Children's Rights Out of Focus

Passing laws to protect children is a popular political move, but it does not always provide for the best interests of children.  For example, Mexico recently passed a bill to foster the “Rights of Girls, Boys, and Adolescents” that initially focused on sexual and reproductive rights for children.  In “Fighting the sexual and reproductive rights revolution” Zenit reports:

Recently, a new bill called the Rights of Girls, Boys, and Adolescents was approved by a majority in Mexico’s Senate. The bill was approved despite radical changes to the law initially proposed by President Peña Nieto. Congress removed the so-called, “sexual and reproductive rights,” which activists fiercely advocated.  The Mexican people were crucial in modifying the proposed law. A petition to remove “sexual and reproductive rights” from the bill was signed by more than 60,000 people, compared to 13,000 in favor. When it was time for Congress to vote, a majority of legislators favored removing the terminology, causing the ire of sexual and reproductive rights activists. Despite reservations, the Senate approved the changes…”

A rights framework for the protection of children will always be abused in some manner by adult rights-holders because children are legally incapacitated to advance their own rights.  Rather, a best interests of the child approach, as set out at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1957143, provides the best for children, and the most workable framework for balancing parental and state interests with children’s interests.  International treaty attempts have not made the world a better place for children (see http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1962681 ).  In Mexico, citizens understood that the problem with their proposed law was an out of focus attention on reproductive rights for children. Family restoration needs citizen involvement in what is in the best interests of children.




Access my scholarship on SSRN at: http://ssrn.com/author=183817.


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