Below, John Waters and Kathy Sinnott from the Republic of Ireland make the case for saying no to the Children`s Referendum amendment. They warn that the amendment undermines parental authority and the potential of forced adoption threatens all families.
The Children`s rights referendum is not about protecting vulnerable children, says Kathy Sinnott . "What it is really about is taking parental authority from parents and transferring it to the state."
She goes on to say that children have more rights than anyone else. (17.12) Firstly, they are protected as persons, the same as for adults. Secondly they have their rights upheld within the family. Then they have rights in terms of state help: a right to education, a right to have protection if their parents fail.
What would motivate the Government to encroach further? Parents advocate for their children, says Kathy Sinnott, to ensure their children`s rights and so prove themselves a nuisance to the state. In an age of austerity rights cost money and that is a problem for the Government.
Unfortunately, voters in the Republic of Ireland approved the amendment but with a low turnout of 33.5 percent.
Too many people were sleeping.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-20287674
Where the state is encroaching into family life, there is hardly a country in the western world where these same arguments cannot be made. Children are well covered by the law, so why introduce another layer of legislation? Instead, how about applying the current legislation more wisely?
The Scottish Government`s proposal to appoint a `named person`for every child from birth to 18, without opt-out, is a brazen piece of legislation to undermine parental authority and the right children have to be cared for and protected within their own family. How are parents expected to advocate for their children when it is the named person who has the last word?
Lord Pentland has said:
There is no reason to suppose that named persons will intrude inappropriately or to an excessive degree in the lives of children and young persons or that they will act in a manner to undermine family life.