Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sweden Moves to Ban Homeschooling

This post is being edited because I misread the article I linked to. Sweden is using the European Convention for Human Rights to ban homeschooling. I misread that as being the UN Convention on the Rights of a Child.

Despite misreading which Convention was being discussed. My concerns remain.

Back in June, I posted about my concerns (which are shared by many) about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Just one part of my concern is how this could be used to affect, even outlaw, homeschooling if it becomes ratified here in the US. Many people feel that having these concerns is silly. The purpose of the Convention is to protect children from abuse and slavery, not affect our parenting and schooling rights.

The European Convention is similar to the UN Convention in that they both were supposedly designed to protect human rights. The European one covers human rights in general, where the UN one is specific to children. They both cover things like the right to an education, the right to religious thought, the right to freedom from slavery, etc. Yet, they both pose a risk of limiting rights.

The European Convention is now being used to ban homeschooling in Sweden even though the clause below appears, to me anyway, to be one that would protect the right to homeschool:

Protocol 1, Article 2 - education

Article 2 provides for the right not to be denied an education and the right for parents to have their children educated in accordance with their religious and other views. It does not however guarantee any particular level of education of any particular quality.

If the European Convention provides for the right of parents to have their children educated in accordance with the religious and other views, how can this same Convention be used to remove the right to homeschool for religious and philosophical views? It seems contradictory, doesn't it? Yet, that's what they are doing.

Of course, the protocol portions of the convention are not required to be adopted by every state party that adopts the convention. Only the articles need be followed. However, it is understood that state parties should be party adopt as many protocols as possible. Perhaps Sweden decided against this protocol.

It doesn't matter, though, because Article 9 provides for freedom of thought, conscious, and religion, including the right to manifest that religion in worship, teaching, practice, and observance. You could include homeschooling in that article easily. Many homeschool in order to manifest their religious beliefs in teaching, practice, and observance. Still Sweden is removing that option for homeschoolers there.

Swedish families are, of course, not happy about this development. To make matters worse, the Swedish school system apparently leaves much to be desired.

See this article for more information.

So, I ask this:

If one human rights convention can be used against homeschoolers despite it containing language that would provide for homeschooling in a variety of ways, what's to stop another human rights convention being used against homeschoolers. They are both similar documents with similar purposes. Yet, instead of protecting the rights of those under them, they are use to remove the rights of those under them.

Do we really want to give the UN, and the socialist governments in them, that much power over OUR rights?

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Twisted Cinderella said...

I agree with you take in the last sentencest. It is a scary precident (sp?) to set.