Talking Points For Advocating for Proposed Legislation in Support of the Human Rights of the Child

This proposed legislation is designed to protect the Human Rights of Unparented Children:

§  Unparented children have the human right to be parented – to have the parents essential to nurture normal development

§  The children we are talking about:

·       10-14 million in institutions

·       60 million total on the streets or in institutions

§  Social science and early brain development science demonstrate the vital importance of parenting and the destructive impact of its denial

The policies that need changing are policies that actively and unnecessarily deny children’s rights to family, including by denying rights to adoption, both domestic and international.

§  We are advocating for protection of a well-recognized human right -- the right of a child to family and parenting.

§  We contend that by deliberately shutting down International Adoption, which is one of the best immediately available options for providing unparented children with the true parents they need, countries deny children their human rights to be parented in a family.

§  The rights to family and related parenting are rights guaranteed by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and many other international human rights treaties, as are the right to travel, the right not to be wrongfully subject to institutionalization, and the right not to be subject to degrading and destructive institutional conditions.

The proposed legislation is a winning combination of Simple and Significant:

§  Simple:

·       This legislation would involve just a few lines added to a few different sections of existing legislation that requires the Department of State (DOS) to report annually on human rights violations.

·       It would simply require that DOS stop discriminating against unparented children by systematically failing to include in the human rights violations listed in its Annual Country Reports violations that involve the unnecessary denial of parenting and the related subjection of children to the degrading, harmful conditions characteristic of state-sponsored care and life on the streets.  Comparable violations involving adults are covered by these Country Reports (eg. Unjust institutionalization, wrongful institutional conditions, denial of right to travel).

·       It would require no new funding and no creation of new positions or offices.

§  Significant:

·       It would begin to change the human rights debate surrounding the situation of unparented children.