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Tuesday, 31 August 1993
Page: 652

To the Honorable the President and Members of the Senate in Parliament assembled:

  We the undersigned citizens of Australia respectfully submit that:

  The U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child:

  a. Has the potential to deny parents their rightful authority over their children, even empowering the Government to represent children against their parents (Article 12)

  b. Removes parents freedom to protect their children from exposure to material which the parents believe to be objectionable or harmful on religious, moral or other grounds (Art. 13)

  c. Denies parental rights to discourage their children from harmful groups or beliefs (Art. 14)

  d. Denies parents power to stop their children being with persons they believe harmful (Art. 15)

  e. May prevent parents "interfering" in any area of life a child claims to be private (Art. 16)

  We believe this Convention could be used to deny the freedom of parents to nurture and educate their children in accordance with their own beliefs, and could destroy family relationships.

  We believe its use as law would be an abuse of the external affairs power of the Constitution.

  We ask that the Senate act disallow this Convention from the HREOC Act.

And your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.