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The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is Being Used to Push Childhood Transition
There are no depths to which trans activists won’t stoop
The fact that our world has an international human rights treaty that aims to protect the rights of children should be a reason to celebrate humanity. Unfortunately, we live in a Brave New World where everything once good has been flipped on its head, and radical activists pushing gender identity ideology are trying to use the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) to argue that children should have the right to sterilize themselves if they are confused about their sex.
This unbelievable state of affairs was brought to my attention by journalist Róisín Michaux who tweeted, on February 7, 2023: “Heads up: inside the UN, the next big target of trans activists is the rights of the child.”
This was very concerning to a retired Canadian lawyer who goes by the handle @justdad7 on Twitter, and who had previously discussed the many ways in which gender ideology specifically flouts the UNCRC. In particular, he pointed out that it flies in the face of a child’s freedom of conscience (through indoctrination programs like SOGI 1 2 3), right to engage in play and recreational activities (via the elimination of sex-segregated spaces), and right to be raised by their parents and families (by accusing parents who refuse to transition their children of abuse and taking their children away).
Unfortunately, there are a growing number of radical gender ideologues who argue that the UNCRC should protect the rights of “transgender” children. They take the existence of the “transgender” child completely for granted, never pausing to question how insane it is to believe that some children are somehow actually the opposite sex of the sex that they are.
This cult belief in the “transgender child” has led far too many to argue that it is fair, right, and good for children to undergo invasive and irreversible medical procedures to change their “gender.”
And the argument is coming from inside the UN itself.
In 2015, Norwegian jurist and former Chair of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, Kirsten Sandberg, published a paper that sought to treat “transgender children” as a legal category.
In the paper, she argues that gender identity, which is not mentioned in the UNCRC, should be regarded as a part of a child’s identity and taken into account when discussing a child’s “best interest.” She writes that trans children “have the same right to this aspect of their identity as children who have the traditional identity of male or female” and that the state is obliged to legally recognize that right. Furthermore, children should have the right to corresponding treatments available in the public health system.
She concludes that:
As for transgender children’s rights to self-determination and a possible right to medical treatment, more could be done by the Committee in raising the issue with civil society actors and the states.
Sandberg’s arguments are referenced heavily in a 2020 paper by Carrie Paechter, Director of the Nottingham Centre for Children, Young People and Families.
Paechter agrees with Sandberg that children who identify as transgender should have access to medical treatments for affirming their identity. She gives lip service to the idea that children need to understand the implications of these medical treatments before pursuing them, but she nevertheless supports these interventions if the child desires them. She doesn’t ponder whether a young person can fully comprehend and appreciate the effects of these treatments on their fertility and sexual function.
Ultimately, the aim of Paechter’s paper is to extrapolate Sandberg’s approach to all children in general:
Sandberg’s conclusions have implications for children’s rights more broadly. In particular, she treats children’s rights to participate in personal decisions, and to have the final say in those that are especially significant for them, as overriding…. States should learn from this, and work harder to ensure that this right is enshrined in both their laws and their practices, so that children generally gain greater access to informed self-determination.
Sandberg is not the only current or former UN voice making these arguments. In 2021, Victor Madrigal-Borloz, a UN Independent Expert who campaigned for Scotland’s Gender Recognition Reform Bill, also used the CRC to argue for giving children puberty blockers in a video posted to Twitter.
In the horrific video, Madrigal-Borloz declares that “there is no reason not to acknowledge a child’s agency in relation to their gender identity. To proceed otherwise would be discriminatory.” He then makes the claim that most children will have a “stable sense of gender identity before age six” and that they should receive “gender-affirming treatment” like pubertal suppression “at an early age.”
Madrigal-Borloz finishes with this gem:
Denying a child the agency to consent to gender recognition procedures will likely increase the risk of persecution, abuse, violence, discrimination.
I have some questions for anyone who is so invested in very young children having unfettered self-determination as Sandberg and Paechter discuss and the “agency” to “consent,” as Madrigal-Borloz stresses. The first being: what else do you think children should have the self-determination and agency to consent to?
If children can “consent” to procedures that will rob them of their future fertility and sexual function then where, exactly, is the line?
The UNCRC is supposed to protect childhood and preserve it as a time when a human being is not treated as an adult. This idea has been completely reversed, and now we have UN “experts” arguing that children are capable of making adult decisions that will impact them for the rest of their lives.
And don’t think that activist organizations haven’t noticed and won’t use this line of thinking to push their agendas. They have been doing so for several years now.
In 2018, the activist network Transgender Europe released a policy paper arguing that “the best interests of the child should be a primary consideration in legal transition procedures,” and that “gender recognition for children and young people touches on important principles from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.”
In 2020, the Canadian activist organization Wisdom2Action also cited the CRC in a letter in support of Canada’s ban on “conversion therapy.”
We, the undersigned, represent a broad coalition of organizations and advocates committed to advancing and protecting children’s rights in Canada. We are writing to you to voice our support for Bill C-6, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (conversion therapy). We believe this legislation is an essential step forward in ensuring children and young people are protected from harm and that Canada abides by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Canadian Human Rights Act.
Note that these activists consider any approach which doesn’t affirm a child’s transgender identity to be “conversion therapy.”
The conversation around children’s rights and childhood transition has gone terrifyingly off course. Activists are claiming that not affirming a child as the sex that they aren’t and not allowing them to make permanent medical changes which will have extensive lifelong consequences are violations of their rights.
As these ideas proliferate, it is going to be important to counter them with the truth. Destroying a child’s fertility, stealing their future sexual function, and confusing them about the nature of biological sex—all in the service of a contradictory and reality-denying ideology—are among the most egregious modern-day examples of children’s human rights violations. The people who support these atrocities do not get to claim the moral high ground.
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