Parent rights protected from UN treaty

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead signed a legislative resolution March 13 to protect the rights of parents and called on the U.S. Congress to submit to the states a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The House joint resolution made its way through the 61st Wyoming Legislature that would protect the rights of parents from a UN treaty.The treaty titled United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child takes the decision making power of parents over their children and puts it the hands of the government.

"When I heard about what was going on, I thought, 'Isn't this already a fundamental right?'" said Rep. Jon Botten, R-Sheridan, a primary sponsor of the bill. "But when I heard what could possibly happen, I knew something had to be done."

Along with Jan Loftus, Wyoming coordinator, the two have made it a goal to make the issue known as well as what is at risk. The treaty, which has made its way around the globe, has been signed by every country except the United States.

The UNCRC is designed to protect the best interest of children but elevates parents' individual rights they may have over their children and turns them over to the respective government.

Opponents of the UNCC want to protect the infringement of what some consider "family law" and keep the raising of children within the family unit. Countries that have signed the treaty have since forfeited such rights, opponents said.

Some examples would be in countries like Holland, where the government has determined it in a child's best interest to begin sex education at the age of 4.

Another case is the country of Sweden, where home schooling has been deemed illegal, and parents can be arrested for doing so.

A famous case on the matter was in 1982, when Washington, D.C., actually enforced the treaty.

In that year, a child complained to a school official that he did not like the fact his parents made him attend church three times a week.

A social worker was immediately informed, and the child was placed into foster care before the parents were even notified.

"It takes what should be fundamental rights of the parents and makes it federal law," Botten said.

If an amendment were to become a part of the U.S. Constitution, it would make the UNCRC void and unenforceable, even if the treaty were signed.

"As of now, family-related law in Wyoming is all state law. If the UNCRC is signed, it would be one of the largest-states-to-federal law transitions in American history," Loftus said.

For more information regarding the issue, go to, or contact Jan Loftus at

Through her, you can request a screening of the documentary "Overruled," which talks about the issue and people affected by it.

Back to News home

For more on the legislature: