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Save Children Now: Nations Continue to Deny Children’s Universal Human Rights Based on Extremism

Twenty Years Ago – November 20, 1989 – the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

But nations that reject religious freedom and defend extremism, by viewing that human rights exist only as granted by extremist forms of Sharia, also continue to defy universal human rights for children, including many nations that are signatories to 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child.

While giving the appearance of being “signatories” to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in fact, many of these OIC and Islamic-majority nations are allowing extremists to reject such universal human rights for children, including religious freedom – while UNICEF is promoting “events” by such nations allegedly demonstrating their support for “children’s rights” in the Middle East and North Africa and in South Asia — support that in fact does not exist.

UNICEF and other United Nations organizations are meeting with such extremist OIC member nations on November 23 and 24, 2009 in Cairo, Egypt to address “CRC and Islamic Jurisprudence” to address “reservations to the effect that the CRC would only be implemented if it is not in conflict with the Islamic Shari’a.”  We are concerned that this Cairo meeting, like so many other efforts to sacrifice human rights to Sharia, may result in further international justification to weaken children’s rights.

The OIC remains an organization that has been repeatedly condemned for seeking to undermine universal human rights.   Leading members of its organization (Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, Egypt)  are repeatedly shown as in the bottom of the world’s “gender gap” nations, and are among the worst nations in the world in human trafficking (slavery) of women, men, and children.

In many of these nations and growing around the world through immigration, we see an endless pattern of “honor killings” and abuse of young girls and women by those who rationalize such violence by an ideology of extremism.

Image from State Dept 2009 Human Trafficking Report, section "Gender Imbalance in Human Trafficking"

Image from U.S. State Dept 2009 Report

Islamic Caveats on Children’s Rights Convention:

This is how “Islamic nations” have “supported” the November 20, 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child:

— “The Government of the Republic of Afghanistan reserves the right to express, upon ratifying the Convention, reservations on all provisions of the Convention that are incompatible with the laws of Islamic Shari’a and the local legislation in effect.”

— interprets children’s rights based on “Islam is the State religion” and “Islamic morality”

— “subject to the existing laws and practices in Bangladesh”

— “[The Government of Djibouti] shall not consider itself bound by any provisions or articles that are incompatible with its religion and its traditional values.”

— “Provisions of the Convention shall be interpreted in the light of the principles of Islamic laws and values.”

— “The 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia guarantees the fundamental rights of the child irrespective of their sex, ethnicity or race.  The Constitution prescribes those rights to be implemented by national laws and regulations. The ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the Republic of Indonesia does not imply the acceptance of obligations going beyond the Constitutional limits nor the acceptance of any obligation to introduce any right beyond those prescribed under the Constitution.”  (Freedom of religion conspicously absent.)

—  “The Islamic Republic of Iran is making reservation to the articles and provisions which may be contrary to the Islamic Shariah, and preserves the right to make such particular declaration, upon its ratification”.
—  “The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran reserves the right not to apply any provisions or articles of the Convention that are incompatible with Islamic Laws and the international legislation in effect.”

—  “The Government of Iraq has seen fit to accept [the Convention] … subject to a reservation in respect to article 14, paragraph 1, concerning the child’s freedom of religion, as allowing a child to change his or her religion runs counter to the provisions of the  Islamic Shariah .”

— ” The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan expresses its reservation and does not consider itself bound by articles 14, 20 and 21 of the Convention, which grant the child the right to freedom of choice of religion and concern the question of adoption, since they are at variance with the precepts of the tolerant Islamic Shariah.”

—   “[Kuwait expresses] reservations on all provisions of the Convention that are incompatible with the laws of Islamic Shari’a and the local statutes in effect.”

— “The Government of Malaysia accepts the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child but expresses reservations with respect to articles 1, 2, 7, 13, 14, 15, […], 28, [paragraph 1 (a)] 37, […] of the Convention and declares that the said provisions shall be applicable only if they are in conformity with the Constitution, national laws and national policies of the Government of Malaysia.”

—  “1) Since the Islamic Shariah is one of the fundamental sources of Maldivian Law and since Islamic Shariah does not include the system of adoption among the ways and means for the protection and care of children contained in Shariah, the Government of the Republic of Maldives expresses its reservation with respect to all the clauses and provisions relating to adoption in the said Convention on the Rights of the Child.
—  “2) The Government of the Republic of Maldives expresses its reservation to paragraph 1 of article 14 of the said Convention on the Rights of the Child, since the Constitution and the Laws of the Republic of Maldives stipulate that all Maldivians should be Muslims.”

— “In signing this important Convention, the Islamic Republic of Mauritania is making reservations to articles or provisions which may be contrary to the beliefs and values of Islam, the religion of the Mauritania People and State.”

— “Article 6 of the Constitution, which provides that Islam, the State religion, shall guarantee freedom of worship for all.”

— “A reservation is entered to all the provisions of the Convention that do not accord with Islamic law or the legislation in force in the Sultanate and, in particular, to the provisions relating to adoption set forth in its article 21.”
— “The Sultanate does not consider itself to be bound by those provisions of article 14 of the Convention that accord a child the right to choose his or her religion or those of its article 30 that allow a child belonging to a religious minority to profess his or her own religion.”

— “Whereas the Government of the State of Qatar ratified the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child on 3 April 1995, and entered a general reservation concerning any of its provisions that are inconsistent with the Islamic sharia;”

Saudi Arabia:
— ”  [The Government of Saudi Arabia enters] reservations with respect to all such articles as are in conflict with the provisions of Islamic law.”

— “The Syrian Arab Republic has reservations on the Convention’s provisions which are not in conformity with the Syrian Arab legislations and with the Islamic Shariah’s principles, in particular the content of article (14) related to the Right of the Child to the freedom of religion, and articles 20 and 21 concerning the adoption.”
— “reservations of the Syrian Arab Republic to article 14 of the Convention are restricted only to its provisions relating to religion”

United Arab Emirates:
— “The United Arab Emirates shall be bound by the tenor of this article to the extent that it does not conflict with the principles and provisions of Islamic law.”

Djibouti, Indonesia, Pakistan and the Syrian Arab Republic
[Same text, mutatis mutandis, as the objection made with regard to Iran (Islamic Republic of) under “Objections”.]

LA Times: "The Sharia police stop three veiled teenage girls at a beach in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, a city where Islamic religious codes of public behavior are strictly enforced. The girls' crime: wearing tights. They were told to go home immediately and change into proper attire."

Sharia Police Harassing Young Girls in Indonesia

Excerpts from the Convention on the Rights of the Child:
“Considering that, in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

“Bearing in mind that the peoples of the United Nations have, in the Charter, reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights and in the dignity and worth of the human person, and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom”

“Recognizing that the United Nations has, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the International Covenants on Human Rights, proclaimed and agreed that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”

“Recalling that, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations has proclaimed that childhood is entitled to special care and assistance”

“1. States Parties shall respect and ensure the rights set forth in the present Convention to each child within their jurisdiction without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child’s or his or her parent’s or legal guardian’s race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status.”

“2. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that the child is protected against all forms of discrimination or punishment on the basis of the status, activities, expressed opinions, or beliefs of the child’s parents, legal guardians, or family members.”



Convention on the Rights of the Child

Signatories to the Convention on the Rights of the Child
alternate web page

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

UNICEF Web Site on the Convention on the Rights of the Child

UNICEF Photo Essay on Children’s Rights

AP: “20 years after UN pact, many children still suffer”
— AP reports:
“The United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child 20 years ago Friday, yet hundreds of millions of children still suffer from violence, hunger and disease. Associated Press correspondents around the globe interviewed children who illustrate the remaining challenges, along with some victories.”

Additional Reports:

Nations Continue to Deny Children’s Universal Human Rights Based on Extremism

Egypt Hosts OIC Conference on “Children’s Rights”

Egypt: 15 Year Old Egyptian Convert to Christianity Sends Plea to Obama — Dina el-Gowhary

Egypt: “The Disappearance, Forced Conversions, and Forced Marriages of Coptic Christian Women in Egypt”

Why Extremist Honor Killings Represent Ideological Violence Against Women

Kansas City: Arranged “Marriage Contract” of 14-year old Girl Reportedly Based on “Islamic” Views

Bangladesh — CDN Report: “Court Impedes Effort to Rescue Kidnapped Girl in Bangladesh”

World Gender Gap Worst in Islamic Nations — Survey Shows Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Yemen, Egypt, Turkey at Bottom of List

Indonesia: 1500 Sharia Police Harrass Men, Women in Aceh

Indonesia: Muslim cleric cleared of sex abuse over 12 year old child bride

Netherlands: Married at thirteen

Florida: Court Decides to Return Rifqa Bary to Ohio — 17 Year Old Christian Convert Girl Claims Muslim Parents Threatened to Kill Her

Italy: 15 Year Old Muslim Girl Threatened in Italy for Loving Italian Boy

UK: 15 Year Old Girl Tulay Goren Murdered in “Honor Killing,” Mother Testifies in Court

Turkey: 19 Year Old Girl Murdered in “Honor Killing” – Prosecution Seeks Life Sentence for Father, Uncle

Pakistan — ICC report on rape of Christian minority girl

Saudi Child Bride Turned Back Over to 80-Year-Old Husband

Pakistan: Suspected “Honor Killing” of Pregnant Wife, Two Teenage Daughters

Pakistan: Jirga orders marrying off three minor girls

Saudi religious police blamed in ‘honour’ killing of sisters

Pakistan “Honor killings”: Couple, including teenage bride, mother, sister murdered

Germany: Turk stabs teen daughter in “honour killing” — because daughter “did not want to follow the Muslim way”

Pakistan: 16 year old girl sold to 62 year old man

Afghanistan: “Honor-Killing” in Afghanistan: Father Kills His Daughter and Her Lover

Saudi Arabia: Camera phones seized from female teachers, schoolgirls

Pakistan – Muslim Forces 12-year-old Girl to Convert, Marry Him

Pakistan: “Brother kills girl for honour”

Afghanistan: New ‘poisoning’ hits 98 Afghan schoolgirls

Pakistan: Extremists Cleared of Rape of Christian Girl

Pakistan: Eloping Niece Murdered by  Uncle Over “Honor”

Pakistan: Daughters Murdered by  Father

Pakistan: Taliban whip 17 year old girl

Pakistan: Taliban destroy over 100 girls’ schools in Swat

India: Villagers burn 16-year old Muslim girl alive in “honour killing”

Somalia — Gang rapists laugh about Sharia “justice”

Somalia: 13 Year Old Girl Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow Stoned to Death for Being Rape VictimSharia Court Finds Her Guilty

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