It has taken me a long time to wade through a UNICEF document and get to grips with the proposals. One perspective could be that just an exploratory document kicking around ideas. A more sinister take would be that powerful forces are trying to socially engineer how we think of childhood and provide leverage, to the State, to remove Parental rights. I read this through the lens of a parent who has a child undergoing medical intervention for a “trans” identity. From this vantage point I was particularly wary about references to children’s “autonomy” , especially with respect to medical decisions. There have already been cases where a child has been removed because the parents opposed their daughter going on testosterone (Australia). A case in Canada where a Father lost custody of his child for opposing medicalisation and another ongoing case in the U.S. These are just the ones that got publicity.
Save the Children
The document is produced in partnership with Save the Children. This is not reassuring. I have not done a specific post on this organisation so I had a quick look at their Annual Report and their Diversity posts. They are a well funded organisation and some of their funding comes the United Nations, World Bank, GSK and Welcome foundation. They probably merit a detailed look but this, from their “Free To Be Me”, document on diversity, tells its own tale. It’s replete with talk on Power, Privilege and the dreaded word “inclusion” and this is one of the graphics.
Evolving Capacities of the child.
The document explores child development to question whether we are empowering children to make their own choices at a young enough age. They cover topics like the age of criminal responsibility, age at which they are deemed capable of making medical decisions and the age of sexual consent, plus child labour and the right to an education. Before I look at the document I will just lay out some information about the author and links with U.K. based charities.
Gerison Lansdown is listed as the founder of a U.K. based organisation, which I had never heard of, called the Children’s Rights Alliance for England. (CRAE) I looked for official charity recognition but, after checking their website, I was directed to another which appears to be the umbrella organisation, Just for Kids Law Limited.
This is the website for CRAAE.
This is the registration details for Just For Kids Law Limited.
Before I started I trawled through the files accounts going back to 2007. Gerison Landsdown doesn’t appear to have ever been a trustee. The charity looks to be doing some excellent work, based on the case studies; helping children navigate the judicial system; supporting vulnerable children to make sure local authorities honour their legal obligations, particularly for care leavers. They also have case studies on asylum seekers /unaccompanied minors. Some of their work involves making councils treat under 18’s as children for the purposes of getting accommodation and also making sure they are treated as children when being taken through the criminal justice system. There is a conflict here with a demand that children are treated as adults for the purposes of accessing medical treatment.
I also trawled through their accounts to see who funds them. They have a lot of foundations supporting them. The Guardian supported them to the tune of £49,000 via their Christmas appeal. Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Oak Foundation, Esme Fairburn Foundation, Tudor Trust, Joseph Rowntree Trust and Barings Foundation are some of the names that crop up in their accounts. These foundations appear time and time again funding trans lobby groups.
I share this information not to accuse the organisation of any wrongdoing but only to emphasise the financial dependence, of the Charity Sector, on foundations pushing their own agenda. I can think of no greater threat to a child than having their fertility removed and their sexual function eradicated but raising this would challenge their financial situation.
In part two I will look at the document.
You can support my work by taking out a paid subscription to my substack or donating below. All donations gratefully received and they do help me cover my costs and also to keep content open for those not able to contribute.