UNITED NATIONS, May 9, 2002 ( – LifeSite has obtained a document released by the Canadian delegation at the United Nations Special Session on Children which is currently underway at the organization’s New York headquarters.  The document entitled “Child Rights and the Family” is printed on “The Senate of Canada” letterhead and attributed to Senator Landon Pearson.  The document also notes that Pearson is the “Personal Representative of the Prime Minister to the UN Special Session on Children” and the “Advisor on Children’s Rights to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.”  The document aims its criticisms specifically at “‘pro-family’, ‘pro-life’, or ‘Religious Right” groups using carefully worded UN language to suggest such groups are naëve and their viewpoints are unworthy of consideration.  The paper identifies correctly that pro-family groups take issue with the Convention on the Rights of the Child as it is currently interpreted by United Nations committees regarding the definition of the family, the rights of parents, corporal punishment and sexual health services which include abortion.  However the paper belittles the viewpoints of pro-family advocates calling them “limited positions” and promotes a broad definition of the family, broad rights for children, the banning of corporal punishment and promotion of sexual health services (which include abortion) for children.

  Interestingly the document purports to speak for all Canadians but ignores not only a significant portion of Canada’s citizens who would call themselves pro-family but also ignores Canadian law which permits the use of corporal punishment.  Demonstrating that same inconsistency, the document says, “the Convention is the result of ten years of negotiation among state representatives from around the world … and, as such, it represents a global consensus” however it also suggests that conservative groups lacked a strong voice in past conferences.  “The more conservative of these (non-governmental) organizations were not present at earlier United Nations conferences but have recently coordinated their efforts to become more effective at presenting their views,” says the document.  Calls to Senator Pearson’s office were not returned by press time.