BRUSSELS, December 12, 2002 ( – Reissuing its dubious claim that “tens of millions of children around the world feel disconnected from political institutions and lack trust in their governments,” UNICEF announced a new campaign for increased “participation.”  Carol Bellamy, Executive Director of UNICEF, says: “If we fail to promote child participation from an early age, we are missing an amazing opportunity to deepen democracy and human dignity around the world. … That failure leaves young people with a sense of powerlessness and exclusion from society—and that can carry a great cost.”  But Sam Singson, who monitors U.N. affairs for Campaign Life Coalition, says such programs, however well-meaning, tend to bypass parents and “to isolate the child from the family unit.”“Taking the program directly to the schools disregards parental rights,” she says. The programs are misguided, Ms. Singson adds, because “Children don’t have the capacity to interpret political information the way adults can,” and “don’t understand the ramifications” of many fine-sounding U.N. proposals.  For the U.N. press release see:   For related coverage see:  MP ISSUES REASONS TO OBJECT TO UNICEF CHILD RIGHTS VOTE


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