THEN: to UN or not to UN?

In this article, Edwin Thor again discusses some of the pitfalls of efforts to get home-education recognised.

Third Home Education Network

Appeals to the U.N.

The United Nations (U.N.) is often regarded as the ultimate organisation to enforce a right for all families to educate their children at home upon all governments in the world. After all, the U.N. claims to be the ultimate protector of human rights and most governments respect the U.N.'s opinion in this regard. In many countries, one can legimately seek redress against rulings of even the highest court in the country, by lodging an appeal with the U.N.'s Human Rights Commission.

THEN itself has taken such a step by initiating a class action case with the U.N. on behalf of a group of Australian homeschooling families who are currently being incriminated and harassed by the Government.

The decision to appeal to the U.N. has not come lightly. THEN is aware of the fact that the U.N. in many respects represents the voice of the government, rather than the cry of the victims of monolithic government. THEN is also aware of the danger that, by collaborating with a body that is the symbol of centralised control, one can become part of the evil it inflicts on society.

THEN's Principles

The reason why THEN believes it can avoid these pitfalls is that THEN deliberately claims not to represent all homeschoolers. Even if all homeschoolers were to agree on a particular point, THEN will still insist on a number of organisations to carry this opinion separately. This principle is embedded in the very name of THEN, which stands for the Third Home Education Network, indicating that there are others to be heard as well.

THEN will support any step that may lead to further recognition of home education, as long as THEN can voice its opinion itself, rather than being (mis-)represented.

[ THEN-newsletter, 14 June 1993 ]

 [ WHEN, the World Home Education Network ]

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