THEN: to UN or not to UN?In this article,
Edwin Thor again discusses some of the pitfalls of efforts to get
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.
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 ]
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