I have to say, I share Idzie D.’s feeling of uneasiness when I hear the term “parental rights”. It’s a great term when considering parental rights relative to the state, but relative to children, we should tread very lightly.
My voluntaryist journey only recently lead me to consider more and more the rights of children. Of course, rights are passive, so children’s rights cannot be anything more than being left to chart their own path in life. That’s a right that I’m proud to say I champion. I’ve given my own children that freedom.
Some of the comments at the end of her post mention the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child. From what I understand, this convention is rather statist in nature, co-opting governments on behalf of children, etc. As a voluntaryist, I would never side with anything state-related or state-enforced, this convention included, but that’s not to say that some of it’s principles don’t have merit.
This seems like an area that’s less absolute among libertarians and voluntaryists. When does a parent’s encroachment of their children’s rights merit retaliatory violence by outsiders? I believe in a free society, where parents were raised themselves without the anti-social effects and baggage of compulsory schooling, this would be a near non-issue. To the extent that there is a problem, I trust family and friends and other close associates would be involved to the point of providing the necessary protection.