By David Kopel
International Adoption: The Human Rights Positionis an article in Global Policy by Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Bartholet. A response article from Paulo Barrozo of Boston College Law School amplifies some of her points.
In brief: UNICEF has been at the forefront of pressuring national governments to set up so many hurdles as to make international adoption rare and extremely time-consuming. The result is that children languish in miserable, hellish orphanages for years. During the critical early months and years in which interaction with loving parents is essential to a child’s normal brain development, the children are neglected and left in squalor.
According to Bartholet, all this is a violation of international treaties about the rights of children, which one might expect UNICEF, of all entities, to be especially scrupulous about obeying. Besides, you don’t need to be an international lawyer to see the flaws of policy that leaves children in terrible orphanages, or as menial servants and de facto slaves in “the community,” rather than in loving homes.
In a 2007 article, I discussed UNICEF’s record in propagandizing for Palestinian terrorism, and its collaboration with the North Korean dictatorship and with the Saddam Hussein regime.
So in short, if you want to give to a charity which does not spend any money on harming children, UNICEF is a poor choice. Unfortunately, UNICEF has a ready supply of funds from good-hearted, uninformed people. American schoolchildren “trick or treat for UNICEF” without realizing that some of the money they raise will be spent on terrorist training camps, or on lobbying to keep children trapped in horrible orphanages.
If you followed David Post’s advice to watch the outstanding soccer game between Madrid and Barcelona, you saw that the Barcelona players had “UNICEF” on their jerseys. Some transatlantic airlines, including Aer Lingus, subject passangers to long commercials (broadcast on the airplane’s public address system) urging people to put their leftover foreign change into special envelopes for UNICEF. Instead, I wrote a note on the special envelope explaining why I was not donating.
It’s great for children, sports teams, or airplane passengers to raise money to help poor children in the Third World. But when you donate to UNICEF, some of your money is helping to keep neglected and helpless children separated from parents who would give them the love and the care that they need.