EU Marks Universal Children's Day

11/20/07 - EU Marks Universal Children's Day

November 20, 2007

November 20 marks the day on which the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959), and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). Both instruments recognize children’s basic human rights and give them protection and support in the development of their personalities. The Convention on the Rights of the Child affirms that a child is not only a fragile being that needs to be protected, but also a person that has a right to be educated, cared for, protected, wherever in the world he/she is born. And also that a child is a person who has the right to have fun, learn and express him- or herself.

Vice-President Franco Frattini, European Commissioner responsible for freedom, security and justice said: "Today we celebrate the 18th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The European Commission joins in highlighting the importance of this Convention and reaffirms its commitment to protecting the rights of vulnerable people such as children, and has resolved to place the Rights of the Child as one of its main priorities."

Furthermore, in regard to European Commission's report on the implementation by Member States of the Council Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA of 22 December 2003 on combating the sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, which finds that most Member States have criminalized sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and child pornography on the Internet, Vice-President Franco Frattini, stated: "The prevention and the fight against sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and child pornography is at the core of our commitment. No area of freedom, security and justice exists if our most vulnerable citizens are exposed to such offences. The approximation of legislation is the first essential step. But we can do more and better. Now we have to strengthen our action and reach more effective results. Recent incidents in Member States show that we have to be more vigilant than ever, and really protect our children."

Vice-President Frattini further congratulated EU countries which mostly meet the key requirements of the Framework Decision. "However, I am disappointed that so many Member States have not transmitted sufficient information about the real implementation of some essential provisions such as the jurisdiction rule which obliges Member States to prosecute sex tourism, and the special treatment of children as particularly vulnerable victims in criminal proceedings" said Vice-President Frattini. "Member States should go further. In certain areas such as child pornography the real level of protection varies in the EU countries depending on the age of consent to sexual relations established by national legislation, which goes from 13 to 17 years", added Vice-President Frattini. "From our side, we are considering the possibility of strengthening the EU legislative framework especially concerning offences committed through the Internet. We are looking at, in particular, the criminalization of "grooming", which is the solicitation of a child for sexual purposes, and the enhancing of international cooperation to detect crime and identify child victims on the Internet".

On the occasion of the International Children's Rights Day, the European Commission has put at media's disposal the following documents:

1. Information containing an overview of the Commission's work in this area, to be found at:

2. "Une aide concrète pour défendre les droits des plus faibles"

3.  "Member States Implement EU Legislation to Combat the Sexual Exploitation of Children and Child Pornography. But Member States Can Still Do More"

4.  "REPORT from the Commission on the Implementation of the COUNCIL FRAMEWORK DECISION on Combating the Sexual Exploitation of Children and Child Pornography"


Limited recognition, isn't it?

Before my time spent in the Netherlands, I never knew about the United Nations General Assembly, the European Commission, OR the Hague Convention.  In fact, it was through my visit in Amsterdam, reading Roelie Post's book,( Romania - For Export Only), and meeting with the author, herself, that I realized - fully, how little America cares about the prevention of global child trafficking.

Why?  Two reasons.  It's a well-kept secret, and it's cloaked under the guise of International Adoption.

Make no mistake, folks, it's an industry, just like sex, technology and medicine.

It's a war of morals, and money... and you know who loses each and every time?

Mothers and their babies.

Until more Americans make the connection that babies and children are being sold across borders through the use of strangers, no family or social-structure is safe from it's ill-effects.

NO family is safe when trade is the name of the game.

Guatamala changing baby adoption rules

Yeah, it's limited.
Guatemala changing baby adoption rules
Goal is to curb abuses; Thousands of U.S. applications on hold
The Associated Press
updated 12:19 p.m. MT, Tues., Nov. 20, 2007

GUATEMALA CITY - Jeff and Diana Kerr fell in love with the Guatemalan baby girl the moment they saw her photograph. The Minnesota couple decorated her pink and white nursery with pictures of flowers and butterflies, but now they don't know if the 8-month-old will ever become their daughter.

The Kerrs are among thousands of Americans trying to adopt 3,700 babies who are caught in limbo as Guatemala's lawmakers debate new rules that could all but shut down a largely unregulated system that has become the speediest place in the world to finalize an adoption.

"It's an emotionally taxing process," said Jeff Kerr, a 44-year-old financial adviser from Lino Lakes, Minn. "Every day you look at her picture and wonder if you're going to bring her home."

As early as this week, the legislature is expected to debate new rules to eliminate potential fraud in Guatemala's adoption process, which until now has been run from beginning to end by notaries who work with birth mothers, determine if babies were surrendered willingly, hire foster mothers and handle all the paperwork.

These notaries charge an average of $30,000 for children delivered in about nine months — record time for international adoptions. The process is so quick that one in every 100 Guatemalan children now grow up as an adopted American.

The small Central American country sent 4,135 children to the U.S. last year, making it the largest source of babies for American families after much-bigger China.

The adoptions are a $100 million a year industry for notaries.

Government agency will be involved
But the system violates The Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoptions, a treaty designed to prevent fraudulent adoptions. Both Guatemala and the United States have agreed to observe the treaty starting next year. Among other things, a government agency must oversee the process and determine if the child was legally surrendered by the birth mother.

Most agree the new rules will reduce the number of Guatemalan adoptions because the government doesn't have the resources to manage all the cases that notaries have handled and because of extra inspections intended to guarantee that each child is being given up willingly.

What this means for the Kerrs and other would-be parents whose adoptions are currently in process remains unclear.

The United States is pushing for a transition period so that the 3,700 adoptions now under way can be concluded under the existing law.

But scrutiny of the pending adoptions has turned up problems in about 1,000 cases, said Victor Mejicanos, a federal official who oversees adoptions.

"We have everything from altered birth certificates to birth mothers who change their minds and want their babies back," Mejicanos said.

And with only seven investigators, who deal with everything from parental neglect to domestic violence and other family issues, Mejicanos predicts adoptions will take much longer now.

Anticipating the new rules, the Guatemalan government has begun cracking down. In one high-profile case, it closed down the Casa Quivira adoption agency and took custody of 46 children. Just 10 of these have been cleared for adoption, Mejicanos said.

Hotel caters to would-be parents
The rush to beat the deadline can be seen in the Guatemala City Marriott Hotel, so popular with adoptive parents that it has a play room where they can bond with their babies.

"We're some of the lucky ones," said Stephanie Rimmer, a 41-year-old attorney from Alabama who was just cleared to take home a 7-month-old baby girl. "I would be terrified to be starting an adoption in Guatemala right now."

The U.S. State Department has urged anyone wanting to adopt a child in Guatemala to wait until questions are resolved, yet adoptions of Guatemalan children by Americans rose 15 percent this year, to 4,758, according to the U.S. Embassy. In the last few months, however, these slowed to a trickle; most U.S. agencies have stopped referring parents to Guatemala.


Would-be parents have been lobbying U.S. lawmakers with letters and phone calls asking them to pressure Guatemala to allow pending adoptions to be completed under current rules. Sen. Norm Coleman, a Republican from Minnesota, is visiting Guatemala this week to check on the progress of those requests.

The Guatemalan government says it will allow all pending adoptions to move forward, but only after the government adoption agency confirms each child was willingly given up and the child passes a second DNA test now required by the U.S. Embassy.

Charges of stolen babies
The notary system has made it easy for scam artists to coerce women into selling their babies and in some cases, put stolen babies up for adoption, critics say. This week, women who say their children were stolen for adoption pushed empty baby carriages and set up empty cribs outside the attorney general's Office, complaining that prosecutors weren't doing enough.

Congressman Rolando Morales, a leading proponent of reform, said the new rules will require that all babies be in the care of government-registered orphanages, something that may deter adoptions. The new law also will reduce the cost of adoptions, he said.

"The business of Guatemalan children has been very profitable for these notaries, but the money will no longer go to them," Morales said.

The Kerrs said they chose Guatemala because babies are placed with foster mothers during the adoption process and not in orphanages, like in most other countries.

"We feel really good to know that she is in a good place while we wait for her," Kerr said.

But Morales argues orphanages would be easier to monitor.

"Right now, no one knows where all the babies are being kept, and that will have to end," he said.

There are only four registered orphanages, and Morales acknowledged the government doesn't have the resources to house the thousands of children waiting for parents.

In the meantime, Jeff and Diana Kerr are visiting the girl they have named Katie, and hope to take her home by Christmas.

"We just know that we have to go back and see her over Thanksgiving," Jeff Kerr said.

U.S. Embassy advice on the Guatemala changes is online at



1 in 100 Guatamalan children taken into US adoption!

These notaries charge an average of $30,000 for children delivered in about nine months — record time for international adoptions. The process is so quick that one in every 100 Guatemalan children now grow up as an adopted American.

Can you believe this?  One in every 100 Guatamalan children taken from their family and country?

This is racism!  Thls is genocide!  I'm OUTraged.


and this....

Would-be parents have been lobbying U.S. lawmakers with letters and phone calls asking them to pressure Guatemala to allow pending adoptions to be completed under current rules.



"starting next year"

"Both Guatemala and the United States have agreed to observe the treaty starting next year. Among other things, a government agency must oversee the process and determine if the child was legally surrendered by the birth mother. "

Does this mean they will have a Two-For-One Baby Sale as a promotional incentive?  Just think about the one-two punch that gives for the economy...

Hmmm, that's hotels, island hopping, shopping, toys (made in China or not, who gives a damn, it for children!).  Oh, can you hear the cash registers ringing?  ("Everytime you hear a bell ring, an angel gets it's wings!"  Good golly, it IS a WONDERFUL life!!!) 

   <coconut falling on my head for emphasis>

Why in God's name, Mary, would we want to rock the boat of an already hurting economy?  Don't you know there's a war in Iraq going on, and more orphans are awaiting us? 

What's another year?  The world's bastard children can wait another year, can't they?  Most of them are being medicated with something,  anyway, so they won't notice time slipping away.  American's are more concerned about their pockets than their falling apart children.



Pressure to open European Adoption Business.

A little more back ground on the European Unions and some of their players.

from: All Children Have Rights

A conference organized at the request of Francois De Combret, which was held in the European Parliament on 9 November 2006 Jean-Marie Cavada launched the idea of European Adoptions. Franco Frattini, Vice President of the EU, said he would look into that matter. You can read about this in Romania – For Export Only.

As a follow up to the conference, Amici dei Bambini, an Italian International adoption agency that also participated in this conference, published on 30 August their political agenda.

Having read through their policy I see that Amici de Bambini show no interests in promoting best practices and observing the rights of the child as laid down in international law. Clearly Amici de Bambini are only interested in re opening International Adoptions with Eastern European countries, Romania and Bulgaria specifically in mind.

When Romania closed its ICA, agencies like Amici de Bambini lost huge profits, and via a well organized network of ‘friends’ within Europe have for some time now pressed to find a solution so they can resume their business in children.

30.000 Euro and upwards was the price many agencies were asking when Romania closed its doors to international adoptions.


Not only Amici dei Bambini call for European Adoptions, but also call for the Muslim Kafalah system to be legally accepted in Europe as to give foreign couples the right to take a child from Arab nations. Under the kafalah system a child is brought up by other parents but the original family ties remain intact. Amici de Bambini speaks of Moroccan children in need of placement in European countries, but for certain they will not go to Muslim families.

Making European children available throughout Europe and, if nobody is interested in the EU, worldwide, goes against the European Union’s spirit, where each citizen has the right to social protection – and not to be exported.

We note neither Amici dei Bambini, Jean Marie Cavada, Claire Gibault nor Franco Frattini explain who will oversee such an operation? Will it be the European Adoption Agency that Francois de Combret asked for during the European Parliament conference?

In our view Amici de Bambini and its friends should take a leaf out of Romania’s book as this country has reformed with great success and observes the Rights of the Child.

Brian Douglas. (RCHF-UK.)

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