In 1997, Judge David Soukup realized that abused children had no court status or voice in the institution that was designed to protect them. He saw children being re-victimized by overburdened, understaffed and under-resourced courts and social services.
Until Seattle Judge Soukup started the CASA guardian ad litem program, children were like women before the right to vote, the courts considered them property/chattel that belong to the people raising them and they themselves had no court standing or voice in their own safety or daily lives.
In 1989 the United Nations ratified the Convention on the rights of a child and since then, all other nations of the world have signed onto it except for the United States.
It is believed that the U.S. will not ratify it as the Southern states will not give up the Conventions requirement of banning child soldiers. Southern states have sent boys (and now girls) to military schools always. Sign KARA’s petition for congress to ratify this treaty.
Military training of teens almost always results in those children being indoctrinated and joining the armed forces.
All other nations of the world have recognized how easily children are indoctrinated and codified military training of children as wrong.
In America today, children have no federal rights except under the “doctrine of imminent harm” which allows the child to be taken from the family if the child’s life is endangered by the parent. For the most part, being responsible for killing your own child, unless it’s for religious reasons it is against the law.
At least 30 states still allow parents to withhold lifesaving medical care to their children for religious reasons and children do die because of it. This may sound hyperbolic, but if you did withhold lifesaving medical care in a state that did not allow it for religious reasons, you’d be charged with killing your child. Parents have all the rights and children have no voice except for the guardian ad litem that speaks for them.
Find out more about being a CASA guardian ad Litem and giving your voice to an abused child in your community.