The Scotland named person appointed by the government could be a school teacher, health worker, or a host of other state approved individuals other than the actual parents or grandparents of the child. The government guardian will have the authority to report concerns which allegedly pertain to the well being of the child to local authorities.
Every child will be appointed a government guardian for the purposes of ensuring their well being. Opponents to the mandate have formed the NO2NP campaign to fight back against the looming “named person” law. The NO2NP campaign has mounted a costly legal challenge to the named person laws. The lawsuit focuses on the “defense of family life against state intrusion.” The group also feels that the pending law intrudes upon the European Convention on Human Rights, Article 8 in particular. That segment on the human rights rules guarantee the right to “respect private family and life.”
Scottish Christians are concerned about how risks to a child’s well being will actually be defined. Religious freedom worries voiced include problems arising when parents teach their children that a marriage is a union of one man to one woman and other restrictions issued by parents relating to birth control and relationship with the opposite sex when the children become teens.
Faith liberty expert Elizabeth Kendal had this to say about the government guardian mandate in Scotland:
“It can be imagined how this law could become a weapon in the hands of anti-Christian elements of state guardians with agendas and of all manner of social engineers. This law will turn state employees into informants to enforce state ideology and conservative Christian parents will be powerless to prevent it. The law is wide open for abuse. Whilst currently it may not look like a religious liberty issue, the way is open for it to become one.”
The Scottish Parents Teacher Council, CARE, the Christian Institute, and other similar groups appear to agree with Kendal and are all working with the NO2NP project to prevent the mandate from being enacted as planned in 2016.
Christian Institute representative Colin Hart had this to say about Scotland’s named person mandate:
“It offers the state unbridled access into the living rooms of ever family in the country, reducing and diluting the roles of ordinary parents and intruding on their fundamental rights to a private family life.”
Minister for Children and Young People Aileen Campbell is downplaying the concerns by parents and Christians by claiming that the named person mandate will be a “boost” for the wellbeing of children.
The child welfare official had this to say during an interview with the Scottish Herald:
“Nothing in the legislation changes parental rights and responsibilities. I’ve been consistently clear that parents and carers, with very few exceptions, are the best people to raise their children. By responding to needs and risks more quickly, problems are less likely to escalate, meaning there are fewer vulnerable children.”
The Scotland named person law is also already in operation in the areas of Edinburgh and Ayrshire. Despite the vocal publish backlash and the ongoing legal challenge, the government appears to be steadfastly behind the policy.
Children and social services ministry officials have stated that the named person act will prevent “vulnerable children” form slipping through the cracks and offer Scottish families a “point of contact” when in need of assistance. The law will also create 500 new health visitor positions and will include naming a government guardian for all children from birth to the age of 18.
Do you think the Scotland named person law is an infringement upon parental rights and religious freedom? Could such a law ever become a reality in America?