Children are the most globally disenfranchised, helpless, dependent, and historically victimized population on the planet. They are raped, beaten, trafficked, starved, forced into slave labor, held as captives, tortured, pimped out in marriages, and forced to give birth... with near impunity. Their abuse is legal in many situations. They are colonized by adults everywhere
Children, as an exploited and colonized population are in a unique situation. They have never had a voice politically, and they never will. Why? Because they don't earn wages and those who are fortunate enough to have money in their name will have no control over that money until they become adults. In other words, they lack leverage; they have no clout. Oh, and they're children. Their brains are still developing. They are naive about the world, they lack language skills. The conditions for their ongoing exploitation are near ideal: They are ubiquitous, financially dependent, easy to discredit because of their youth, without representation, unable to organize themselves, naive and gullible, physically diminutive and relatively frail, and treated as the property of adults.
And, of course, this immediately calls to mind the absolutely abysmal historical record of adults attempting to protect children via legislation and agencies. How would this be any different?
Because it would be visionary. It would not be about advocacy and lobbying of existing adultist institutions. It would be a political party that prioritized the needs of children, not as planks in a platform, but as the sole agenda.
And what are those needs?
- The right to their bodily integrity. (no corporal punishment, trafficking, prostitution, exploitation in pornography, rape, molestation)
- The right to their childhood. (no slave labor)
- The right to clean air and clean water.
- The right to education.
- The right to safe homes.
- The right to a radiation-free, pollution-free environment.
- The right to access nature.
- The right to health, dental, and optical care.
- The right to spiritual autonomy. (no indoctrination)
- The right to food that is pesticide-free and not genetically-modified.
- The right to a future.
This year, there have been a spate of lawsuits filed in several states and in federal court by an Oregon-based nonprofit called Our Children's Trust. The lawsuits, filed on behalf of children and young adults, are based on "common law" theories about "public trusts." The goal is to have the atmosphere declared for the first time as a public trust, warranting government protection. In the past, this "public trust" concept has been effectively used to clean up polluted rivers and coastlines. Applying it to global warming and climate change may be somewhat trickier. The organization uses the phrase "intergenerational justice."
And... child trafficking. This is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world. Trafficking is the world’s second largest criminal enterprise, after drugs. The global market of child trafficking at over $12 billion a year with over 1.2 million child victims. Baby-farming, pornography, child brides, child soldiers...
A children's party. An act of penance on the part of all of us adults. A children's party NOW.