Libertarian Party platform references to children

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Libertarian Party platform references to children have changed over the years.

References

Population/Overpopulation

1971

We support an end to all subsidies for childbearing built into our present laws, such as deductions for dependents in the federal income tax, and incremental allowances under the Family Assistance Plan.

1972

We support an end to all subsidies for childbearing built into our present laws, including all welfare plans and the provision of tax-supported services for children.

1974-1980

We support an end to all subsidies for child—bearing built into our present laws, including all welfare plans and the provision of tax-supported services for children. . . . . We call for the elimination of special tax burdens of single people and couples with few or no children.

1982-1996, 2000

We regard the tragedies caused by unplanned, unwanted pregnancies to be aggravated, if not created, by government policies of censorship, restriction, regulation and prohibition. Therefore, we call for the repeal of all laws which restrict anyone, including children, from engaging in voluntary exchanges of goods, services or information regarding human sexuality, reproduction, birth control, or related medical or biological technologies. . . . .

We support an end to all subsidies for child-bearing built into our present laws, including all welfare plans and the provision of tax-supported services for children. We urge the elimination of special tax burdens on single people and couples with few or no children.

Poverty and unemployment

1972-1978

We support repeal of all laws which impede the ability of any person to find employment -- including, but not limited to, minimum wage laws, so-called "protective" labor legislation for women and children, governmental restrictions on the establishment of private day-care centers, the National Labor Relations Act, and licensing requirements.

1980-1996, 2000

We support repeal of all laws that impede the ability of any person to find employment, such as minimum wage laws, so-called "protective" labor legislation for women and children, governmental restrictions on the establishment of private day-care centers, and the National Labor Relations Act.

Involuntary commitment/Government and "mental health"

1974-1990

We further advocate: a.) the repeal of all laws permitting nonvoluntary psychiatric treatment of any person including all children and all persons incarcerated in prisons or mental institutions.

2000

We oppose government pressure requiring parents to obtain counseling or psychiatric drugs for their children.

Due process/safeguards for the criminally accused, 1976-1982

We advocate the repeal of all laws establishing any category of crime applicable to minors for which adults would not be similarly answerable, and an end to the practice in many states of jailing children accused of no crime.

Education

1972-1974

We support the repeal of all compulsory education laws, and an end to government operation, regulation, and subsidy of schools. We call for an immediate end to compulsory busing.

1976

We support the repeal of all compulsory education laws, and an end to government operation, regulation, and subsidy of schools and colleges. We call for an immedate end to compulsory busing.

As an interim measure to encourage the growth of private schools and variety in education, we support both a tax-credit system and a steady reduction of tax support for schools. We support the repeal of all taxes on the income or property of private schools, whether they are profit or non-profit. We further support immediate relief from the burden of school taxes for those not responsible for the education of children.

1978-1990

We advocate the complete separation of education and State. Government schools lead to the indoctrination of children and interfere with the free choice of individuals. Government ownership, operation. regulation, and subsidy of schools and colleges should be ended.

As an interim measure to encourage the growth of private schools and variety in education, we support tax-credits for tuition and for other expenditures related to an individual‘s education. We support the repeal of all taxes on the income or property of private schools, whether profit or non-profit.

We condemn compulsory education laws, which spawn prison-like schools with many of the problems associated with prisons, and we call for the immediate repeal of such laws.

Until government involvement in education is ended, we support elimination within the governmental school system, of forced busing and corporal punishment. We further support immediate reduction of tax support for schools, and removal of the burden of school taxes from those not responsible for the education of children.

1992-1996, 2000

We advocate the complete separation of education and State. Government schools lead to the indoctrination of children and interfere with the free choice of individuals. Government ownership, operation, regulation, and subsidy of schools and colleges should be ended. We call for the repeal of the guarantees of tax-funded, government-provided education, which are found in most state constitutions.

As an interim measure to encourage the growth of private schools and variety in education, including home schooling, we support tax credits for tuition and other expenditures related to an individual's education. We likewise favor tax credits for child care and oppose nationalization of the child-care industry. We oppose denial of tax-exempt status to schools because of those schools' private policies on hiring, admissions, and student deportment. We support the repeal of all taxes on the income or property of private schools, whether for profit or non-profit.

We condemn compulsory education laws, which spawn prison-like schools with many of the problems associated with prisons, and we call for an immediate repeal of such laws.

Until government involvement in education is ended, we support elimination, within the governmental school system, of forced busing and corporal punishment. We further support immediate reduction of tax support for schools, and removal of the burden of school taxes from those not responsible for the education of children.

Freedom of religion

1978-1992

We condemn the attempts by parents or any others—via kidnappings, conservatorships, or instruction under confinement-to force children to conform to their parents’ or any others’ religious views.

1994-2000

We condemn the attempts by parents or any others -- via kidnappings or conservatorships -- to force children to conform to any religious views.

Children's rights

1978-1982

We believe that “children" are human beings and, as such, have the same rights as any other human beings. Any reference in this Platform to the rights of human beings includes children.

1984-1990

Children are human beings and, as such, have all the rights of human beings.

We oppose all laws that empower government officials to seize children and make them "wards of the state" or, by means of child labor laws and compulsory education, to infringe on their freedom to work or learn as they choose. We oppose all legally created or sanctioned discrimination against (or in favor of) children, just as we oppose government discrimination directed at any other artificially defined sub-category of human beings. Specifically we oppose ordinances that outlaw adults-only apartment housing.

We also support the repeal of all laws establishing any category of crimes applicable to children for which adults would not be similarly vulnerable, such as curfew, smoking, and alcoholic beverage laws, and other status offenses. Similarly, we favor the repeal of "stubborn child" laws and laws establishing the category of "persons in need of supervision". We call for an end to the practice in many states of jailing children not accused of any crime. We seek the repeal of all "children's codes" of statutes which abridge due process protections for young people. We further favor the abolition of the juvenile court system, so that juveniles will be held fully responsible for their crimes.

Whenever parents or other guardians are unable or unwilling to care for their children, those guardians have the right to seek other persons who are willing to assume guardianship, and children have the right to seek other guardians who place a higher value on their lives. Accordingly, we oppose all laws that impede these processes, notably those restricting private adoption services or those forcing children to remain in the custody of their parents against their will.

Children should always have the right to establish their maturity by assuming administration and protection of their own rights, ending dependency upon their parents or other guardians and assuming all the responsibilities of adulthood.

1992-1994

Children are human beings and, as such, have all the rights of human beings.

We recognize that children who have not reached maturity need guardians to secure their rights and to aid in the exercise of those rights. We hold that guardianship belongs to those who most love and value the child and his or her development, normally the parents and never the state.

We oppose all laws that empower government officials to seize children and make them "wards of the state" or, by means of child labor laws and compulsory education, to infringe on their freedom to work or learn as they choose. We oppose all legally created or sanctioned discrimination against (or in favor of) children, just as we oppose government discrimination directed at any other artificially defined sub-category of human beings. Specifically we oppose ordinances that outlaw adults-only apartment housing.

We also support the repeal of all laws establishing any category of crimes applicable to children for which adults would not be similarly vulnerable, such as curfew, smoking, and alcoholic beverage laws, and other status offenses. Similarly, we favor the repeal of "stubborn child" laws and laws establishing the category of "persons in need of supervision." We call for an end to the practice in many states of jailing children not accused of any crime. We seek the repeal of all "children's codes" or statutes which abridge due process protections for young people. We further favor the abolition of the juvenile court system, so that juveniles will be held fully responsible for their crimes.

Whenever parents or other guardians are unable or unwilling to care for their children, those guardians have the right to seek other persons who are willing to assume guardianship, and children have the right to seek other guardians who place a higher value on their lives.

Accordingly, we oppose all laws that impede these processes, notably those restricting private adoption services or those forcing children to remain in the custody of their parents against their will. Children should always have the right to establish their maturity by assuming administration and protection of their own rights, ending dependency upon their parents or other guardians and assuming all the responsibilities of adulthood.

Women's Rights and Abortion, 1994

We oppose the fetal protection doctrine under which the state could require prenatal testing, require Caesarian births, require fetal surgery, require force feeding of the mother, jail pregnant substance abusers, bar home births, and bar pregnant women from working in unhealthy places and which would hold a woman legally liable -- because of her diet or personal behavior -- for having a damaged or deformed child.

Families and children, 2000

We believe that families and households are private institutions, which should be free from government intrusion and interference. We believe that government involvement in traditional parenting responsibilities has weakened families and replaced family-taught morals with government-taught morals.

Parents, or other guardians, have the right to raise their children according to their own standards and beliefs, without interference by government, unless they are abusing the children. We recognize that the determination of child abuse can be very difficult. Only local courts should be empowered to remove a child from his or her home, with the consent of the community. This is not meant to preclude appropriate action when a child is in immediate physical danger.

Because parents have these rights, a child may not be able to fully exercise his or her rights in the context of family life. However, children always have the right to establish their maturity by assuming administration and protection of their own rights, ending dependency upon their parents or other guardians, and assuming all responsibilities of adulthood.

Parents have no right to abandon or recklessly endanger their children. Whenever they are unable or unwilling to raise their children, they have the obligation to find other person(s) willing to assume guardianship. Accordingly, we oppose all laws that impede these processes, notably those restricting private adoption services. In particular, we call for the repeal of all laws restricting transracial adoption.

A child is a human being and, as such, deserves to be treated justly. We oppose laws infringing on children's rights to work or learn, such as child labor laws and compulsory education laws. We also oppose the use of curfews based on age.

We call for an end to the practice in many states of jailing children not accused of any crime. We call for repeal of all "children's codes" or statutes which abridge due process protections for young people.