Since the middle of the last century, there has been a great wave of enlightenment and liberation throughout the world. In our own country, our ancestors saw an end to slavery. Soon African-Americans won the right to vote. Finally, women did, too. In our own time, we have seen women and people of color make tremendous gains, not only in the United States, but in many nations of the world. We have seen the Berlin Wall fall and Apartheid in South Africa come to an end. In fact, Nelson Mandella, once its prisoner, became its leader.

Human rights is making advances everyday throughout the world because we are reaching a higher level of moral development. We are becoming aware of and sensitive to the issues of those who are different than us in religion, ethnicity, color, gender, and lifestyle. We are now, as a society, just beginning to feel empathy for those of a different age -- those who are older than us and those who are younger than us.

We now have it in our capacity to have empathy for children and their struggle.  Their struggle is not political for they are so oppressed because of their size and neediness that they have little, if any, say at all in their lives. It is for those of us who were once in their place to fight for their freedom. But, yes, children struggle, too, not in marches in the street or in sit-ins or in boycotts, but they struggle every day to be heard and to be recognized as people with rights.

We now have it in our capacity to become more enlightened and to see how children suffer, how children are treated like property, and how children are abused in ways that we never recognized before. We The Children was formed in order to spread this new enlightenment and to advance the cause of children’s liberation.

We are an organization of advocates; parents, children and professionals who are fighting for children’s liberation from violence and oppression. We oppose spanking and all cruelty in child rearing.

We believe society should assume greater responsibility for preventing child physical abuse, child sexual abuse and child neglect. We believe young people in high school should be required to take a family planning class, that couples should experience a decision making process before choosing to become parents, and that once pregnant, the couple should be required to take a parenting class.

In the United States children are the only group of people that have not been granted their constitutional right to equal protection under the law - as guaranteed in section 1 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. We believe that all children deserve to be granted the same legal protection that is enjoyed by every other natural-born citizen.

We are fighting for the rights of children and welcome you to join us. Children need more allies in all areas of their lives.

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