U.S. May Soon Stand Alone for Failing to Ratify U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child
Twenty-five years after ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Somalia and the South Sudan are taking steps to join 193 other countries around the world that have ratified the treaty. This is important news for children, as it provides a framework for nations — even oppressive ones — to at least acknowledge and recognize that children have special needs and should be provided the opportunity to, as UNICEF says, “develop their full potential, free from hunger and want, neglect and abuse.”
And just last week, it is noteworthy that Malala Yousafzia and Kailash Satyarthi were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to an education.”
These advocates for child rights were honored on a world stage that, unfortunately, may soon find the United States of America as the only nation left in the shadows for its failure to ratify the CRC.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child, which our nation was instrumental in writing during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, was approved by the United Nations in 1989 and is now the world’s most accepted human rights treaty. Moreover, the CRC is, according to human rights expert Don Cipriani, “inspiring people in countries across the world to think differently about children.” He cites examples of how governments and citizens have positively changed policies to improve the lives and well-being of children in countries as diverse as Pakistan, India, Tanzania, Ireland, Japan, and Montenegro.
Despite these important examples of success and our country’s own significant role U.S. May Soon Stand Alone for Failing to Ratify U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child: