PLEASE HELP THE US TO RATIFY
THE CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD!
Submitted by John Surr, Bethesda, MD
In 1989, with much acclaim, the United Nations General Assembly approved the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and sent it out to the countries of the world for ratification.
The CRC provides a single, comprehensive, humane and easy to understand set of international standards about the treatment of children everywhere, both as a goal to seek and a statement of the inherent dignity of every child. Every country recognized by the UN, except for Somalia and the United States, has ratified the treaty in the 20 years since that day in 1989. Since then the UN has established a standing committee on the Rights of the Child, which meets annually to review members' adherence to its terms and recommend next steps to achieve the standards set forth in the Treaty. In the early years of the current century the UN adopted two additional protocols to the CRC: One concerning child soldiers and the other concerns trafficking in children for slavery or sexual abuse. The US has ratified and is implementing both protocols, but still has not ratified the CRC.
Although the United States Government, starting in the Reagan Administration, led much of the effort to establish the CRC, it has not sent it to the US Senate for ratification. Those who oppose the United Nations, parents who want to continue to be entitled legally and culturally to spank their children, and some home-schoolers who oppose any government regulation of their lives have been sending a stream of mail to their US Senators since 1989 in opposition to ratification. Although President Obama supports ratification, he has had other urgent legislative priorities that have kept him from putting the CRC forward.
CEASE has been a long-time supporter of ratification, and in 2003 we convinced NAEYC to support it as well. Right now we need your help to let your Senators know that there is thoughtful, informed, articulate support among their constituents for ratification of the CRC. If you would like more information about it, please go to http://childrightscampaign.org, and you will find ample resources and links there to use in preparing your correspondence. If you feel even more energized, you might adapt your letter as an op-ed for your local newspaper, or contact your State legislators to seek their support for a State resolution favoring ratification of the CRC. Act4CEASE is following these efforts, and will keep you up to date on them if you have send an email to email@example.com to sign up for Act4CEASE@yahoogroups.com.