UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

After Peter Dorman’s latest post this seems appropriate to follow up.  Very recently I was at a talk where somebody spoke on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.  A theme of the talk was how few Americans know about this UN Convention while most reasonably well informed people in virtually the entire rest of the world know about it.  A first version of it was passed  by the UN in 1959.  A second round was in 1989.  I do not know what the US’s position was on the first round, but on the second round, while the US signed it in 1995, it was never ratified by the Senate and never has been.  Right wing Christian types claimed it took away rights of parents over their children, although any reasonable examination of it shows that is nonsense.  Up until 2015, Sudan and Somalia also were with the US in not ratifying it, but then both of them did so, leaving the US to be the only nation on earth (or at least in the UN) not ratifying it.

Unsurprisingly there may be more reasons now why the current Senate will not raritify it as it looks like US behavior on our southern border is in open violation of parts of the Convention.  It has 42 articles, and the fact that so many nations have accepted it is a sign of how really uncontroversial it should be.  There is no reasonable reason to oppose any of the 42 articles.  Anyway, I shall simply note a few that are now especially unfortunate now given recent US conduct. (these are the simpler versions for children):

Article 5: You have the right to be given guidance by your parents and family.

Article 9: You have the right to live with your parents unless it is bad for you.

Article 10: If you and your parents are living in separate countries you have the right to get back together and live in the same place.

Article 18: You have the right to be brought up by your parents, if possible.

Article 20: You have the right to special proetection and help if you can’t live with your parents.

Article 22: You have the right to special protection and help if you are a refugee. A refugee is someone who has to leave their country because it is not safe for them to be there.

That will do.  The speaker I learned this from urged us to inform people in the US about this given how little it is known, although I imagine there are some of you reading this who know of this. But I did not, and I am ashamed that I did not.  So here I am, doing my best.

Barkley Rosser

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