In 1989, the United Nation's Rights of the Child Convention was drafted, and it was put into effect in 1990. Although the
, then under the Reagan Administration, was instrumental in drafting the articles in the treaty, United States never signed it, along with only one other country to date-- America . Somalia
The intention of the treaty was to establish guidelines for basic children's rights. The document acknowledges that children are often the victims of the most violent crimes, including rape, forced conscription, forced labor, and other forms physical and psychological abuse. Essentially, the U.N. Rights of the Child Convention was created in order to give those under eighteen a voice and to offer protection for the one group of the world's citizens who are most vulnerable to suffering on a global scale.
Other U.N. member nations are perplexed at the
' refusal over the past twenty years to sign the treaty. A recent Voice of America article (“US Remains Hold-Out in UN Child Rights Convention”) reports on the nation's most recent hold out. While President Barack Obama has called United States 's absence in the treaty "embarrassing," the Senate is the final decision maker. As of yet, the convention has not been presented for ratification. America
What, then, is holding us back? For one, the
has been historically reticent in signing any sort of international treaty. Although the Rights of the Child treaty is seemingly benign, conservative elements across the country have decried the U.N. Convention as indicative of international power impinging on national sovereignty and parental rights. United States
Those supporting the ratification assert that the supposed power-grabbing of the treaty is a misconception clouded by ultra-conservative politicking. The treaty, if anything, affirms parental rights and stresses the importance of children being raised and supported by their parents, even if they are separated.
did sign two additional protocols in which forced child conscription and prostitution were banned, the country has yet to move forward with any decision regarding the treaty. Some in the global community have pointed out the good it would do for suffering children around the world--especially in third world countries--if the world's most powerful nation joined the convention. United States