2015.4.R15 Resolution to Urge the US Ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Resolution to Urge the US Ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

WG-USA Resolves: that the members of Women Graduates-USA urge the United States Government to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

Supporting Statement
The United States has signed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, but is the only UN member not to have ratified UNCRC.

The UNCRC aims to protect and promote the rights of all children throughout the world. It was the first international treaty to integrate all human rights of children. It supports children’s right to survival, development, and protection against abuse, neglect and exploitation and to participate in family, cultural and social aspects of life. Other critical Convention issues include education, health care, juvenile justice and the rights of children with disabilities. The Convention defines a child as any human being under the age of eighteen, unless the age of majority is attained earlier under a state’s own domestic legislation.

States may when ratifying the Convention, ratify subject to reservations or interpretations.

Ratification of the Convention would require the United States to submit reports outlining its implementation on the domestic level to the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child. Parties must report initially two years after ratifying the Convention and then every five years.

The United States has signed and ratified the Optional Convention Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict and the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography.

History: The United States government played an active role in the drafting of the Convention. It commented on nearly all of the articles, and proposed the original text for seven of them. Three of these came directly from the United States Constitution and were proposed by the administration of President Ronald Reagan. The Convention was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 20 November 1989 and went into effect on 2 September 1990.

On 16 February 1995, Madeleine Albright, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, signed the Convention. However, neither President Bill Clinton, who was generally supportive, nor President Bush submitted the Convention to the Senate. President Barack Obama has described the failure to ratify the Convention as ‘embarrassing’ and has promised to review.

Plan of Action:

  1. WG-USA will support legislation that results in the ratification of the UNCRC.
  2. WG-USA will encourage its members to contact their legislators and urge them to ratify the UNCRC.
  3. WG-USA will join in support with other organizations urging ratification of the UNCRC.