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Announcement :: Human Rights
Sixteen years behind
04 Apr 2006
On November 20,1989 the United Nations (UN) adopted an international convention setting out basic rights for children, The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The CRC became international law in September 1990 when two thirds of the general assembly ratified this basic human rights treaty. The United States (Ronald Reagan, administration) was implemental in the writing of the convention during the cold war. Since then almost all the member states of the United Nations have ratified the convention on the rights of the child. However the United states has yet to ratify it and there are situations such as the one above within our borders, to this day
Sixteen years and counting and the united states has still not ratified a basic human rights treaty

By Giles Holt, giles (at) simplycircus.com

Judge Zintner, I have an important question to ask you! Would you please move me out of here? Please don't leave me here with all these adults. I can't relate to any of them. They pick on me because I am just a kid. They tease me and taunt me. They talk to me sexually. They make moves on me. I've had people tell me I'm pretty and that they'll rape me...I'm even too scared to go eat...It's too much for anyone my age to handle...Please help me with this."

Letter from 15-year old Paul Jensen, imprisoned in South Dakota State Penitentiary, to his sentencing judge, 1997 [1] In September 1998, his mother told Amnesty International that he had not been moved from the prison. (Article from amnesty international)

On November 20,1989 the United Nations (UN) adopted an international convention setting out basic rights for children, The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The CRC became international law in September 1990 when two thirds of the general assembly ratified this basic human rights treaty. The United States (Ronald Reagan, administration) was implemental in the writing of the convention during the cold war. Since then almost all the member states of the United Nations have ratified the convention on the rights of the child. However the United states has yet to ratify it and there are situations such as the one above within our borders, to this day

Sixteen years and counting and the United States has not ratified a basic human rights treaty.

The US is one of the only two nations that has not yet ratified the convention the other nation is Somalia; Somalia does not yet have a recognized government, they pledge to ratify the treaty as soon as a government is established. So why has the US not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child?

The United States has a few issues and some actual problems with the wording and articles of the convention so I will set out to clarify these issues and then fashion solutions from my knowledge.

Article thirty-seven: Under the convention on the rights of the child, article 37-paragraph c, it says. States parties shall ensure that: in particular every child deprived of liberty shall be separated from adults unless it is considered in the child's best interest not to do so and shall have the right to remain in contact with his or her family trough correspondence and visits, save in exceptional circumstances. This article one of the hardest articles the convention for the United States to deal with, because we currently house children in the same jails as adults. They are often subjected to sexual harassment and abuse. Paul Jensen is a perfect example of how the convention will change the United States for the better.


Article forty: under the convention on the rights of the child, article forty paragraph one it says, states parties shall ensure the right of every child alleged as, or accused of, or recognized as having infringed the penal law to be treated with in a manner consistent with the promotion of the child's sense of worth dignity and worth, which reinforced the child's respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of others and which takes into account the child's reintegration and the child's age and the desirability of promoting the child's reintegration and assuming a constructive role in society. Up until March 1, 2005 some states allowed the execution of minors, however this was over turned in the supreme court case Roper v. Simmons.

This step in the right direction means that the United States almost entirely complies with all but a few of the forty-five articles stated in the CRC. The articles that the US does not comply with are, Article 37, Article 40, Article 24

Article twenty four: under the convention on the rights of the child, it says, article twenty four paragraph one: states parties recognize the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of heal and facilities for the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health. States parties shall strive to ensure that no child is deprived of his or her right of access to such health care services. As it is stated the United States would have to provide healthcare to children not otherwise covered by a health plan. Currently the United States has no standardized health care for children, this will mean that the government will have to provided health care to all children, which will be a major retooling of the health care system. However it is worth it to provide all children with health care.

Although this may seem as though the untied states would have to take drastic measures to ensure these rights, the united nation lets countries declare RUDS.

RUDS, are Reservations, Understandings, and Declarations. This means that if the United States were to ratify the CRC they could say something along the line of, we, the United States of America, hereby accept the united nation convention on the rights of the child, in accordance with all previous American judicial decisions. It's as easy as that. We already comply with ninety eight percent of the convention. Why does the question of ratification still remain?

It is now of the utmost importance that we ratify the convention in the wake of Abu Graibh, Guantanamo, and United States representative on the United Nations General assembly, John Bolton, not approving the formation of a new human rights council in the UN. Because of these events The United States' reputation as a great human rights leader is at stake and other countries are unwilling to work them when it comes to human rights. Ratifying the CRC would be a "shot in the arm" and boy do we need it.

And each of us can practice rights ourselves, treating each other without discrimination, respecting each other's dignity and rights. Carol Bellamy, Unicef executive director

"The Convention on the Rights of the Child may be a positive tool for promoting child welfare for those countries that have adopted it. But we believe the text goes too far when it asserts entitlements based on economic, social and cultural rights. ... The human rights-based approach ... poses significant problems as used in this text." - the Bush Administration.

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Re: Sixteen years behind
04 Apr 2006
hey all who are reading this i'm giles, a fifteen year old childs rights activist from watertown involoved in the CRC campaign for ratification. i f you have questions or comments contact me at: giles (at) simpycircus.com.

enjoy
-Giles
Damn
05 Apr 2006
He could be the next Evan Greer!