The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child Youth Advocate Program International 4546 42nd St. NW, Suite 209 Washington DC, 10016, USA www.yapi.org
Convention on the Rights of the Child What do you know? • What is a human right? • Who is considered a child? • What rights do you think you should have as a child? • Do children all over the world have their rights protected? • Have your rights ever been violated? How did you feel? • Who makes international laws? Who enforces them? • Have you ever heard of the CRC? Source: RUGMARK Foundation
Convention on the Rights of the Child Basic Facts Children’s rights are violated throughout the world every day… • Between 15 and 20 million children are working as slaves at this moment. • An estimated 2 million children worldwide are sexually exploited every year. • 300,000 children around the world are actively participating in more than 20 armed conflicts.
Convention on the Rights of the Child Basic Facts • An estimated 25 million children and adolescents are currently uprooted from their homes; they make up nearly half of the refugee population worldwide. • There are an estimated 100 million children living on the streets today. The Convention on the Rights of the Child recognizes each one of these practices as a violation of human rights, and obliges each government to work toward eliminating these practices within their own nation and throughout the world.
Convention on the Rights of the Child Why Do We Have International Laws? • To establish and support the international system. • To provide legal rules to resolve multi-national disputes. • To help maintain peace internationally.
Convention on the Rights of the Child What is a Convention? A convention is a specific type of international law. It is an agreement or compact, especially among nations, usually created within an international organization such as the United Nations. Countries must.. • Sign • Ratify • Monitor and Enforce the treaty
Convention on the Rights of the Child What is the Convention on the Rights of the Child? The CRC is a treaty that lays out the rights of children and the standards to which all governments must aspire in order to promote these rights.
Convention on the Rights of the Child Basics of the CRC • The best interests of the child are always the primary consideration. • A child should be protected against all forms of discrimination and punishment. • A child has the right to survival and development. • A child should be protected from abuse and neglect. • A child has the right to education, housing, healthcare, and all forms of mental and physical well-being.
Convention on the Rights of the Child What are your rights? • Name and Nationality • Freedom of Expression • Freedom of Association • Education • Leisure, Recreation, and Cultural Activities
Convention on the Rights of the Child Additional Protections Under the CRC • Child Labor • Drug Abuse • Sexual Exploitation • Sale, Trafficking and Abduction • Torture and Deprivation of Liberty • Armed Conflicts
1. Countries sign the CRC. 2. Countries ratify the CRC. 3. Countries rights widely known. 4. Committee on the Rights of the Child. 5. Committee reviews reports submitted by States Parties two years after ratification, and every 5 years thereafter. 6. States Parties make rights widely known. 7. Committee proposes special studies etc. to be undertaken in the countries. 8. All countries help each other implement the Convention. Convention on the Rights of the Child Enforcing the CRC
Convention on the Rights of the Child The CRC and the USA • The US is not in compliance with the treaty. • Fear of infringement on states’ rights. • Fear of interference in parental child rearing. Why hasn’t the United States ratified the CRC?
What if the USA ratified the CRC? Greater priority of children’s rights in the United States and the world Quality education and healthcare guaranteed Influence the children’s rights in other countries What has happened? In 1995 Madeline Albright signed the CRC on behalf of President Clinton We still need to approve the CRC State Department and Senate approval, and a presidential signature Convention on the Rights of the Child The CRC and the USA
Convention on the Rights of the Child Recap and Discussion • What rights does the CRC provide children? • How important do you think it is for the government to protect specifically the rights of its children? • What have you learned about your own rights? • Are there any rights that you think should be added to the CRC? • If so many countries have signed the CRC, why are children’s rights still being violated? • If you were in the United Nations, what would be your most important goal for children’s rights?
Convention on the Rights of the Child What Can You Do? • Educateyourself about the CRC. • Contactlocal, state, and national politicians • Write letters asking them to ratify the CRC. • Talkto your parents about the CRC. • Educate the adults in your life! • Advocate for awareness of the CRC. • Begin a social awareness/ human rights club.
Full Text of the CRC www.unicef.org/crc/fulltext.htm Campaign for the US Ratification of the CRC www.childrightscampaign.org UNICEF www.unicef.org UN High Commission on Human Rights www.unhcr.org Amnesty International www.amnesty.org Youth Advocate Program International www.yapi.org Convention on the Rights of the Child For More Information