Abuses Against Children Persist Despite Rights Convention

Mia Farrow
Image by talkradionews via Flickr

http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-10-08-voa53.cfm

VOANews.com

By Lisa Schlein
Geneva
08 October 2009

Child rights advocates have kicked off more than a month of global activities leading up to the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention, which was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on November 20, 1989, is the most widely ratified international human rights treaty. Every country in the world, except the United States and Somalia, has ratified it.

Before the Convention on the Rights of the Child came into force in 1989, most of the world thought children should be seen and not heard. Now, 20 years later, some of their voices are being heard, but their rights continue to be violated.

“I believe every child has the right to feel safe, protected from armed conflict, abuse, child labor, trafficking, exploitation. It is really very simple. No child should have to suffer at the hands of others. Not one,” says UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Hollywood actress, Mia Farrow, who has been fighting for the rights of children for years.

Senator Barbara Boxer and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are moving to accomplish US Senate ratification of the UN CRC. Political analysts say there are votes in the Senate to accomplish ratification, but it may be a tough battle given the unmitigated opposition by fringe partisans who seemingly speak for the Republican party these days. The preposterous lies and distortions they are spreading about the convention are beyond the pale.

Ratification is merely the first step. The difficult challenge will come when state and federal laws will have to be adapted to the requirements of the convention. One obstacle is the prohibition of executing minors which is legal in Texas. Corporal punishment is still legal in 20 states even though there is consensus by child development experts that this reprehensible practice is counter productive. Over 60 nations have made it a crime to strike a child. We must govern ourselves by reason not dogma.

The UN CRC is not just about child soldiers in Africa or elsewhere, or the trafficking of children for illicit purposes. Approximately 9,000,000 American children suffered abuse or neglect in a recent year where data is available.

The Republican religious fringe must not be permitted to seize control of our national debate like they did with health care reform. Shout them down and shut them up, they have no legitimate standing.

For example:

“Folks, this is scary stuff! Big Brother (Governments) want to take over our rights as parents and have children tell us what to do! The devil loves to twist around the natural order that Almighty God has made, we are in dark times!”
– Deacon John

Quoted from the web site: http://deaconforlife.blogspot.com/2009/06/childs-rights-forces-mobilize.html

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About Richard Collins

Researcher/writer/activist
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