Somalia Ratifies Rights of Children Treaty, Leaving United States as only Holdout

Sunday, October 04, 2015
(photo: Getty Images)

And then there was one.

Somalia last week deposited its instrument of ratification of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), leaving the United States as the world’s only country that has not done so. And it doesn’t look like the U.S. will join the club any time soon.

The convention, adopted in 1989, is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history, with 196 signatory nations. It is a commitment to promote and respect the human rights of children, including the right to life, to health, to education and to play, as well as the right to family life, to be protected from violence and from any form of discrimination, and to have their views heard, according to the UN. Somalia began its process of ratification in January 2015; another holdout, South Sudan, ratified the treaty in May.

Although President Barack Obama gave his support to the CRC before he took office, saying “it is embarrassing that the U.S. is in the company of Somalia, a lawless land. If I become president, I will review this and other human rights treaties,” he hasn’t submitted the treaty for Senate approval.

If he did submit it, it’s unlikely it would be approved. Conservatives oppose the CRC, some saying it would weaken U.S. sovereignty. Others say being a party to the treaty will undermine the role of American parents in raising their children.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon urged the United States “to join the global movement and help the world reach the objective of universal ratification.”

-Steve Straehley

To Learn More:

Hailing Somalia’s Ratification, UN Renews Call For Universalization Of Child Rights Treaty (United Nations)

Only 2 Countries Have Not Joined the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child: South Sudan and…United States (by Danny Biederman and Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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