On November 20, 1989, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a landmark for human rights. Here for the first time was a treaty that sought to address the particular needs of children and to set minimum standards for the protection of their rights. It is the first international treaty to guarantee civil and political rights as well as economic, social, and cultural rights.
The United Nation's Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) applies to all children and young people aged 17 and under. The Convention is separated into 54 'articles': most give children social, economic, cultural or civil and political rights; while others set out how governments must publicise or implement the Convention.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most widely accepted human rights treaty - of all the United Nations member states, only the United States and Somalia have not ratified it.
Somalia's ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) early this week leaves just 2 countries in opposition: South Sudan … and the US.
South Sudan, which joined the UN in 2011, has embarked on the ratification process, which it will probably seal later this year. The US, on the other hand, signed the CRC in 1995, but never submitted the treaty for ratification by the US Senate. Why? US opposition centers on the claim that the CRC will undermine the role of parents in raising their children, and the US ratification of international human rights treaties will weaken US sovereignty, according to Meg Gardinier, chair of the Campaign for US Ratification of the CRC.
IPS notes that during US President Obama's 2008 campaign, he said, "It is embarrassing that the US is in the company of Somalia, a lawless land. If I become president, I will review this and other human rights treaties." That review has not yet taken place.