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Save the Children - Part MCvXII
Posted by: McQ on Friday, November 23, 2007

In today's Atlanta Journal Constitution, Maureen Downey, writes the editorial and decides it is time for the US to "right a wrong". A "wrong"?

The point of the editorial is we, the US, are one of only two countries that hasn't signed on to the U.N. treaty that upholds the rights of children. The other is Somalia, and of course, Downey excuses that country because it doesn't have a functional government. So that makes you-know-who the bad guy in this scenario. That established, Downey says:
Adopted by the United Nations in November 1989, the convention enumerates children's fundamental entitlement to life, survival and development.
And our law doesn't enumerate that? In the 18 years this treaty has been in effect, has the US ever not respected a child's fundamental entitlement to life, survival and development. The obvious answer is "no". Such protection has been the focus of many laws before and after this scrap of paper came into being.

Then the irony-impaired Downey writes:
Children lack rights and protections in many parts of the world. Since 1990, more than 1.5 million children have been killed in armed conflicts. An estimated 2 million children are exploited annually by the growing commercial sex industry.
So that treaty's really been working out well hasn't it (unless, of course all those children killed or exploited live in the US or Somalia)?
Indeed, few Americans would fault the treaty's contention that children have an "inherent right to life" and the right "to the highest attainable standard of health." Most would also embrace the treaty's insistence that "children must be cared for, respected and allowed to be a child."

Yup, she's right. We even have laws and a culture that pretty much supports all of that (depending, of course on when you decide that right to life begins). So again, why do we need to sign on to this? In fact, Downey says:
And Americans would handily endorse the treaty's premise that the best interest of the child should guide all legal proceedings, a principle embedded in U.S. law for more than a century. In fact, the convention is compatible with most areas of U.S. law.
Again, the purpose?

Ah, here we go:
There's also no enforcement mechanism to compel countries into action. Nations submit their own data on child well-being measures to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, which evaluates the information and reports on how the country is performing. The committee reports have led some countries to introduce reforms; Rwanda stopped housing children in adult detention centers and Sri Lanka revised its laws on child abuse, child labor and adoption.
Huh, how about that. The two mentioned are signatories. And the US? Well we don't house children in adult detention centers and have had strict child abuse, child labor and adoption measures on the books for a century.

Yup, it's all about the international body which puts nations with sterling human rights records as Cuba, China, Bosnia and Saudi Arabia on the Human Rights Commission gathering data on your country and telling you what you should do to protect your children's rights?

This is more of the feel-good nonsense the left is so enamored with. If we sign it somehow things will change for the better for children in the US. And, of course, we'll also be one step close to that coveted one-world government where we can all join hands and sing Kumbaya.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Why do I get the feeling that Downey wants the US to sign so she can then pen a column using that fact to club the US over the head for not providing government run universal health care for children.

Written By: Dusty
URL: http://
Correct, Dusty, and the fact that many (most?) of the long-time signatories don’t provide such universal healthcare will be completely beside the point, as far as she is concerned.
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Presidents and Congress aren’t predisposed against feel-good measures, be it legislation or treaties. So I would suppose there are other reasons why the treaty hasn’t been ratified. Does anyone know what those reasons are?
Written By: Fredrik Nyman
URL: http://
We should sign it. I co-teach a course "Children and War" with an Early Childhood Education professor, and our refusal to sign this treaty is always met with outrage from students. We need to actively promote the interests of children. I have no idea why anyone would be against this treaty.
Written By: Scott Erb
Scott, maybe you could do some research so you’ll have some idea why anyone would be against US becoming a party to the Convention. By doing so, you could actually give your students their money’s worth for the class.
Written By: Dusty
URL: http://
This story deserves the SfGate treatment.
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
I have no idea why anyone would be against this treaty.
Then you have no business teaching it within your course. Of course, we all know that your intellectual failure has never stopped you from indoctrinating your students, and you have been very open about your use of authority over your students.
refusal to sign this treaty is always met with outrage from students
I doubt even one of your students could explain how any child within the US or anywhere else in the world would be better off once the US ratified this treaty.
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
We need to actively promote the interests of children.
Scotty, you against abortion?
Written By: Come on, please
URL: http://
Why oppose it?

It would give children a right to sue parents. It would outlaw spanking. It would ban parents’ educational choices—in violation of the UN Charter. If Junior wanted to wear panties, you’d have to open him a charge account at Victoria’s Secret. Parents would be relegated to offering advice while Junior has the final say on his "rights". Do you want your child’s allowance set in the Hague? It would ban inter-racial adoptions. Judges would run with it and invent all kinds of new cr*p. In fact, the Supremes just over-ruled 26 states on capital punishment of 17 yr.-olds, citing this treaty—WHICH WAS NOT EVEN ENACTED BY THE POLITICAL BRANCHES!

We wrote the Constitution without the world’s help. We debated it without the world’s help. We ratified it, too—but now we can’t understand it without the world’s help?

And that’s just for starters.
Written By: Noel
URL: http://www.sharpknife,
Ensuring human rights for children does not mean taking rights away from parents. The right to health, education , equality and protection are basic human rights. Surely the world’s most vulnerable children are entitled to these basic rights that our children enjoy.

The picture is not so rosy in the US: 20% of children in the US are food insecure. We have a higher infant mortality rate than Beijing, not to mention our G-8 counterparts.

In this country we have the resources and the means to address these issues. We simply lack political will. The least we can do is sign and demonstrate our commitment and support for human rights for all children. It’s the right and moral thing to do.
Written By: Anne-Marie
URL: http://

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