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Right words, wrong order: what you need to know about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

In 1989, the UN ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), a treaty that recognized the human rights and lives of all children under the age of 18.  This two part, 57-article treaty defines what children need to prosper, both mentally and physically. 

The CRC was the most rapidly and widely ratified international human rights agreement in history, but there is one country left who still needs to make the commitment:  the United States.

The US ratification of the CRC began in 1995, when President Clinton signed the treaty. Unfortunately, after 21 years, the treaty has never "left the president’s desk" to be reviewed by the Senate for its “advice and consent.”

President Obama has the opportunity to change this, and send the treaty to the Senate for ratification. If Obama gets the treaty to the Senate this April, the 3 to 5 year process of ratifying the CRC will finally be underway.

Once the US ratifies the CRC, the world will be united in recognizing the inalienable rights of all children under the age of 18.  

But why does a treaty like the UN Convention on the Rights of Child have to exist? Far too often throughout the world children are neglected, exploited and deprived of their rights. If every country formally commits to the protection of children, then the UN can more effectively act on their behalf. 

The CRC is a guiding document for all countries, but all signatories must be tireless in their efforts to uphold what the document stands for.

As the video above makes clear, fully ratifying the treaty should not be controversial.