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Convention on the Rights of the Child: The National Juvenile Justice Network Responds to Opposition

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2010
3 pages
The National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) responds to the common arguments used in opposing the United States' ratification of the international treaty, Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
The benefit of the CRC is that it provides an impetus for ratifying-nations to secure and protect the rights of child citizens and residents. The treaty is not self-executing. Internationally, the implementation of the CRC is determined by each ratifying nation. The U.S. Government must take affirmative action to ratify the CRC, with final approval from the Senate. States must then pass their own legislation to accord with treaty guidelines and remain in compliance with the State's constitution. If ratified, the CRC would remain subservient to the U.S. Constitution. This addresses the fear of the CRC opponents that the United Nations or any other country participating in the CRC would have the power to enforce the CRC provisions within the United States. This paper also explains that the CRC expressly allows parents and families to raise their children as they deem fit, contrary to the beliefs of many opposing ratification of the CRC. The CRC provides parents with the final legal authority over their children, contrary to the belief of some opponents that the CRC usurps the authority of parents in the raising of their children. Far from weakening the United States' autonomy or parental control over children, ratification of the CRC would encourage the Federal Government and each State to treat children with respect and dignity, while empowering parents to raise their children in an environment of love, understanding, and support. 10 notes