Human Rights Watch News has shared details about the progress made globally in children’s rights.  Adopted by the United Nations 25 years ago this month, the Convention on the Rights of the Child ensures protection of all children globally.  Countries that have ratified the convention pledge to protect children in every possible way including protection from sexual exploitation and other forms of abuse.  Additionally, they promise to provide education and health care for all children.  There are currently 194 countries that have ratified the convention.

In the past 25 years, countries have used the convention to legislate policies to protect and improve life for children in their respective countries.  Because of the convention, there has been a greater emphasis on children’s health and education, more restrictions placed on child labor, and corporal punishment has been banned in 42 countries.  This is great progress over the way life was for children 25 years ago.

The United States, however, has not ratified the Convention.  Some argue that the convention is “anti-family” and that ratifying it would prohibit parents from raising and disciplining their children in the way they deem best.  Others are concerned that if the US ratifies the Convention, that will put a kink in our legal system which currently allows the courts to sentence criminals under age 18 to life in prison.  Besides the United States, only Somalia and South Sudan have not ratified the Convention.

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