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20th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

Court Type: U.S. Supreme Court
Last Update: January 28, 2010

The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the most comprehensive treaty on children’s rights and was adopted on No­vember 20, 1989. The CRC has been ratified by every country in the world except the United States and Somalia (which has been a failed state without an effective government over the past two decades).

If ratified by the United States, the CRC would fill current gaps in U.S. laws, and provide all children in America with the same robust protections that chil­dren in 193 countries are already entitled to. The Convention would offer much-needed pro­tection to children at risk including minor­ity and poor children, children with disabilities and other vulnerable populations in areas such as access to quality education, health care, and protection from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation. The CRC also provides protections to children in conflict with the law especially those who are sentenced to life imprisonment without parole and children detained in juvenile detention facilities.

Twenty years after the adoption of the CRC and nearly fifteen years after it was signed by President Clinton, the Obama administration has an opportunity to bring the CRC to the Sen­ate for consent and approval. If ratified by the United States, the CRC would bolster existing pro­tections and foster U.S. commitment to and promotion of children’s rights in the U.S and around the world.

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