Children's Rights

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U.S. Violating Human Rights of Children, Says U.N. Committee

U.S. Violating Human Rights of Children, Says U.N. Committee

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 11:41am
The Obama Administration recently underwent its first U.N. treaty body review, and the resulting concluding observations made public yesterday should be a cause for alarm. The observations, issued by independent U.N. experts tasked with monitoring compliance with the international treaty on the rights of children in armed conflict (formally known as the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict or "OPAC"), paint a dark picture of the treatment of juveniles by the U.S. military in Afghanistan: one where hundreds of children have been killed in attacks and air strikes by U.S. military forces, and those responsible for the killings have not been held to account even as the number of children killed doubled from 2010 to 2011; where children under 18 languish in detention facilities without access to legal or full humanitarian assistance, or adequate resources to aid in their recovery and reintegration as required under international law. Some children were abused in U.S. detention facilities, and others are faced with the prospect of torture and ill-treatment if they are transferred to Afghan custody.
For Some Families Fleeing Violence, a Shot at a Fair Shake

For Some Families Fleeing Violence, a Shot at a Fair Shake

By Daniel Galindo at 4:56pm

When I met Milagro* and her two toddlers just a few months ago, they were locked up in a makeshift federal detention facility in the desert of Artesia, New Mexico, awaiting imminent deportation to Honduras – a near certain death sentence in light…

Armed Guards at Every Home: The View from El Salvador

Armed Guards at Every Home: The View from El Salvador

By Rachel Nusbaum, Media Strategist, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:03pm

The story always starts the same way: unaccompanied kids, and sometimes whole families, fleeing terrible violence in Central America.

It must be terrible indeed, because the journey north is a perilous one. Yet parents and kids continue to…

Making School a Safe Place for All Students

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:35am

In 19 states across the country, corporal punishment in schools is still legal. Sadly, in many states, children are better protected against physical discipline in detention facilities than they are in their own classrooms. That fact is a startling…

Wearing a Hoodie While Brown Does Not Mean You Are in a Gang

By Courtney Bowie, Racial Justice Program at 5:00pm

On December 16, 2010, West High School officials in Salt Lake City, Utah invited the Metro Gang Task Force into the school to conduct a gang sweep. Students identified, searched and interrogated by the police were mostly Latino/a or, in the case of…

Seeking a Second Chance: Children Sentenced to Life Without Parole Seek Justice Before International Tribunal

Seeking a Second Chance: Children Sentenced to Life Without Parole Seek Justice Before International Tribunal

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU & Katie Haas, Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 12:47pm

By her thirteenth birthday, Barbara Hernandez had lived with an abusive, alcoholic father and been molested by her mother’s second husband.  At fifteen, Barbara dropped out of school and moved in with her boyfriend James, who beat her and…

US Joins Somalia and South Sudan in Failing to Support Child Rights

US Joins Somalia and South Sudan in Failing to Support Child Rights

By Arjun Sethi, ACLU at 5:58pm

This piece originally ran at Al Jazeera America.

On Nov. 20, 1989, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a landmark human rights treaty protecting children’s rights. The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) was negotiated for…

Why is the U.S. Deporting Families it Should be Protecting?

Why is the U.S. Deporting Families it Should be Protecting?

By Sarah Mehta, Researcher, ACLU Human Rights Program at 9:49am

This year, when a large number of families and children arrived in the United States seeking protection, the U.S. government's primary response has been to expand family detention and accelerate deportations.

This Monday, the ACLU and other…

Their Lives Depend on It: Every Unaccompanied Child Needs a Lawyer

Their Lives Depend on It: Every Unaccompanied Child Needs a Lawyer

By Layla Razavi, Regional Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 1:21pm

At first glance, the kids I met at the Ft. Sill military base in Lawton, Oklahoma, seemed like ordinary teenagers. They wore friendship bracelets they'd made in arts and crafts. Boys had baseball caps and girls had brightly colored nail polish with…

FTC Proposes Changes to Privacy Law That Collide With Free Speech

FTC Proposes Changes to Privacy Law That Collide With Free Speech

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:59am

Back in the waning years of the Clinton administration, Congress quietly enacted an important internet privacy bill (the passage of which was overshadowed by other, more salacious developments). The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”)…

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