Convention on the Rights of the Child(CRC) treaty: 25 year reflection

The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is an international human rights treaty that was ratified in November 1989 by the Member States under the auspices of the United Nations. It is considered a monumental document for two main reasons. It is the most widely ratified human rights convention under the United Nations. The United States is the only country that has not ratified the CRC treaty. The second reason for its importance is the comprehensive range of human rights categorized into two groups; civil and political rights and economic, social, and cultural rights.


There is a myriad of benefits to children everywhere with universal ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) treaty. First, it informs children of their entitled human rights in the realms of civil, political, economic, social, and cultural domains. The second benefit of universal ratification is higher returns of investments dedicated to improving children's lives all over the globe. A prime example is a universal access to neonatal care for new mothers and newborns. Although it is not, by any means, the only silver bullet, this can significantly improve life expectancy rates and reduce child mortality rates. Fortunately, children have the opportunity to file a complaint to the Committee on the Rights of the Child if a specific UN member state does not adhere to the terms outlined in the treaty.


Although the CRC treaty has been instrumental in achieving children's rights for all children, a lot of the gains achieved since its adoption in 1989 have been disproportionate. Many disadvantaged groups, such as women, people with disabilities, continue to endure marginalization and stigma that inhibit them from contributing to society to live meaningful lives with respect and dignity.


Despite the treaty's legal binding, grave violations of children's rights occur all over the world. There is a multitude of factors that come into play that can explain this phenomenon. One potential factor is the myriad of global trends and issues that are pervasive, such as climate change, urbanization, instantaneous digital communications, and many more. All of them negatively and positively affect children's well-being and development. A second factor is the negative discriminatory attitudes that people have towards children. Adultism is prejudice and discrimination against youth, namely children. The central premise undergirding adultism is the belief that youth are inferior and do not serve any value. Also, adultism posits that adults are inherently superior and more mature than young people. An amalgam of social institutions, laws, customs, and traditions function to reinforce children's inferior status. As a result, children's human rights are not acknowledged and not given the respect they rightfully deserve.


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