Home ACTIVISM Convention on the Rights of the Child

Convention on the Rights of the Child

Photo provided by Custom and Border Protection to reporter on tour of detention facility in McAllen, Texas. Reporters were not allowed to take their own photos

The United States Department of Homeland Security reported that, from April 19 since May 31, 2018, about 2000 children were forced to leave their families at the US border. But according to groups of activists, this number could be underestimated.

To understand how it is possible it is necessary to take a step back in time, until November 20, 1989, when the Convention on the Rights of the Child was put to the vote at the UN headquarters in New York. The document, whose origin dates back to the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, also known as the Geneva Declaration, was very important. The document signed in 1989 binds the signatory states to ratify it, or to convert it into law and to respect it in order not to violate international law.

To date, 196 states have signed this Convention (last Somalia, in 2015). Almost all the states of the world have agreed to respect the dictates. Except two: Somalia (in fact the last petitioner) and… the “paladins of human rights” all over the world, the United States of America. None of the presidents who succeeded in the White House, from Clinton to Bush up to Obama and, of course, to Trump, have ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The Convention, for example, repeats that “The States Parties (of the Convention) shall ensure that the child is not separated from his/her parents against their will unless the competent authorities decide, subject to judicial review and in accordance with the laws of procedure. Applicable, that this separation is necessary in the pre-eminent interests of the child”. Separating thousands of children from their parents just because they tried to enter a foreign country looking for a better future for their children does not seem justifiable. Especially since the same New York Convention provides for “the obligation incumbent on States parties pursuant to paragraph 1 of art. 9, every question presented by a child or his parents in order to enter a State party or to leave it for the purpose of family reunification will be considered in a positive spirit, with humanity and diligence”.

The United States of America are careful to subscribe and ratify anything that can in any way constrain their economic interests, social and of all kinds (the United States has not ratified or signed 13 of the 18 international human rights agreements existing). Or their laws. For example, recently some Texas institutes have reintroduced corporal punishment for unruly pupils – although subordinated to a preventive “release” from the parents. And this is in clear violation of Article 37 of the New York Convention.

This is why the “human rights paladins” are careful not to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child….



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