Date of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Type

Honors Project

School

College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Stephen R. Arnott

Abstract

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the most rapidly signed and ratified human rights instrument in UN history, yet the United States is the only UN member not to ratify the CRC. However, if the United States wants to maintain its status as a global human rights leader, ratifying the CRC would be a step in the right direction.

There are several arguments against U.S. ratification, such as a concern that the CRC could undermine parental authority, more specific concerns relating to issues such as children’s education and access to abortion, and a concern that the CRC would interfere with U.S. sovereignty. Close examination of various CRC articles handily dispels most of these worries, however. There are areas in which the U.S. could improve its policies related to children, but these improvements would not be necessary prior to CRC ratification. Instead, policy improvement should be an ongoing process after ratification. Finally, if the U.S. were to ratify the CRC, it might encourage State Parties who have already ratified to re-examine their own efforts toward making the world a better place for children. It is time for the U.S. to put aside its pride and commit to building a brighter future for the youngest citizens of the world by ratifying the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

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