The U.S. human rights record and how to share it
Today marks the 21st anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Mark Engman of the U.S. Fund's Public Policy and Advocacy group reports on progress towards participation in the international human rights community.
Most Americans probably missed it, but November 5 was an important milestone for the United States - on that date was the United States' first ever presentation of aUniversal Periodic Review (UPR) report to the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Why is this important? For those of us who care what happens to children around the world, it means that the U.S. Government takes its engagement with the international community seriously. It shows that our Nation is willing to share its strong human rights record with the rest of the world - and not afraid to listen to the questions, challenges, and criticisms from other countries, in our quest for a more perfect union.
The U.S. delegation reflected the broad U.S. commitment to multilateral engagement, human rights, and the rule of law. As Assistant Secretary Esther Brimmer noted in her introduction, the U.S. presence included senior officials from 11 departments and agencies, covering not just international affairs but state, local, and tribal affairs as well.
Interestingly, 24 countries specifically mentioned the need for the United States to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child, including important U.S. allies like Australia, Germany, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and South Korea. We think the message of support for the CRC from these countries was important for our delegates to hear.
As the CRC enters its 21st year of existence, the United States remains the sole functioning nation to not ratify this important human rights treaty. With support at home and abroad for U.S. ratification of the CRC, we will continue to urge the Obama Administration to move the treaty ratification process forward.
Learn more about U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.