Despite the fact that the U.S. helped draft the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and signed it in 1995, it has yet to ratify it. (Somalia is the only other nation that has not ratified it.)
Currently, the Campaign for U.S. Ratification of the CRC is asking supporters to sign a petition to President Obama to submit the CRC to the Senate by Universal Children’s Day on November 20, 2012.
Need a refresher on the CRC? As NJJN’s fact sheet, Convention on the Rights of the Child: Implications for Juvenile Justice Reform, explains, the CRC would not relieve juveniles of responsibility for their actions, but it would protect their human rights even when they are in trouble with the law. Specifically, the CRC calls for:
- Incarceration of youth as a last resort. (Article 37)
- Protection of youth rights if they are in fact incarcerated. (Articles 37 and 40)
- Freedom from torture, cruel and unusual punishments, life without parole, or capital punishment. (Article 37)
- Adoption of alternatives to incarceration. (Article 40)
- Establishment of a minimum age for entry into the juvenile justice system. (Article 40)
- Freedom of expression in legal proceedings. (Article 12)
>>For more information on the petition, visit the Campaign for U.S. Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child..