Soon after the Children's Rights Convention (CRC) was approved for signature, advocates in the United States gathered to promote ratification. Although then President George H. Bush, did not make ratification his priority, a Senate Resolution was put forward, with at one point 49 co-sponsors, asking him to send it forward to the Senate for its Advice and Consent. Many national organizations came together in this effort, but other national political priorities got in the way of action. When President Clinton came into office he also had other priorities, but the advocates of ratification continued to press at all levels of government for ratification.

During the 2002 UN Special Session on Children, members of the US Goverment delegation criticized the CRC and its principles showing a disrespect for the large part of the American public that supports the CRC. Their criticism underscored a lack of unified action over the years by US proponents of the CRC to address incomplete or misleading information about the Convention.

Through the leadership of the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), a core group of child advocates convened the first meeting of the Campaign for US Ratification of the CRC in August 2002. Participants focused on efforts needed to build a national coalition. In 2003, representatives from more than 50 US NGOs met in Washington, DC for a two day strategy session entitled "Moving the CRC Forward in the United States" and formalized the Campaign for US Ratification of the CRC. The Campaign has since grown to encompass membership from 200 organizations and academic institutions.