CRC Facts and Research
Q: What are the most common claims made about the Convention by its
These claims and perceptions are false and are likely the result of misconceptions, erroneous information, and a lack of understanding about how international human rights treaties are implemented in the United States. Notably, in many cases, the Convention's opponents criticize provisions which were added by the Reagan Administration during the drafting process in an effort to reflect the rights American citizens have under the U.S. Constitution.
Q: Does the Convention give children the right to sue their parents?
Further, the Convention makes clear that a child's ability to exercise his or her rights evolve with age and maturity. Among the 192 countries that have ratified the Convention, there are varying laws about when and if children can bring grievances against adults, and what types of grievances can be brought to court.
Q: What does the Convention say on the issue of abortion?
For the purposes of this treaty, the standard of when a child's life begins is determined by each nation which ratifies the Convention. The Holy See was one of the first States to ratify the Convention, and many countries, such as Ireland and the Philippines, which have strict abortion laws have also ratified the Convention. Conversely, countries such as Sweden and France, which recognize their citizens' right to abortion, have ratified the Convention as well.
Q: Why should the United States ratify the Convention on the Rights
of the Child?
The Convention on the Rights of the Child has been used by governments and organizations around the world to improve the situation of children. In some countries, the treaty has facilitated direct changes in laws, policies and programs. In others, it has gone further and helped change the way governments and citizens view and prioritize children. Notably, the treaty itself does not directly create these changes, but the people and governments in each individual nation in a manner and timeframe determined by each sovereign government.
In the United States, the Convention would establish a useful framework and set clear goals by which officials at all levels of government, private organizations, and individuals can form domestic policies and programs addressing the specific needs of families and children in the United States. The reporting requirements of the treaty would compel our nation to reevaluate the situation of children and develop action plans to make crucial improvements. Consequently, ratification of the Convention in concert with appropriate legislative measures would promote a more supportive social and legislative environment for families and would assist in making children more of a national priority.
In addition to the potential domestic benefits, U.S. ratification would help enhance America's role as an international leader in human rights by allowing the United States to participate in the international body set up to monitor the Convention, and by encouraging further progress in the countries which have already ratified the treaty.