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Juvenile Justice and the Convention on the Rights of the Child

The Convention on the Rights of the Child: Implications for Juvenile Justice Reform

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, or CRC, is an international treaty established to protect the basic human rights of children across the world. Although the U.S. helped draft the CRC and signed it in 1995, the U.S. has yet to ratify the CRC. Implications for Juvenile Justice Reform goes into detail on what ratification would mean for children in the Juvenile Justice System.

 

The Convention on the Rights of the Child: The National Juvenile Justice Network Responds to Opposition

Several objections have been raised to the United States ratifying the Convention on the Rights of the Child. However, The National Juvenile Justice Network Responds to Opposition provides some reassurances to concerns. Specifically:

  • The national sovereignty and self-determination of the U.S. remains secure and under the power of the U.S.: the U.S.--not the United Nations or any other country-- retains the power to enforce the provisions of the CRC.
  • The CRC does not mandate any particular parental behavior: parents are expressly allowed to raise their children as they deem fit.
  • Parents have final legal authority under the CRC: the CRC only suggests that adults consider the child's point-of-view when determining the final decision.