UN Convention on Rights of Child – Criticism
- Only three countries amongst members of the UN, (USA, South Sudan and Somalia) have not ratified the UN Convention on Rights of Child. The Somalia is taken up the process to ratify and South Sudan Parliament has passed the bill to ratify the convention. Now only USA is only non ratifying member of the UN.
- USA Status to Ratification – While USA played very active role in preparation of draft and signed the treaty in 1995 but not ratified may be due to following conflicts:-
- No death penalty or life imprisonment to child victim;
- Parental rights shall be affected as participatory rights to child is given under convention;
- As US govt typically consider one human rights treaty at a time. Currently, convention on convention on elimination of all forms of discrimination against women is cited as nation top priority against all human rights treaties.
But as of now, President Obama looks positive towards ratifying the Convention on Rights of Child.
- Discipline and Participatory Rights – Some criticized the convention on giving participatory rights to children which eliminates the parent’s right to discipline.
- The Convention on Rights of Child does not take into consideration cultural differences. On the contrary, it maintains its commitment to Western thought and its ideal of childhood.
- However, many Islamic countries such as Iraq, Kuwait or Jordan removed the provision that children have right to choose their own religion because it conflicts with rules of the Islam.
- The exemptions under exceptional circumstances (such as public order, national interests) provide some countries nod for violation of child rights and prohibit UN from taking action. For e.g. the young girls are deprived of elementary education and girls are beaten or killed if not follow instructions in many Islamic countries such as Pakistan or Afghanistan or Iraq who has ratified the convention but UN does not interfere with these violations.
- Some critics say that convention provides children the rights of an adult and ignoring the fact that child is a legally minor. For e.g. any pregnant girl under age of innocence (say 18yrs) can go for abortion without consent of parents.
- The USA is the major power in the current liberal or democratic world and major contributor in funds of the UN but not ratified the convention on rights of child. It is necessary for USA to ratify the convention for better protection of child rights in the whole world.
- The UN shall protect child rights more efficiently especially in Islamic countries where girls are deprived of very basic human rights such as education or freedom of expression. The exemptions used by country in convention need to be clarified by that country in UN general assembly and put to vote among members to decide whether actually situation demands that or not.