Send Him A Letter Like Ours

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September 1, 2014

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States of America
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

As leaders of U.S. organizations that work to support children and families both in the United States and abroad, we strongly urge you to send the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to the U.S. Senate this year.

This is the 25th anniversary of the CRC, the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history. Since its adoption in 1989, the CRC has proven a powerful tool to improve laws and policies for children and families around the world. Although the Clinton Administration signed the CRC in 1995, the treaty has never been submitted to the Senate for consideration.

Americans care deeply about the well-being of all children, and believe in the power of family. Our Nation's failure to join almost every other nation in the world as a party to the CRC tarnishes our global reputation as a defender of children and family. As you once noted, it is "embarrassing" to be in the same company as Somalia as a CRC holdout, and you pledged to review the CRC to reinforce U.S. global leadership in human rights.

Here at home, as you know, our own children face unprecedented exposure to adversity, poverty, violence, abuse, and exclusion. As it has all over the world, the CRC would provide us with a comprehensive framework to analyze, document, and report on conditions for children, including how government agencies consider the views of parents and youth. It would help officials at all levels of government develop policies and programs that better meet the needs of children and families.

Twenty-five years after the CRC came into force, and 19 years since the United States signed it, it is time to take the next step toward ratification.

We urge you to ensure that the CRC is submitted to the U.S. Senate this year. Thank you for your consideration, and we look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Jin In Founder 4Girls Global Leadership (4GGL) 

Karen Hanscom Executive Director Advocates for Survivors of Torture and Trauma (ASTT) 

Aniedi Okure, OP Executive Director Africa Faith & Justice Network (AFJN) 

Dr. James M. Perrin, MD, FAAP President American Academy of Pediatrics 

Dr. Lorretta Johnson Secretary-Treasurer American Federation of Teachers 

Zainab Al-Suwaij Executive Director American Islamic Congress 

Dr. Bernard Bauer Interim Executive Director, Development and Communications Amref Health Africa 

Abraham Foxman National Director Anti-Defamation League 

Diane Whitehead Executive Director Association for Childhood Education International 

Emily Arnold-Fernandez Executive Director Asylum Access 

Anthony Vance Director of Public Affairs Baha'is of the United States 

Raimundo Barreto Director of Division on Freedom and Justice Baptist World Alliance 

John Gillies Co-Chair Basic Education Coalition 

Peter Yeo Executive Director Better World Campaign 

David Diggs Executive Director Beyond Borders 

Professor Gertrud Lenzer Founding Director, Children's Studies Center for Research, Policy and Public Service Brooklyn College, The City University of New York 

George Srour Founder/Chief Dreamer Building Tomorrow 

Jody Kent Levy Director & National Coordinator Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth 

Katherine Kaufka Walts, J.D. Director Center for Human Rights of Children, Loyola University Chicago 

Ruth Rosenbaum, TC, Ph.D. Executive Director Center for Reflection, Education and Action (CREA) 

Curt Goering Executive Director Center for Victims of Torture 

Reid Maki Coordinator Child Labor Coalition 

Christine James Brown President & CEO Child Welfare League of America 

Anne Lynam Goddard President & CEO ChildFund International 

Marian Wright Edelman President Children's Defense Fund 

Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley Director, Refugee & Immigration Ministries Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) 

Rev. John L. McCullough President & CEO Church World Service 

Scott Wright Director Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach 

John Straw Executive Director Concern America 

Michael Schreiber President Concern Worldwide (US) 

John Surr Member, Steering Committee Concerned Educators Allied for a Safe Environment (CEASE) 

Kevin Ryan President & CEO Covenant House 

Susan Henderson Executive Director Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund 

Carol Smolenski Executive Director ECPAT-USA 

Sarah Andrews Executive Director Edge of Seven 

Rev. Stephen Bouman Executive, Congressional and Synodical Mission Evangelical Lutheran Church in America 

Rev. Rafael Malpica Padilla Executive, Global Mission Evangelical Lutheran Church in America 

Bruce Lesley President First Focus 

Patrick Carolan Executive Director Franciscan Action Network 

Maurice Middleberg Director Free the Slaves 

Diane Randall Executive Secretary Friends Committee on National Legislation 

Ed Gragert Executive Director Global Campaign for Education, US 

Evie Hantzopoulos Executive Director Global Kids Inc. 

Don Kraus President & CEO GlobalSolutions.org 

Nina Smith Founding Executive Director GoodWeave 

Dr. Margaret E. Greene, Ph.D. President GreeneWorks Global, LLC 

Elizabeth MacNairn Executive Director Handicap International US 

Kathy Spahn President & CEO Helen Keller International 

Donna Cordner CEO HelpAge USA 

Kenneth Roth Executive Director Human Rights Watch 

Samuel A. Worthington President & CEO InterAction 

Dr. Sarah Degnan Kambou, Ph.D. President International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) 

Judy Gearhart Executive Director International Labor Rights Fund 

Nancy A. Aossey President & CEO International Medical Corps 

David Milliband President and CEO International Rescue Committee 

Julie Rosicky Executive Director International Social Service-US Branch 

Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed National Director of Interfaith & Community Alliances Islamic Society of North America 

Armando Borja National Director Jesuit Refugee Service/USA 

Lori Weinstein CEO/Executive Director Jewish Women International 

Tom Defilipo President & CEO Joint Council on International Children's Services 

Robert Schwartz, Esq. Executive Director Juvenile Law Center 

Mary Allan Sochet Co-Chair Kids Meeting Kids Can Make a Difference 

Janet Mock, CSJ Executive Director Leadership Conference of Women Religious 

Gerry G. Lee Director Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns 

Len Morris Editorial Director Media Voices for Children 

Professor Susan H. Bitensky Director, Lori E. Talsky Center for Human Rights of Women and Children Michigan State University College of Law 

Lawrence Couch Director National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd 

Rhian Evans Allvin Executive Director National Association for the Education of Young Children 

Sally Greenberg Executive Director National Consumer League 

Jim Winkler President & General Secretary National Council of Churches, USA 

Dennis Van Roekel President National Education Association 

Jean Simpson President OMEP-USA 

Mark Viso President & CEO Pact 

Sister Patricia Chappell Executive Director Pax Christi USA 

George Guimaraes CEO PCI 

Donna McKay Executive Director Physicians for Human Rights 

Ester Neltrup President Planet Aid 

John W. Townsend, Ph.D. Vice President and Director, Reproductive Health Population Council 

Rev. Gradye Parsons Stated Clerk of the General Assembly Presbyterian Church (USA) 

Dr. Gary Barker, Ph.D. International Director Promundo-US 

Dr. Madeleine Y. Gomez, Ph.D. President PsycHealth, Ltd. 

Joanne Carter Executive Director RESULTS/RESULTS Educational Fund 

Kerry Kennedy President Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights 

E. Wayne Holden President & CEO RTI International 

Carolyn S. Miles President & CEO Save the Children 

Wendy Schaetzel Lesko Coordinator School Girls Unite 

Jean Stokan Director Sisters of Mercy of the Americas' Institute Justice Team 

Shawna Bader-Blau Executive Director Solidarity Center 

Lynn Croneberger CEO SOS Children's Villages - USA, Inc. 

Dr. Timothy Shriver, Ph.D. Chairman Special Olympics 

Serra Sippel President The Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) 

John Coonrod Executive Vice President The Hunger Project 

Bob Baskin President The Peace Alliance 

Commissioner David Jeffrey National Commander The Salvation Army USA 

Sally Kaplan Coordinator The Student Peace Alliance 

Susan T. Henry-Crowe, MDiv.DD General Secretary, General Board of Church and Society The United Methodist Church 

Dr. George W. Holden, Ph.D. President U.S. Alliance to End the Hitting of Children 

Caryl M. Stern President & CEO U.S. Fund for UNICEF 

Mollie Vickery Executive Secretary for Children, Youth & Family Advocacy United Methodist Women 

Paula Boland Executive Director United Nations Association of the National Capital Area 

Chris Whatley Executive Director United Nations Association of the United States of America 

Lynn Malooly Chief Administrative Officer Water for South Sudan, Inc. 

Rodney Ferguson President & CEO Winrock International 

Dayle Haddon Founder WomenOne 

Sarah Costa Executive Director Women's Refugee Commission 

Rick Leach President & CEO World Food Program USA 

Bonnie Neugebauer Co-Founder & Director of Development World Forum Foundation 

Donald Steinberg President & CEO World Learning 

Richard Stearns President World Vision U.S.