Benefits of Ratification

Ratification by the US Senate:

Responsibilities of Ratification:

  1. The ratification process requires a moderate amount of time and effort for the State Department to put together the President's proposal to ratify the CRC, as well as for the Senate to gather evidence and hold a vote on ratification.
  2. Every five years after ratification, the State Department will need to gather information from other Departments of State Governments about their implementation of the CRC, and prepare a report based on that information for the UN's Committee on the Rights of the Child to review. Following each review, the State Department will need to consider the Committee's recommendation and forward them to appropriate agencies for their consideration. The US Government already follows this process for the two Protocols to the CRC concerning children bearing arms and trafficking in children.
  3. The US Supreme Court ruled in 1957 (Reid v. Covert) that no branch of the US Government can have powers conferred upon it by a treaty that has not been conferred by the Constitution. All human rights treaties ratified by the US include a "non-self-executing" clause, meaning in order to be legally binding, the provisions of the treaty require specific supporting legislative actions at federal and state levels. Congress and each elected legislature will decide if, when, and how to incorporate the CRC's provisions into law.

Disadvantages of continuing non-ratification:

  1. The US Government now lacks any voice in UN discussions about other countries' implementation of the CRC, or about the interpretation and application of the CRC. This deprives us of a tool to change international policies on children's rights.
  2. The US is held up to ridicule in most of the world as being the only country that is not a party to the CRC.
  3. Parents and children in the United States are compared unfavorably with those in other countries, because we do not keep relevant statistics or show evidence of observing the standards of the CRC.
  4. The CRC is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in the world's history. Only when it is ratified by the US will it be truly universal.