Monday, November 19, 2007

World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse

...children have the right
to participate in decision-making processes
that may be relevant in their lives
and to influence decisions taken in their regard—
within the family, the school or the community.



Can't help wondering...
what you're wondering about?

I'm wondering how it is that today is
World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse (19 November)
and I didn't know anything about it?

I mean it isn't like I don't spend part of every day researching, reading, writing, and thinking about child abuse. It isn't like I don't have several tracking services to locate information on child abuse for me. It isn't like I do anything to avoid learning more about child abuse.

So how is it that this day came as a surprise to me?

One answer may be related to the fact that I live in the United States, one of the two countries that haven't ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The United States signed the convention, which signals an intention to ratify...eventually. The other country that didn't sign is, Somalia whcih cannot sign as it has "no recognized government."

But of course the United States has its reasons for not yet ratifying the convention:
As in many other nations, the United States undertakes an extensive examination and scrutiny of treaties before proceeding to ratify. This examination, which includes an evaluation of the degree of compliance with existing law and practice in the country at state and federal levels, can take several years—or even longer if the treaty is portrayed as being controversial or if the process is politicized. Moreover, the US Government typically will consider only one human rights treaty at a time. Currently, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women is cited as the nation's top priority among human rights treaties.


A summary of the rights under the Convention on the Rights of the Child is available for those lacking time enough to read the entire convention. Among other things, the convention "affirms that children are full-fledged persons who have the right to express their views in all matters affecting them and requires that those views be heard and given due weight in accordance with the child's age and maturity."

You can also learn "What Individuals Can Do" if you think now is the time to take a stand on this issue. As for me, I'll call 1-800-965-4701 and tell my congressman and senators that I think it's past time for ratifying this convention and joining the rest of the world in the efforts to prevent child abuse.

A Child is Waiting,
Take care...be aware,
Nancy Lee

2 comments:

Ghazala Khan said...

Dear Nancy, its a very noble task you are doing. In a country like Pakistan, where child abuse is rampant, its hard for us to create awareness, but we are trying to do our part, and your words have really boosted out morale. thanks.

Have you written anything on child abuse in third world countries? If yes, can we reproduce that writing or any other writing on this topic on our site with your reference please?

regards.
pak.spectator at gmail.com

Nancy Lee said...

Hi Ghazala Khan. Thank you for your comment. Raising awareness really seems to be the most difficult task we face at times. I haven't written anything specific on child abuse in third world countries, although I mention that in conjunction with child abuse everywhere. I do include links to information and articles on child abuse happening anywhere in the world on my blog.

As for anything I have written, feel free to reproduce as long as attribution is provided for any quotes from others. As you know the USA is quite intense about copyright laws...most of which we can't even understand! but my personal view is we all win if we share information that can benefit anyone. So if it's my words...go for it! Good luck with all your efforts to combat child abuse, and please stay in touch!
Sincerely,
Nancy Lee