From Article 49 of the CRC:
1. The present Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day following the date of deposit with the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the twentieth instrument of ratification or accession.
- an act by which a State signifies an agreement to be legally bound by the terms of a particular treaty. To ratify a treaty, the State first signs it and then fulfills its own national legislative requirements.
- has the same legal effect as ratification, but is not preceded by an act of signature.
The full text of the Convention.
List of all ratifications:
The first 20 Member States to ratify the
UN Convention on the Rights of the Child:
|1||Ghana||29 Jan 1990||05 February 1990|
|2||Vietnam||26 Jan 1990||28 February 1990|
|26 Jan 1990||23 March 1990|
Holy See (Vatican)
|20 Apr 1990||20 April 1990|
|5||Belize||02 Mar 1990||02 May 1990|
|6||Guatemala||26 Jan 1990||06 June 1990|
|7||Sierra Leone||13 Feb 1990||18 June 1990|
|8||Bolivia||08 Mar 1990||26 June 1990|
|26 Jan 1990||29 June 1990|
|26 Jan 1990||05 July 1990|
|05 Feb 1990||06 July 1990|
|26 Jan 1990||10 July 1990|
|Accession||13 July 1990|
|14||Saint Kitts and Nevis||26 Jan 1990||24 July 1990|
|Accession||26 July 1990|
|26 Jan 1990||30 July 1990|
|26 Jan 1990||31 July 1990|
|18||Bhutan||04 Jun 1990||01 August 1990|
|26 Jan 1990||01 August 1990|
|20||Bangladesh||26 Jan 1990||03 August 1990|
|Benin||25 Apr 1990||03 August 1990|
|Sudan||24 July 1990
||03 August 1990
|Corporal punishment in schools is prohibited by law.|
|Corporal punishment of children is prohibited by law in all settings, including schools and in the home.|
Address of H.E. Msgr. Silvano M. Tomasi to the U.N. on March 23, 2007:
“My Delegation certainly agrees that all forms of violence against children are unjustifiable, preventable and must be stopped.”
Today, only three member states remain which have not yet ratified the Convention: The United States of America, South Sudan and Somalia.
In addition to 190 Member States, the treaty was ratified by the Cook Islands and Niue, which are dependencies of New Zealand, and the Holy See (Vatican), which is a permanent observer state. Montenegro was the last country to ratify the Convention after becoming an independent state in 2006.
Why didn’t the United States ratify the convention?
The Global Policy Forum, an independent policy watchdog that monitors the work of the UN and scrutinizes global policymaking, has written an article about the policy of the United States of America regarding international human rights treaties: http://www.globalpolicy.org/…/article/157/26883.html
Note: Not every country which ratified the CRC has fulfilled its obligations with regard to the Convention. Some countries have not enforced their child protection legislation and several member states still retain the death penalty for children as well as adults. The United States retained the death penalty for children (persons under the age of 18) until 2005 and last executed a juvenile offender in 2003. Chart of child executions since 1990.
At the beginning of April 2009 the United States Congressional Research Service (www.crs.gov) released a report for members of Congress entitled “The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: Background and Policy Issues.” It discussed the position of the Obama Administration. It’s available as a PDF document. You can download it here: http://opencrs.com/document/R40484/
A majority of Republican members of the United States Congress have been against ratification of the CRC since it was launched in 1989. Nevertheless, it’s important to point out that despite Republican hostility and the high prevalence of physical disciplinary measures in American schools and homes, many of the world’s most ardent campaigners for children’s rights are American citizens.
Many religious groups in the USA endorse the CRC.
There is a Campaign for U.S. Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child which is supported by partners from more than 180 academic institutions and organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association — http://www.childrightscampaign.org/
Michael Milburn, a psychologist formerly at the University of Massachusetts, explained in a Newsweek magazine interview that children raised with physical punishments are more likely to turn into adults who approve of wars. The U.S. Federal Government is unable to ban corporal punishment (paddling) in schools, but 31 individual states and D.C. have gone ahead and done so (see the list).
Children’s rights and UN conventions are ignored by Taliban fighters. In a speech to the United Nations on children’s rights Afghanistan’s representative said children remain the prime victims of terrorism. In 2007, the Ministry of Education published a National Education Strategic Plan which mandates the allocation of “protection officers” to schools:
In order to offer physical protection to schools and social support to teachers (particularly female teachers) and students, protection officers will work to mobilise local communities. In addition, protection officers will also monitor schools and report on instances of corporal punishment of students, abuse and other related issues.
http://www.iiep.unesco.org/…/Afghanistan_NESP.pdf (page 56)
At present, Somalia is in a state of political uncertainty. However, parties within the government structure have committed to ratifying the CRC once the situation is rectified. Somalia signed the Convention on May 9, 2002.
Here are extracts from a speech by His Excellency Ahmed Abdi Hashi, Somalia’s Ambassador to the UN and Head of the Somali Delegation, which he made to delegates at the Special Session on Children that was being held at the United Nations General Assembly:
We stand here, these days, at a historical juncture.
Respecting the rights of our children remains daunting, and a challenge requiring immediate attention at all levels. The children of the world deserve better.
It is within this spirit that it was my privilege to sign, yesterday, May 9, 2002, on behalf of Somalia, the Convention on the Rights of the Child; we shall also sign the Additional Protocols in due course.
The strict compliance of the relevant Security Council resolutions on this issue will enhance the chances for a peaceful environment necessary for the full development of the great potential of our children.
[M]y government will prepare the stage for the adoption and implementation of national programs that consciously address the needs of Somali children.
And in this context, I appeal to the international community to help us not only comply with the obligations of the Convention we signed yesterday, May 9, 2002, but also to provide a better life for our children.
Thank you Mr. President.
Link to the full text of the speech :