We're Looking at You, Mr. President

 © U.R. Romano

© U.R. Romano

The United States is the last holdout. Despite playing a leading role in drafting the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the United States has yet to ratify it. Protecting the right to impose the death penalty and life imprisonment on children is one of the sticking points; fear of ceding national control of domestic policy by asserting the human rights of children is another. Neither objection seems insurmountable however. In fact, the Supreme Court abolished the death penalty for minor children (under 18 years of age) in 2005, and it seems likely that the Court could soon decide that life imprisonment without parole for minor children is equally unconstitutional. Nor is it easy to understand why asserting the rights of children to identity, to a voice in their fates, to self-expression and self-determination would threaten our nation. On the contrary. Mr. President, please bring the Convention on the Rights of the Child before the Senate for ratification. It's time.