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November 20, 2008

On November 20–the 19th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the world’s most ratified international human rights treaty–four panelists presented a briefing to encourage the U.S. Senate to accept the CRC. Focusing on the effect the CRC has on children’s health issues, representatives from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association, the American Bar Association Center for Children and the Law, and CWLA discussed the CRC’s recommendations on preserving the well-being of children regardless of national borders.

Each speaker gave supporting points from their expert perspectives. CWLA Vice President of Policy and Public Affairs Linda Spears explained that despite the government’s delay, CRC recommendations have already made their way into practice through CWLA’s Standards of Excellence. “Every single one of the guidelines we have in our Standards on Health Care comes from the CRC,” she said. Echoing the other panelists, she explained that unresolved childhood health problems only become exacerbated later in life, and these problems are worse for children suffering trauma from being placed in out-of-home care.

The United States and Somalia are the only two UN members that have not ratified the CRC, although the United States played a key role in drafting the document from 1979 to 1989.

From center, Harold Cook of the American Psychological Association, Linda Spears of CWLA, and Howard Davidson of the American Bar Association Center for Children and the Law answer questions from audience members after the briefing.
About 50 people attended the briefing, held on the 19th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Harold Cook, a UN NGO representative and fellow at the American Psychological Association, and Linda Spears, CWLA Vice President of Policy and Public Affairs.
Moderator Howard Davidson, Director of the American Bar Association’s Center for Children and the Law, and Jennifer Kasper, a fellow at the American Association of Pediatrics.
Meg Gardinier, Chair of the Campaign for U.S. Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, introduces the panelists, including Linda Spears, Howard Davidson, and Jennifer Kasper.
Jennifer Kasper, a fellow at the American Association of Pediatrics, and Meg Gardinier, chairman of the Campaign for U.S. Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Meg Gardinier, chairman of the Campaign for U.S. Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, answers audience questions.

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