Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

July-06-00

Clinton Signs U.N. Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child; Conservative Senate Leaders Continue to Block Ratification

On July 5th President Clinton signed two United Nations (U.N.) documents that protect the role of children in armed conflict, sex trafficking and slavery. One document includes the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, which raises the international legal age of children serving as soldiers from 15 to 18 years of age. The harmful use of child soldiers has been the focus of the U.N. and many women's and human rights organizations ranging from Africa to Afghanistan. According to an U.N. Wire story last December, the U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan denounced the strict Taliban regime use of child warriors younger than 14, citing that it has "sparked a firestorm." Over the past six years the Pentagon has been a major opponent of the Protocol age restriction on recruitment in lieu of a U.S. policy to recruit under the age of 17 with parental consent. The Pentagon dropped its objections after the presentation of facts showing that a very small proportion of the U.S. military would be affected.

The second signed agreement, the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, criminalizes all forms of sexual exploitation and trafficking of children. An important step for the Clinton Administration, and one which some women's rights advocates hope will be extended to adults in broader language, thus protecting the rights of all trafficking victims in a pending U.N. Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons.

In 1990, the United States signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child, but in ten years has failed to gain the consent of the Senate for ratification. According to U.S. Constitution, an international agreement/treaty of any kind can become an official binding agreement with the consent of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and 2/3 vote of the Senate. Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC), chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has blocked the ratification of other important human rights treaties including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which the U.S. signed in 1979.

Media Resources: The New York Times 6 July 2000, UN Newservice 5 Ju


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

9/30/2014 US Supreme Court Shuts Down First Week of Early Voting in Ohio - Less than 24 hours before the start of Ohio's would-be voting period, the Supreme Court blocked efforts to restore a full seven days of early voting in the state, marking a win for the Republican-controlled legislature that enacted the new voting restrictions. The Supreme Court's order offered no opinion or explanation, but Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Stephen Breyer would have ruled differently. . . .
 
9/30/2014 Georgetown Alumni Call Out University for Not Allowing Reproductive Rights Protests - Over 200 Georgetown University alumni have sent a letter to university President John J. . . .
 
9/29/2014 Hope for Afghan Women as New President is Sworn In - Ashraf Ghani, who has publicly and consistently stated his support for women's rights and women's participation in government, was sworn in as the new President of Afghanistan today at the Presidential Palace in Kabul. Over 1000 national and international guests attended the ceremony, including high-ranking officials from the United Nations and 34 countries and a delegation from the United States. . . .