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

4/20/2015 Four Women Were Just Approved to Join the Cabinet of Afghanistan's Unity Government - President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah of Afghanistan held their promise to appoint four women in the new cabinet, and the nation's lower house of Parliament approved them along with the rest of the 16 cabinet nominees introduced by the Afghan government on Saturday. Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi, speaker for the lower house of parliament, confirmed on Saturday that there are four women among that the 25 member Cabinet of President Ashraf Ghani. . . .
 
4/17/2015 Senate Passes Compromise Bill Increasing Federal Funding for Abstinence-Only Sex Education - The Senate overwhelmingly approved of HR 2 on Tuesday, a $200 billion package that included an enormous increase of federal funding for abstinence-only-until-marriage (AOUM) curricula. The US Senate voted 92-8 to pass HR 2, which has been known as the "doc fix" for Medicaid reimbursement rates, as well as many other health care provisions. . . .
 
4/16/2015 March2Justice Protesters Embark on 250-Mile March to Protest Police Brutality - Marchers are ending an eight-day journey across 250 miles and five states to deliver anti-profiling and police-force-militarization legislation from New York City to Washington, D.C. . . .