Second Child Policy Forum of New York
"The Campaign for United States Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child"
On Nov. 16, 2007, the Brooklyn College Children's Studies Center organized the second Child Policy Forum of New York to provide a platform for public dialogue on the importance of the U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
The second Child Policy Forum of New York is a continuation of Children's Studies' public service and advocacy initiatives that began with the Carnegie Corporation of New York–funded Policy Symposium: Children and the Law in New York, held on March 11, 2004; followed by the innaugural Child Policy Forum of New York: The Right of Every Child, held on April 26, 2007. These events, with a human rights focus on the complex systems of child welfare and juvenile justice, were instrumental in the drafting of legislation for an Independent Office of the Child Advocate for New York, to protect and promote the rights of children and youth in our area. Legislation for such an office was passed in the New York State Assembly on June 20, 2005 (Bill: A00304A) and in the New York State Senate on June 10, 2007 (Bill: S6298).
Adopted unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly in 1989, the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), is the most comprehensive international treaty of the basic human rights of children. As of 2007, the convention was ratified by 193 countries. Despite the fact that the United States was a crucial participant in the decade-long drafting process, it, along with Somalia, remain the only two nations that have not ratified this treaty. The Campaign for United States Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child is being held at universities and college campuses throughout the United States (see winter and spring newsletters for coverage). The Children's Studies Center, in collaboration with other constituents within Brooklyn College and the City University of New York, have taken the lead to organize and host the only such event in the New York City area.
Left to right: Professor Gertrud Lenzer, director of the Children's Studies Center (at podium); Professor Angela Burton, CUNY School of Law; Marty Scherr, campaign representative of UNICEF and the Campaign for United States Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child; Meg Gardinier, director, Education and Community Partnerships, United States Fund for UNICEF; and Dr. Victor Karunan, chief, Adolescent Development and Participation (ADAP) Programme Division, UNICEF Headquarters.