Discussion of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child


Dr. Bernardine Dohrn null

(L) Dr. Bernardine Dohrn, (R) Linda Spears

On the eve of the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), two of the nation's leading child welfare advocates visited the Chicago Campus to speak and lead a dialogue on the convention and efforts being taken for U.S. ratification.

More than 60 students, faculty, and staff attended the November 19 forum in room 407 to share a conversation with Dr. Bernardine Dohrn, clinical associate professor of law and director and founder of the Children and Family Justice Center at the Northwestern Law School, and Linda Spears, vice president of policy and public affairs for the Child Welfare League of America. Chicago Campus President Carroll Cradock and Dr. Nancy Dubrow from TCS' Center for International Studies delivered opening remarks.

"Bernardine Dohrn and Linda Spears are tireless advocates for children's human rights," said Dr. Dubrow. "Our students and faculty have the unique opportunity to join their ranks and inject passion and energy into making history. Today, as the world acknowledges the rights of children, Dr. Dohrn's equation stays with me, 'human rights equals dignity.'"

The Campaign for U.S. Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child
It was on November 20, 1989, that the United Nations adopted the CRC, a treaty that guarantees children, among other rights, the right to life, an education, and to be protected from abuse. Since then, 193 nations have ratified the convention making it the most internationally supported human rights treaty in the world. The United States and Somalia remain the only two countries to not give the treaty a formal government backing.

While the treaty was signed by then U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright in 1995, it did not advance to the U.S. Senate. Over the past 20 years, advocates of the treaty have canvassed the country calling on institutions to adopt resolutions supporting the CRC. The Chicago City Council joined a group of more 160 organizations by passing a resolution earlier this year. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology will join more than 40 academic institutions when it signs its letter of support to the U.S. Campaign to Ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The November 19 event was planned through the Center for International Studies and TCS Child and Adolescent Coalition and coincided with International Education Week and Universal Children's Day. For more information, contact ndubrow@thechicagoschool.edu or visit www.childrightscampaign.org.

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