Have the period since the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) was approved favored the children and has it been an actual improvement on their situation throughout the world?
Have the period since the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) was approved favored the children and has it been an actual improvement on their situation throughout the world? Is the nowadays condition of the children what was approved in 1989?
191 countries all over the globe out of the existing 193 nations approved the Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) on November the 20th, 1989. This makes it the nearly universally ratified human rights treaty in history. The United States, which did sign this agreement, but never ratified it; and Somalia, which cannot ratify as it has not got an internationally recognized government, are the only two countries in the world that did not sign the agreement. This international treaty meant that the rights of the children throughout the world were going to be ensured not matter what culture, religion, sex, or social class they belong to and that more emphasis was going to be put on improving the living standard of the children.
Although the welfare of all the children was the aim of these countries, not all of them have applied these Rights of the Child strictly. Nowadays, there are still children who do not benefit from these rights, and see them as privileges of the richest countries, or, in some cases, some of them do not even know they have them.
In this extended essay, I am going to investigate and try to proof that or if these countries throughout the world that signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, are actually concerned about the situation of the children nowadays and have found solutions to these problems.
- Introduction. A brief explanation on what the main idea or topic of the extended essay is. I will explain why this topic is so relevant for me and what are going to be my main points in this essay. I will explain the purpose of the paper and what aspects of the children’s rights and its Convention I am going to highlight.
Since 191 of the 193 countries in the world and their government declared the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in November 1989, these nations have the obligation of looking after the children of their own country and for their benefit. This treaty, new at the time, meant a new era for those children: they would have education, nutrition, sanitation and someone who would take care of them for granted. But, has this Convention actually changed all this? How can we avoid the malnourishment of 200 million children in the developing world, only four years of schooling in 30% of these children and 40,000 deaths every day? This shows that it takes more than signing a treaty to eradicate poverty, malnourishment and injustice from the world.
This is a preview of the whole essay
Especially people who live in developed countries take basic rights for granted such as the right to a good education, the right to freedom of speech or religion, or the right to life. Many people think that every child, at least in developed countries has these opportunities, and they might think that these rights are actually applied, but reality is something very different from what we are actually taught. Poverty and child abuse is much closer to us than we think it is, and that is why this topic should concern much more people than what it actually does, and does capable of changing this situation to act.
This topic has interested me for quite a long time, as I like to and I wanted to investigate and verify if those rights that children supposedly have, are applied in those countries that signed the treaty. Specially, when I first started researching information for this essay, I found very interesting how the United States, nowadays a world power, has not ratified this Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is true that by signing this treaty the US took a great step, but what keeps it from ratifying it? In my investigation I am also going to look in particular at the situation of the United States, as I am interested in what and how is done there to accomplish their purposes and prevent children abuse.
-What was the political, social, economical and historical situation at the time the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted? Circumstances that took the United Nations to adopt this new agreement.
At the time the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted, the situation in the world was not quite stable. Many conflicts were being fought all over the world, in which children had to work as hard as anyone else to help their families. Some of them did not have enough food, sanitation or education. This Convention meant a new step towards the welfare of children.
-How did the countries cope with these rights and did they actually do anything to favor the situation of the children in it? What were the results of these changes and their effect on society?
The Convention on the Rights of the Child signed in 1989 started a new era for the children and the adoption of their rights. It meant new opportunities and hopes for the children, although probably most of them did not know that they had rights and just assumed that they had to be slaves or work long days as a routine because that was what they were asked to do, most of the times receiving a few coins or nothing at all.
This Convention signified that these children could start a new life if these principles were applied. Governments, especially in developed countries, promoted them and NGO’s supported these actions.
Not every country though has realized that not giving those rights and new options to their young citizens is going against the Convention, and therefore it is illegal for them to keep them from those rights and deprive them from basic necessities.
-What was the situation of the children at the time the agreement was accepted and what is their condition nowadays? Has this situation actually improved all over the world during this period of time?
In 1959 many countries signed the Declaration of the Human Rights. This was the first step towards human justice and equality. Although the Human Rights also included children, something had to be done specially for them. Somehow, children and women are most of the times omitted from great decisions, although the consequences may affect them.
Nowadays many children throughout the world live in dreadful conditions. We only see what we have close to us, and that is mainly a high standard of living, in which high percentages of children go to school and have the basic needs. But what we do not see is much larger than that. Thousands of children die from malnutrition, diseases, slavery, and lack of sanitation every year. People and countries became more concerned about that and NGO’s and charities became more popular. They realized that this situation would worsen with time. Almost every country in the world signed the Convention, although still nowadays many of them do not apply some of them. Poverty and hunger is still a nowadays issue, and we all should be concerned about that.
- What is it that keeps the United States of America from signing this treaty?
The United States has a large variety of citizens, and therefore many different beliefs, lifestyles and political views. One of the reasons that may keep the United States from ratifying the Convention is the fact that some conservative American communities have argued that the treaty could be “anti-family”. It cannot be denied that the situation of American children has improved since the agreement was signed, but there is still too much left to do. Figures show that the U.S has the highest percentage of children in poverty (around 23% in 1986).
- Conclusion. Has the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child been an actual improvement for the children and their condition in the world since 1989 until these days?
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child has indeed been an improvement in the situation of the children throughout the world, but there are still millions of children and people in general suffering from the consequences of war, malnutrition and lack of resources, as few examples. There still many things to be done, starting from applying the Convention on the Rights of the Child in all those countries that signed the treaty. If all of them had actually carried out these articles, children all over the world would have the basic education, sanitation, food…
Governments have the possibility of changing this situation that concerns so many people with the support of their citizens. There are many campaigns that support actions in developing countries, but more could be done for the benefit for those less fortunate children and their families that have to suffer since they are very young.
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