MISSING: United States #KONY2012

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Now that social media is buzzing about the KONY2012 campaign by the organization Invisible Children, this is a good time to start looking at issues here in the United States as they relate to international issues.

For example, did you know that there are only two counties on the entire planet that have not ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, a human rights treaty? Somalia and the United States are the only two countries that have not stepped up to the plate and ratified.

Nations that ratify the convention are bound to it by international law. The treaty looks to protect children by setting the “civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children,” according to a Wikipedia entry. These rights include forbidding capital punishment for children (under the age of 18) and there is an optional protocol where children under the age of eighteen are not to be forced to enlist into their armed forces and if they do enlist voluntarily that they not engage in hostilities.

So if you are intrigued by the KONY 2012 but want to take action locally, call on the United States to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Yes, it will lead to changes and there is strong opposition to ratifying by special interest groups.

Do you think the United States should ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child?

Tweet now: @whitehouse I’m calling on the White House to ratify the @UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to protect children. #KONY2012 #SAW
Click here to tweet (a separate widow will open)

This video has the United Nations’ perspective on the complexities of tracking down Joseph Kony and his marauding force, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

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2 Responses to MISSING: United States #KONY2012

  1. Mr. Luna,
    You failed to mention that the U.S. has already ratified the Optional Protocol on Children in Armed Conflict, though you referenced the protocol in your article. You also failed to mention that under U.S. law and jurisprudence (in which a newer treaty overrules an older one), ratifying the CRC would lower the legal minimum for our own armed services from 18, which is called for under the OP, to only 15 as called for under the CRC. Ratifying the CRC and supporting Kony 2012 have nothing to do with each other. Everything important to the Kony 2012 movement is already covered under the Optional Protocol.
    The argument Kony 2012 supporters should be making to our lawmakers is that under the Optional Protocol the U.S. is already obligated to help stop Kony as a matter of our own prior treaty decision. The idea that we need a UN document to dictate our domestic law, and that this will somehow stop Kony, simply doesn’t hold up.
    Serious kudos for taking action, though. I salute you.

    • Jesse Luna says:

      Michael, the connection between KONY2012 and the Convention on the Rights of the Child is the focus on the well-being of children with accountability on an international level.

      For some that might mean supporting the KONY2012 campaign. For those that are skeptical of the campaign, especially with all the twists and turns, pushing for the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in another important endeavor to pursue.

      If we want to have accountability on an international level, the US has to step up and ratify the treaty. It was signed a long time ago but never ratified.

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