Oh Mr President, Please….

November 12, 2011 at 10:30 pm 4 comments

I wanted to open with a little reminder of why I do this. The premise is simple. You donate to a childrens charity and comment on this blog about the donation and what you wanted to be when you were 8. Want to know more? Please read the About Lesley page….

I am reading the latest book by John Connolly, The Burning Soul. Some say Mr Connolly’s books are not for the faint-hearted but I am a big fan. True, his themes can be hard but the writing and plotlines are just excellent. However, it was one sentence within the book that has given me the theme for this post. I didn’t know this fact and can’t help but wonder both why I didn’t know and why no-one is talking about this?

The sentence that stunned me? I don’t want to spoil the book so cannot quote directly but I read that one action was in contravention of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, which only the USA and Somalia have failed to raitfy. That made me sit up and take notice.

I started a little Google-fest to research this post.

Most of my research has come from Unicef. Unicef’s mission is to advocate for the rights of the child. They are guided in doing this by the provisions and principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. I will quote from their website to give you the full message, this always deserves to be heard.

‘Built on varied legal systems and cultural traditions, the Convention is a universally agreed set of non-negotiable standards and obligations. These basic standards—also called human rights—set minimum entitlements and freedoms that should be respected by governments. They are founded on respect for the dignity and worth of each individual, regardless of race, colour, gender, language, religion, opinions, origins, wealth, birth status or ability and therefore apply to every human being everywhere. With these rights comes the obligation on both governments and individuals not to infringe on the parallel rights of others. These standards are both interdependent and indivisible; we cannot ensure some rights without—or at the expense of—other rights.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rights—civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. In 1989, world leaders decided that children needed a special convention just for them because people under 18 years old often need special care and protection that adults do not. The leaders also wanted to make sure that the world recognized that children have human rights too.’

Great words, all of them. I agree with them completely. So, what is the status of this Convention?

I caveat this next paragraph by saying that this is based on my research. You may think it is limited, that could be true but I could not find any words to contradict this post. I am happy for anyone to comment here with more detail and even to tell me that I am wrong. I would happily be wrong.

The current status of the Convention is that only two countries, Somalia and the United States have not ratified this agreement. Somlia cannot ratify the Convention as it has no recognised Government. This tells a tale of many more underlying issues. However, the United States has an established and recognised Government but has not yet ratified. What puzzles me is the US Government were actively involved in the drafting of the Convention. They have signed the Convention but full acceptance requires ratification.

I understand that there may be concerns within some political groups with regard to this ratification. Apparently some feel that it might chip away at the US Constitution. The Constitution is an amazing thing and I can see how many seek to protect it above all else. Also,  I recognise that it would be embarrassing to propose ratification and lose. However, does that mean you shouldn’t try?

This is my message to President Barack Obama. Please try. If you don’t succeed, then keep trying. Try until you succeed. Try until we see this –

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are old enough.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.


Entry filed under: Barack Obama, Children, Convention on the Rights of the Child, Donating, Giving, John Connolly, Life, Somalia, Unicef, wheniwas8. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

I know, I know, Seven Weeks and Counting? Ask the Obvious Question?

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Susi Rooke  |  November 13, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Another fine post Lesley! I have donated £10 to my local Children’s Hospice (ages ago now, but finally getting around to posting!)

    When I was 8 I wanted to be a princess. Or a nurse.

    Well done again,
    Susi (@ritavonsleaze)

    • 2. when i was 8 i wanted to be....  |  November 13, 2011 at 10:29 am

      Thank you Susi!

      And another donation:) That makes me very happy on a Sunday morning. A princess or a nurse? I also wanted to be a nurse, I don’t find it that surprising that so many young girls have this as a choice, shows the nurturing nature of girls.. As for the princess ambition, of course you are one now! *Chortles*

      I know from a quick chat on Twitter than your donation was to the East Anglia’s Childrens’s Hospice and I will be delighted to write about them:)

      Thank you again

      Lesley xxx

  • 3. ladymaryan  |  November 13, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Hi Lesley,

    your post made me curious and I also did a research and found out at least one part of the reasons why the US didn’t ratify the Convention. Sadly, it looks as if this paragraph collides with the laws in some US states.

    I don’t think there is much Mr Obama or any other American president can do about it, if he wants to get re-elected. The first step into the right direction could probably be a huge promotion campaign in all countries (not only the US) to raise awareness for the Convention. People, media and probably also quite a few politicians don’t even know about this and on several occasions violations of this Convention have publicly and loudly been called for by the press, media and of course in the population. I’m afraid that even the knowledge wouldn’t silence these people, but make them question the moral rightfulness of the Convention and the reasons to sign it.

    Claudia xx

    • 4. when i was 8 i wanted to be....  |  November 13, 2011 at 10:23 am


      Sadly indeed, your research agrees with mine. There is some vociferous opposition and some of the quotes I read were surprisingly aggressive against the Convention. I didn’t add in direct quotes as this is something for the US to take care of. I also read that there was embarrassment within US politics that the ratification hadn’t yet happened. The US does take time to ratify Conventions; I think this is in part the very broad spectrum of political opinion across the country.

      My post was to make people aware of the fact the Convention wasn’t yet raitified. I hope my post does not come across as critiical of Obama or the US, this was not my intention. I just wanted to put it out there to ensure that people are aware and want this to happen…

      Lesley xx


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