Enforcement of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

This is FREE sample
This text is free, available online and used for guidance and inspiration. Need a 100% unique paper? Order a custom essay.
  • Any subject
  • Within the deadline
  • Without paying in advance
Get custom essay

The United Nations exists as 193 member countries transpiring to confront and resolve issues of the world in one accord. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most universally accepted human rights treaty in the history of the United Nations with 191 signatory countries (countries that have ratified, adopted, or accepted the convention). The Convention on the Rights of the Child (the CRC) was founded in favor of child rights on four core principles: non-discrimination; the right to life, survival, and development; devotion to the ‘best interests of the child;’ and respect of the child’s approach.

By adopting the CRC, countries are obligating themselves to enforce the articles listed within the draft as well as implementation of the core principles. Whether or not the CRC proves effective is based on the execution of the four core principles by signatory countries. The measure of effectiveness includes evidence of effort put forth by governments to abolish the mistreatment of children. Those such as Lynn Marie Kohm conclude that the CRC has proven ineffective in the entirety of a child’s well-being and has failed to follow all four core principles. Others, such as Jaap E. Doek found the CRC to be the prime driver in the field of children’s rights. Each perspective holds in mind the same question: Has the enforcement of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child proven effective?

Lynn Marie Kohm expresses her evaluation of the CRC in “Suffer the Little Children: How the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child Has Not Supported Children.” The journal appears in the New York International Law Review which holds high credibility on a global scale, strengthening her argument. Kohm claims that the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is ineffective on grounds that enforcement of the draft has not applied the four core principles. Sections I – V of the journal are composed of five examples of ways in which represent the collapse of the CRC: child sex trafficking, child labor exploitation, child soldiering, child marriage, and female genital mutilation.

In Section 1, she reveals that the U.S. Department of State issued an annual report on the global trafficking network which was used to identify those countries violating the TVPA, Trafficking Victims Protection Act, (created based on the articles of the CRC), and how these countries are not protecting children, but harming them. This report provides evidence that strengthens her argument against the CRC’s effectiveness and supports her claim as a credible government source that assesses the global status quo of trafficking and its methods. In total, Kohm argues that 49 signatory countries (34 tier 3 countries and 15 tier 2 countries) are in violation of the CRC’s enumerated rights policy for children on trafficking. Although this reveals that trafficking is a prominent issue, there are 142 additional signatories she fails to acknowledge, including all tier 1 countries. Is child sex trafficking noteable concern in the rest of the signatories? Are they implementing the CRC’s policies against trafficking?

Child marriage, Kohm’s second example of the CRC’s ineffectiveness, proves weak as it predominately delivers background information on the practice. The statistics used to represent the young married age of girls: 17% married before age 10 in Rajasthan and 40% married before age 15 in Nepal (Kohm, 4,5) are a staggering blow to the effectiveness of the CRC by first look, appearing to strengthen her claim; however, this only provides information from 3 signatories out of 191, suppressing the evidence of 188 other signatory countries. Regardless of the amount of evidence, Kohm explains the concerns of child marriage and includes background information of domestic laws against it. Section III covers female genital mutilation and signifies the fatality of the procedure.

Kohm confirms, through the Office of the Senior Coordinator for International Women’s Issues, U.S. Department of State, 23 CRC signatory countries perform FGM. The appalling statistic, though it does not address 168 signatories, uses an emotional appeal that strengthens Kohm’s claim against the CRC. Section IV provides a historical context of child soldiering and evidence to the growing concern. Kohm’s most compelling argument is found in this section with reference to Sudan. The description of how young children volunteer themselves to an armed organization because they feel it is their best option to survive, (Kohm, 8) is a clear emotive strength within the section.

Evidence of her argument is sourced from the U.S. Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report, 2006, reinforcing that children feel pressured to undergo trauma that is not in their best interest though their countries are obligated to follow the articles of the CRC. The final example Kohm uses in her journal, forced child labor, is weak compared to the others because she references North Korea’s concentration camps – a country that is neither a signatory of the CRC or a member of the UN. These five examples provide the necessary evidence and reasoning to efficiently support Kohm’s claim though she does not acknowledge a counterclaim in this journal. Despite no reference to an opposing view, Kohm’s claim – the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is ineffective – is strong in structure with minor weaknesses.

Unlike Kohm, Jaap E. Doek writes in “The Protection of Children’s Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: Achievements and Challenges” that the CRC, is concrete in provisions and assistance of children’s rights. The journal was published in the Saint Louis University Public Law Review, strengthening the credibility of the source. Doek provides five examples of how he believes the CRC has proven itself effective. Three of these examples are the same issues used in Kohm’s journal, but the opposing view.

Section A reviews children in armed conflict (child soldiering) stating that the parties are committing to an effective instatement of programs developed for recovering child soldiers, (Doek, 241). However, the argument does not present evidence to back up this information. Doek also presents the idea that the articles of the CRC have not only promoted awareness for children in war but also terms of prevention, (Doek, 241). Evidence to this prevention includes UN agencies (such as UNICEF) and international organizations (such as the Coalition against Child Soldiers) that provide financial or technical assistance, bracing the claim that child soldiers are receiving care.

Section B covers the child sex tafficking industry, where Doek argues that parties supporting victims of CSEC, Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, should implement treatment for recvoery as well as social reintegration, (Doek, 242). This reasoning, rather than supporting his claim, provides background research on the articles of the CRC and what signatory countries should be enforcing – not how they are being enforced. Doek does not provide any factual evidence to support any type of party involvement pertaining to the therapy and care of victims, weakening his claim.

Section C discusses child labor and the contributions made by the CRC. Doek correlates the ratification of the CRC to the increase of attention to children in labor (Doek, 243), revealing a fallacy in the argument with no evidence to provide as a backbone to this assertion. The section summarizes how the CRC has raised awareness for the increasing child labor industry, but does not prove that the enforcement has proven effective within each state. The strength of the journal comes from the overall implication that the CRC may not meet a child’s physical needs, however, it allows the child to raise their voices.

Doek cites multiple journals and organizations which recognize a number of laws in which provide children with a voice across the board in many cases, i.e. custody, access rights, and out of home placements, (Doek, 245). The impact on a child’s psychological mindset when they are allowed to express their views is, according to Doek, positive. This argument is proven by the numerous accounts of real situations from children and their circumstances around the world that Doek introduces. Though his argument is weak in proving that the child’s physical needs are not met, Doek’s claim is supported on grounds that the CRC is effectively increasing awareness of children’s rights as well as promoting their voices.

Lynne Marie Kohm is a reliable source, as she has published many articles on the CRC and other issues pertaining to children’s rights and family law. She is a family law professor at the Regent University of Law proving her expertise in the subject. Her ability to see is strong because she has dealt with many court cases involving the rights of a child. Though, because of this, she holds a vested interest in her clientele. The CRC allows her child clients to represent themselves, endangering her job. When reaching out to her, she informed me of a follow-up article written in addition: A Brief Assessment of the 25 Year Effect of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. When evaluating the journal, I discovered she was consistent with her facts and opinions, raising her credibility. The journal summarized exactly what her first article (Suffer the Little Children: How the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child Has Not Supported Children) did. Kohm’s expertise and familiarity in children’s rights proves her strong credibility as well as her consistency in research.

Jaap E. Doek was a member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, proving his expertise on the draft. Doek knows the insides and outs of the CRC, showing that he is a reliable source of information. However, because he was a part in the enforcement of the CRC, he holds vested interest due to his position being balanced by the appearance of the CRC. Doek has also been a member of many additional organizations pertaining to the advancements of child rights. He has written multiple scholarly and professional journals, articles, and reports that have been published and referenced. He is now a professor of Family and Juvenile Law at the VU (Vrijie Universiteit) in Amsterdam. These reasons allow for Doek to be a credible source; however, his vested interest from his role on a committee supporting the CRC undermines his seemingly strong reliability.

After evaluation of the arguments and credibility of each perspective, I find the enforcement of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child to be ineffective. I do believe the CRC has advanced children’s rights and allowing them to speak for themselves, although the enforcement has proven weak. The CRC has implemented the growth of many organizations such as National Catholic Organizations and partnerships with UNICEF who have taken a stand and enforced policies on behalf of children; however, failed to follow through on the four core principles. Lynn Marie Kohm’s analysis of the CRC concluded that children have been failed by this document though Jaap E. Doek is on the opposite side of the spectrum: the CRC has given a platform to children’s rights.

The key difference between each perspective is that Kohm focuses on the CRC’s direct implementation toward children and Doek focuses on the indirect. This leads me to agree with Kohm because she has clearly answered a question asked internationally. Doek’s response, though strong in its argument, chooses to deflect the stand still that the CRC has come to – once what seemed to be a child’s saving grace is now false hope. Children, globally, deserve the opportunity to speak up for themselves and regain their childhoods – playing, learning, loving; not working, being molested, and soldiering. The CRC is ineffective because it has not given these children their lives back.


Cite this paper

Enforcement of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. (2021, Jul 30). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/enforcement-of-the-united-nations-convention-on-the-rights-of-the-child/



What are 4 principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child?
The four principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child are: 1. All children have the right to life, survival and development; 2. All children have the right to be treated equally and with respect; 3. All children have the right to be protected from violence, abuse and exploitation; 4. All children have the right to express their views, opinions and feelings freely.
What does the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child cover?
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is an international treaty that sets out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children.
What is the main objective of the Convention on the Rights of the Child?
The Convention on the Rights of the Child is an international treaty that sets out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children. The main objective of the Convention is to protect the rights of all children, regardless of their race, religion or abilities.
What role does the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child play in the learning frameworks?
The two basic concepts of financial management are cash flow and return on investment.
We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Peter is on the line!

Don't settle for a cookie-cutter essay. Receive a tailored piece that meets your specific needs and requirements.

Check it out