Children: Words and Deeds
is no more pressing priority for any government today than to
protect its children: to insure their health and safety, and to
guarantee their right to an education that enables them to fulfill
their potential. There is no more urgent need than for all nations
to work together to overcome all threats to the rights and well-being
rights of children are well known. The Declaration
of the Right of the Child was adopted by the
member states of the United Nations in 1959. This document needs
to become the guiding framework for all domestic and international
policies. A nation that does not promote these rights puts its
future at risk. When all politicians work for these rights the
future social and economic life of a country will be secure. This
Declaration must become the new global "ideology." When
all nations work to guarantee the rights of children as put forth
in the Declaration, the causes of war will have to be eliminated.
Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted
in 1991, gives the comprehensive collection of children's rights
the force of international law. The treaty is the most widely
accepted international human rights instrument. Only Somalia
and the United States have not ratified it, and many other
countries fail to enforce it.
can the United States be a world leader and fulfill the stated
goals of its foreign policy without ratifying this Convention?
What is our credibility when we are partners in dissent with one
of the most backward countries? This, in view of the following
statements by our leaders:
is the policy of the United States to seek and support the
growth of democratic movements and institutions in every
nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny
in our world." 
George W. Bush
2005 Inaugural Address
defense of human rights is a universal responsibility. We
must all be defenders of human rights. I take this opportunity
to salute all of those who fight for personal freedom and
liberty, wherever you are. You each play an important role
in building a world that respects the inherent dignity and
equal and inalienable rights of all. Your work is an inspiration
to us all." 
Secretary of State
Human Rights and Democracy: The U.S. Record 2004 - 2005"
March 28, 2005
Bush and Secretary Rice must know that political freedom and human
rights cannot be secured in populations living under the fearful
tyranny of poverty, war, and disease. These are the fertile breeding
grounds for political tyranny, abuse and hopelessness. These social
and economic ills must first be removed before any hope of political
freedom may be realized. This cannot be achieved by military force
but by benevolent actions and programs of sustainable economic
development and education. Unless U.S. policies reflect the above
statements of intention, such rhetoric is nothing but false propaganda.
United States will never be a credible leader until it supports
and abides by the conventions, treaties and laws created and
ratified by most other nations. A place to start is to ratify
Convention on the Rights of the Child.
new UNICEF report shows that more than half the world's children
are suffering extreme depations from poverty, war and HIV/AIDS
conditionrivs that effectively deny children a childhood
and hinder the development of nations. 
to the State
of the World's Children 2005, "Childhood Under Threat,"
than 1 billion children are denied a healthy and protected upbringing
as promised by 1989's Convention on the Rights of the Child, the
world's most widely adopted human rights treaty. The report stresses
that the failure of governments to live up to the Convention's
standards causes permanent damage to children and in turn blocks
progress toward human rights and economic advancement.
many governments are making informed, deliberate choices that
actually hurt childhood," said UNICEF Executive Director
Carol Bellamy in launching the report at the London School of
Economics. "Poverty doesn't come from nowhere; war doesn't
emerge from nothing; AIDS doesn't spread by choice of its own.
These are our choices." 
The report offers an analysis of seven basic "deprivations"
that children feel and that powerfully influence their futures.
UNICEF concludes that more than half the children in the developing
world are severely deprived of one or more of the necessities
essential to childhood:
640 million children do not have adequate shelter
500 million children have no access to sanitation
400 million children do not have access to safe water
300 million children lack access to information
270 million children have no access to health care
140 million children have never been to school
90 million children are severely food-deprived
State of the World's Children" also makes clear that poverty
is not exclusive to developing countries. In 11 of 15 industrialized
nations, the proportion of children living in low-income households
during the last decade has risen. 
purpose of government is to insure the well being of its citizens.
Since so many of those in need of protection are children and
have no voice in the workings of government, it is up to adults
of conscience to actively advocate for them. Many men and women
also do not have a voice, since they live trapped in the cycle
of poverty and have no influence.
countries used the goals in the Declaration
of the Rights of the Child as the framework
for their national budgets and international relations, then there
would be both the motivation and resources to fix much that is
wrong in the world while building healthy populations and healthy
economies for the future. Only by such actions may the idealistic
words in the world's most adopted treaty be matched by deeds.
As quoted in the Department of State publication:"Supporting
Human Rights and Democracy: The U.S. Record 2004 - 2005"
UNICEF: The State
of the World's Children 2005, "Childhood Under Threat" UNICEF citations: copyright © 2005 United States
Fund for UNICEF