October, 2005
Vol. 4, Number 10
The SNS Press E–Zine presents new perspectives for a better future in society, politics, religion, education, self-awareness and human relations.

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A hopeful approach for the future of international relations.

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This Month's Article


Protecting Children: Words and Deeds

There 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 of children.

The 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.

The 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.

How 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:

"It 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." [1]

President George W. Bush
2005 Inaugural Address

"The 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." [2]

Condoleezza Rice
Secretary of State

"Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The U.S. Record 2004 - 2005"
March 28, 2005

President 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.

The 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 the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

A 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. [3]

According to the State of the World's Children 2005, "Childhood Under Threat," more 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.

"Too 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." [4]

Deprivations of poverty

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 services
• 140 million children have never been to school
• 90 million children are severely food-deprived

"The 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. [5]

The 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.

If 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.

Notes: (return)

[1][2] As quoted in the Department of State publication:"Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The U.S. Record 2004 - 2005"

Notes: (return)

[3][4][5] UNICEF: The State of the World's Children 2005, "Childhood Under Threat" UNICEF citations: copyright © 2005 United States Fund for UNICEF

Archives 2005
Volumn 4
January: "Standing up for Humanity"
February: "The Wake of Disaster" – a poem
March: "Unity in Diversity
April: "Life is Calling"
May: "Entertainment" – a poem
June: "Thought and Imagination" part 1
July: "Thought and Imagination" part 2
August: "Imagination and Healing"
September: "Malice or Neglect? – Lessons of Katrina"
October: "Protecting Children"
November: "Intelligent Design or Evolution?"
December: "Building with one hand, destroying with the other"
Archives 2006
Volumn 5

January: "Conflict, Harmony, and Integrity"
February: "Satyagraha or Soul-force and Political Change"
March: "I Know I'm Not Alone - Wisdom of Michael Franti"
April: "Human Programming and Conflict Part I"
May: "Human Programming and Conflict Part II"
June: "Soccer Diplomacy"
July: "Sustainable Development is Nature's Way
August: "Parallel Universes"
September: "The News is not New"
October: "Legalizing Torture"
November: "Living Without an Enemy"
December: "Fast Food is really Slow Food"

Archives 2007
Volumn 6

January: "State of Fear"
February: Criminal Justice - "The Powerful Over the Weak"
March: "Culture Shock: The Good Life and Survival"
April: "March Madness"
May: "No Child Left Behind" Leaves Many Teachers Behind
June: "Personal Ecology"
July: Criminal Justice - "The Ethic of Custodianship"
August: "Exploring the Mind - part 1"
September: "Exploring the Mind - part 2: The Poetic Mind
October: "How Much Pain Can We Stand?"
November: "When Languages Disappear"
December: "Is it Enough to be Tolerant?"

Archives 2008
Volumn 7

January: "Beyond Ideology: Politics of the Future "
February: "Beyond the Bush Years"
March: "The Imaginary Economy - Part I
April: "The Imaginary Economy - Part II
May: Questions from Prison
June: "iGods and Connectivity"
July: "Energy Independence"
August: "Tribalism and the 2008 Elections
September: "Guilt, Shame and U.S. Justice"
October: "Have We Been Willing Slaves?"
November: "Are We Ready for the Future?"
December: "Are we done learning from pain?"

Archives 2009
Volumn 8

January: "Awakening"
February: "When Sacrifice is no Sacrifice"
March: "The Good New Days"
April: "The Power of Metaphor"
May: "The Conflict of Mythologies"
June: "The Time is Right"
July: "The New Anarchy"
August: "The Art of Living"
September: "Outrage"
October: "Are Women Becoming More Unhappy?

November: "Effect of the manufacturing culture on the American Psyche"
December: Who are the Real Game Changers?

Archives 2010
Volumn 9

January: The Music of Place
February: Earthquakes and Other Awakenings
March: Sense of Place, Sense of Self, Sense of Humanity
April: Why Do People Serve?
May: Decentralizing Food and Energy
June: Beyond Reading and Writing — Ecological literacy
July: Organization or Organism?
August: Fear and Cynicism = “Inter-fear-ance”
September: Are we afraid of our "Better Angels?"
October: Choosing Our Battles
November: Meeting the Need
December: A Living Canvas

Archives 2002: Vol. 1, Numbers 1-12
Read past articles including:
Hope for the Future
Six Part Series on Science and Religion
First Three Parts of the Series on Leadership
Archives 2003: Vol. 2, Numbers 1-12
Read past articles including:
Series on Leadership continued
Avoiding Dictatorship in a Free Society

Art and Politics
Living the Good Life

Teaching Teens
World Peace in Less Than a Month?
Archives 2004: Vol. 3, Numbers 1-12
Read past articles including:
Seven Part Series on Global Consciousness
Is "Liberal" a Dirty Word?
Can Idealism Solve Problems?
Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All
Poetry Diplomacy Science and Religion Teen Help
Archives 2002 Archives 2003 Archives 2004
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