President Carter Calls on U.S. to Protect Children's Rights

In a speech urging U.S. leaders to ratify the United Nation's Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which forbids the execution of juvenile offenders, President Jimmy Carter noted that the United States and Somalia are the only two countries in the U.N. that have not approved the guidelines. "My wife (Rosalyn) writes letters to the governors of each state when a child is going to be executed," Carter noted as he praised his wife's work to end the juvenile death penalty.  Carter added that America's objection to the CRC because it forbids the juvenile death penalty weakens the United Nation's ability to fight for children's rights in other areas of law, including a ban on the use of juvenile soldiers. "These kids are often 8 and 10 years old, and all they have are AK-47s. The United States is seen as the most prominent world leader...yet, by not supporting the UN Convention, other countries see that the United States does not have an intense commitment to the rights of children." (The Emery Wheel, October 22, 2003) See Juvenile Death Penalty.