(Roughly) Daily

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men”*…

Your correspondent is headed into a particularly busy period of travel/work, so (Roughly) Daily will be more roughly than daily for next few days. Regular service should resume on September 20…

Grim, but important…

Legal protections for children in the United States and in every individual state fall short of international children’s rights standards, Human Rights Watch said [in a report released this week]. Children in the US can be legally married in 41 states, physically punished by school administrators in 47 states, sentenced to life without parole in 22 states, and work in hazardous agriculture conditions in all 50 states. As the only UN member state that has failed to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the US falls far below internationally adopted standards.

One year after the release of a scorecard that measures US compliance with key international child rights standards, 11 states have enacted reforms that improve their rankings. Absent federal ratification and federal laws regarding many of the issues the convention addresses, jurisdiction is left to individual states. As a result, the protection and advancement of child rights varies from state to state…

While only seven states score higher than a “D” grade, four states shed their “F” grade, three moved up to a “C,” and several significantly improved their rankings. Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Vermont, and West Virginia showed improvement over the last year.

The policy changes that improved states’ grades were most frequently in the areas of banning sentencing children to life without parole, raising the minimum age of prosecuting children in the juvenile system, and limiting or prohibiting child marriage. Progress was limited on banning corporal punishment. On child labor, some states moved to roll back child labor protections

The updated scorecard shows improvement, but many states still fail children: “No US State Meets Child Rights Standards,” from @hrw.


* Frederick Douglass


As we protect our progeny, we might recall that it was on this date in 1924 that the League of Nations passed the Declaration of the Rights of the Child (AKA The Geneva Declaration), a historic document drafted by Eglantyne Jebb that recognized and affirmed for the first time the existence of rights specific to children and the responsibility of adults towards children.

The U.S. was not a member of the League. But in 1959 the Declaration was adopted in an extended form by the United Nations.

Children’s day 1928 in Bulgaria. The text on the poster is the Geneva Declaration. In front are Prime Minister Andrey Lyapchev and Metropolitan Stefan of Sofia. (source)
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