4.13.2010

Regent Law Examines Impact of United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

Regent Law’s Federalist Society and Journal of International Law recently hosted an on-campus symposium discussing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), an international convention setting out the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of children.

The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the convention 1989. The United States, however, has abstained from joining the 194 other countries who have ratified it. The issue is hotly debated in not only government and legal circles, but in those of social services, education, and special interest groups as well.

Three nationally acclaimed panelists representing varying positions on ratification made the evening a lively one.

Michael Farris, Chancellor of Patrick Henry College; David Smolin, Professor at Cumberland School of Law; and Johan Van der Vyver, Professor of Law at Emory University offered provocative thoughts on the implications of U.S. ratification.

They considered first the relationship of the CRC to families and then to federalism, leaving many in attendance rethinking child-specific needs and rights.

Regent Law’s Professor Kathleen McKee contributed closing remarks, speaking from her own unique experience handling legal matters for children and families. She implored the listeners to broaden their analysis of the CRC and, in general, of all policy created for those whom we are called to protect.