“Every child has a right to their survival and their development.”
- Stephanie S. Franklin, Esq.
As April, National Child Abuse Prevention Month, comes to a close, we share Stephanie S. Franklin’s presentation at the US Human Rights Network’s 2013 biannual national conference.
Stephanie reminds us that youth in foster care are particularly vulnerable to abuse. They are disproportionately children of color. They are prescribed psychotropic medications for mental health diagnoses at rates significantly higher than youth who are not in foster care.
A tireless and unyielding child rights advocate, Stephanie works to transform the lives of abused and neglected children by providing innovative, whole-person legal representation and advocacy that supports their physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being.
She asks us to question why the U.S. Government has not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). She challenges all of us to do more to protect children in the U.S. In 2009, the Chicago City Council joined other local governments and passed a resolution pledging to “advance policies and practices that are in harmony with the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in all city agencies and organizations that address issues directly affecting the City's children.” Read this helpful CRC Toolkit prepared by the Northwestern University School of Law to learn how you can protect children's rights and support implementation of the CRC.
The U.S. Government has not ratified the CRC, but it has ratified the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), which mandates that government address direct and indirect forms of discrimination including policies that disproportionately affect children of color. The U.S. Government will be reviewed on its compliance with ICERD in August 2014. Go to the US Human Rights Network ICERD Project page to learn ways that you can utilize ICERD to ensure the protection and promotion of the human rights of all children in the U.S.