The Convention on the Rights of the Child: United Nations Lawmaking on Human Rights

In November 1989, the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) after nearly a decade of debate over its merits and provisions. Less than a year later, it was ratified by twenty countries, the threshold number required for implementation. No other UN human rights treaty was ever ratified so rapidly and with such enthusiasm. In this carefully researched book, Lawrence J. LeBlanc provides a historical overview of the origins of the CRC and children's rights work, places the issues and problems into the broader perspective of the United Nations lawmaking process, provides an in-depth analysis of the children's rights enumerated in the treaty, and projects the prospects for effective implementation of the CRC. He outlines why the convention comes at the best possible time and how it represents the single most important international document on children's rights. With the CRC's broad ratification, its political significance continues to grow. Close cooperation among the UN monitoring committee, UNICEF and other UN agencies, and nongovernmental organizations make it difficult for governments to ignore their pledges. Although the conditions under which many of the world's children are living give rise to legitimate concern about the CRC's real impact, LeBlanc demonstrates that our greatest hope comes from working to reduce the thin line between commitment and clichi. Lawrence J. LeBlanc is the author of The United States and the Genocide Convention and The OAS and the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights. He is an associate professor of political science at Marquette University.