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NO. R-71. JOINT RESOLUTION REQUESTING THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS TO RATIFY THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD .

( J.R.S. 33)

Offered by: Senator Shumlin of Windham County.

Whereas, children are the world’s most precious natural resource, and

Whereas, far too many children, both in the United States and around the world, are daily forced to suffer the indignities of starvation or malnutrition, physical abuse and illiteracy, and

Whereas, children laboring in squalid sweat shops, and under other intolerable conditions, remain a continuing problem in many countries, and

Whereas, every child is entitled to the fundamental necessities of life, including food, shelter, clothing, medical care and a basic education, and

Whereas, the impact on children of the ravages of natural disasters and political and military conflicts can be especially harsh, and

Whereas, the political, economic and cultural rights of children are as worthy of protection as those of adults, and

Whereas, in 1989, the United Nations General Assembly adopted an historic document, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and

Whereas, this Convention stresses the importance of the family unit and the primary role of parents in raising children while recognizing the right of children to participate in decisions that affect their lives, and

Whereas, the Convention is designed to serve as a framework for improving the lives of children everywhere, and

Whereas, 190 nations have ratified this important international accord, and

Whereas, only three nations including the United States, Somalia and the Cook Islands have failed to concur with this Convention, and

Whereas, as an indication of the President’s support for this agreement he has signed the Convention, and

Whereas, a presidential signature is merely a preliminary step in the ratification process and does not legally commit the United States to support the Convention, now thereforebe it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the Vermont General Assembly expresses its support for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and requests that the United States Congress promptly ratify this historic document, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the President of the United States, the United States Secretary of State, the Chair of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee and to each member of the Vermont Congressional Delegation.