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U.S. Ratification Of The U.N. Convention On The Rights Of The Child: Federalism Issues

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Chapter Summary

The United States is not yet a party to the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). If the United States ratifies the CRC, it is likely to do so with a reservation, understanding, or declaration that the treaty is not "self-executing" within the United States, meaning that treaty provisions could not be enforced in the United States without domestic implementing legislation. The federalism argument is one of the two main arguments against ratification of the Convention, the other argument being undue interference with the parent-child relationship. This chapter sets forth a few basic examples of areas of potential conflict between the CRC and the U.S. system of federalism. It also provides examples of U.S. reservation clauses that have been used to resolve such a conflict, and discusses possible solutions to the conflict.

Keywords: federalism; parent-child relationship; ratification; Rights of the Child; U.N. Convention; U.S. reservation clauses



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