The Convention on the Rights of the Child was developed as a universal tool aimed at promoting and protecting the rights and welfare of children. Currently, all countries with the exception of two have ratified the Convention. One of the protections afforded children by way of the document is the protection against being hit or smacked by a parent for the purpose of discipline. While some states have banned the practice of corporal punishment altogether, others have issued partial bans. Today there is mixed results as to the effectiveness of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in banning corporal punishment.
UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CROC) was created in 1990 and ratified by every country with the exception of the United States and Somalia. The convention is broad in scope and covers a number of issues related to the protection of children from harmful acts and policies. The Convention views children (individuals under the age of 18) as a vulnerable class in need of protections against abuses and maltreatment and establishes a framework for gauging progress. Several articles in the convention protect children from various forms of abuse, including articles 19, 21, 32-38, and 40.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is the only legal document to lay out a full range of rights for children. The convention is the only universally accepted document that asserts children's rights as equal to that of adults. It serves as the following for children:
- A legal precedent for defining the various rights of children
- Clarifying the role of states in protecting and ensuring children's rights.
- Nations that ratified the convention are required to submit reports regarding their compliance to the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child for review.