VOICES FROM THE FIELDTHE IRC BLOG
Speaking up for children's rights
November 19, 2010 by George Rupp
|Photo: The IRC|
I recently visited the White House complex to drop off the petition to President Obama that over 27,000 of you signed. In the petition, you asked the President to submit the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to the US Senate for its advice and consent without delay. The United States is only one of two countries that has failed to ratify this global document that protects children around the world -- the other is Somalia.
I met with Samantha Power, a top Presidential adviser and senior director on the National Security Council Staff. Samantha is also a former member of the International Rescue Committee Board of Directors, and it was good to see her again. She came directly from a meeting in the West Wing and clearly had a lot on her mind. She was pleased to accept the petition, was up to speed on the issue and told us that this was important to the President. She gave us her frank assessment of the political terrain and admitted it would be challenging to get the Convention on the Rights of the Child ratified.
While sobering, I appreciated her candor and know she is on our side in hoping to see the Convention ratified in the United States. She, in turn, told us how important it is to hear what is on the mind of Americans -- and noted that 27,000 signatures on a petition is indeed attention-grabbing. We left the petition with Samantha, knowing that it was in good hands and that our message would reach the President.