Dr. Martin Ruck
Sat, April 8, 10:30am to 12:00pm, Austin Convention Center, Ballroom F; Session Type: Invited Address
Almost thirty years ago, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (CRC, 1989). As the most widely endorsed human rights treaty in history, ratified by every member country of the United Nations, except the U.S., it has and continues to improve the lives of millions of children worldwide. The CRC attempts to achieve a balance between children’s protection and participation rights as reflected in the concept the evolving capacities of the child. While the CRC defines children as individuals under 18 years of age too often attention is only paid to improving the life circumstances of children in the first decade of life. In this talk, I review relevant issues with respect to the rights of adolescents under the CRC and how its principles and articles provide a useful framework for developmental scientists and others interested in promoting human rights and freedoms in the lives of children and youth. I also consider U.S. reluctance to ratify the CRC. Finally, I address whether developmental science has an ethical responsibility to advance understanding of, as well as advocate for, equity, social justice and human rights for all children and youth.