The Tennessee legislature is saying no to the United Nations. Monday, the state Senate joined the House in calling for Congress not to ratify a treaty called the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The treaty was adopted in 1989. U.N. ambassador Madeline Albright signed it in 1995. But the U.S. is one of only two countries in the United Nations that have never ratified it.
The other is Somalia
Senator Tim Burchett, a Knoxville Republican, says the treaty is an overreach.
“I just don’t see why the United Nations, somebody from one of these other countries, that obviously to the United Nations that we’ve pumped millions of dollars in, then turns around and tells us how to raise our children here in Tennessee. I just don’t see a need for that.”
The treaty requires member states to act in the best interests of the child and bars treating children as possessions. It bans executing children for crimes.
Since it was first drafted, the convention has been amended to stand against sexual exploitation of children.
Some countries have adopted the treaty with written reservations – in Saudi Arabia, the agreement declares a exception where the treaty would conflict with Islamic law.
In the Senate the measure, HJR 369, passed easily, with only Senators Andy Berke of Chattanooga, Beverly Marrero of Memphis and Thelma Harper of Nashville voting against it.
When it passed in the state House last June, only 20 Democrats voted against it.
The House vote is here.
This article from the Heritage Foundation makes a case against ratification.
This is a link to the other side, the “Campaign for U.S. Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.”