The 20th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

Posted by Elizabeth Zitrin, International Coordinator, on November 18th, 2009

In 2005, the United States Supreme Court found in the case of Roper v. Simmons that it is unconstitutional to execute someone for a crime committed when he or she was under the age of 18.

Tragically, four countries are still executing juvenile offenders. This is the horrific human rights violation addressed by the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty for the 7th World Day Against the Death Penalty marked on October 10, 2009. World Day was dedicated to Teaching Abolition, a resounding success with world-wide mobilization and media coverage in some 130 press outlets.

We will continue Teaching Abolition this year, next year, and as long as the death penalty exists anywhere. Please contact me at or check out our materials if you'd like to teach abolition in a small or a big way.

In this year when we have focused on children and youth, we are also marking the 20th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The object of the Convention is "to protect children from discrimination, neglect and abuse. It is the principal children's treaty, covering a full range of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights …. The Convention is the first legally binding international treaty to give universally recognized norms and standards for the protection and promotion of children's rights in a single text.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the World Coalition issued a call for Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen, to stop executions of juvenile offenders. Our petition to End Juvenile Executions gathered 90,000 signatures all over the world.

On November 20th, a delegation from the World Coalition will go to the embassies of the four countries, in Paris, to present the petitions.

It's never too late to sign! Add your voice! Juvenile executions must end.

Elizabeth Zitrin is International Outreach and Communications Project Coordinator for Death Penalty Focus

Posted in Blog, International


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