On 1 October 2015, Somalia became the 196th state to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN press release here). South Sudan ratified it back in January 2015.
The United States now stands alone as the only state not to have ratified this treaty.
The US was actively involved – during the Reagan and Bush I administrations – in drafting the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), representing the US in the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly as the text was being concluded, stated: “We believe that it represents a notable step forward in the needed promotion and protection of the rights of children.”
In 1995, Ambassador Madeleine Albright signed the treaty on behalf of President Clinton, but he did not send it to the Senate, and in the face of GOP opposition to ratification, President Obama has not done so either. Click here for a summary of the US history with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and an overview of the arguments that have been raised for and against ratification.