As his last term comes to an end, supporters and critics alike have asked, what will President Barack Obama’s legacy be? While President Obama has given the United States a renewed respect in the international scene, by far the most lasting action Obama can take is to allow us to finally ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
The CRC is by far the most widely accepted human rights instrument in history. But anti-treaty groups have succeeded in politicizing even this one—an international agreement that would protect children everywhere. By not ratifying it, the U.S. is embarrassingly removed from legitimate stances we take on the rights of children.
Earlier this month, the South Orange County Chapter of CGS joined an event to raise awareness of this treaty and collect signatures to petition President Obama to support this treaty and give the United States international credibility to defend children’s rights.
Karen Stone organized a table at the Great American Write-In, which allowed visitors to attend and write to their representatives about issues important to them. The chapter board funded their table, while the CGS chapter provided information about the CRC as well as some sample writings that could inspire others to write to the White House in support of the treaty. As Karen explains,
I always like to have a petition, because it's easy to ask people if they would like to sign our petition...and then very simply say what it is about. It gets people to stop, look and sign! Theyare more likely to pick up our literature and engage in conversation.
Engaging the attendees can be difficult at some events, but as Karen explains, this is a good way to catch the attention of others and draw them in.
It is always good to have information on how one can join at the national level (included in the brochure) and also a sheet for them to sign their name if they would like to attend a chapter meeting. I also like to have available a short list of the other topics which CGS is working on and a little information on the history of CGS. All of this is included in the brochure.
Plugging CGS and our mission can seem like too much, but having literature provided by the staff is an easy way to help others learn more about us--it’s reaching out to groups that may not otherwise hear about our cause.
Asking others to sign our petition on the CRC is a great way to raise awareness on this issue and educate others about CGS’s mission as a whole. As Karen commented, many people they talked to at their event didn’t even know that the United States is the only country that hasn’t adopted the CRC--even Somalia and South Sudan have ratified it. The main question was, why hasn’t the United States ratified the treaty yet?
Hopefully with their support, we soon will.