After Hutto: Time to Ratify International Rights of the Child

By Jay Johnson-Castro, Sr.

All across this country, folks are rejoicing over the latest decision coming from ICE, of the Department of Homeland Security, under the direction of the Obama administration, to begin a transformation of immigrant detention policies . . . starting with T. Don Hutto.

When it comes to the end of children being imprisoned on American soil, right here in Texas, this victory is more that just about T. Don Hutto.

After the suffering of thousands of children and their families, this decision to quit imprisoning innocent children in a privately run “for profit” prison, is a victory, for not only the children, but, for the small group of “we the people” who engaged in the confrontation of human dignity over human cruelty, a group that grew to thousands around the country.

It is also a victory for the hundreds of thousands of other innocent immigrant children in this country that would have been victims of ICE fulfilling the blueprint of Operation Endgame. By exposing the conditions of T. Don Hutto, the entire system of federal corporatism.

While we rejoice all across this country, we do well to realize that there is more to do. Because Hutto has violated every one of those international rights of children, for over two years, the Hutto grassroots citizens have featured Rights of the Child at our Hutto walks and vigils for over two years now.

That is why a growing group of these same grassroots citizens that came together to fight for the freedom of the children imprisoned in Hutto, have launched a new campaign. They have formed a new group, known as Rights of the Child USA.

Rights of the Child USA is therefore organizing for a major networking initiative…to build an alliance of hundreds of organizations from around the country . . . to promote the ratification of the UN Rights of the Child. Why?

On November 20th, 1989, the UN held the Convention on the Rights of the Child . Rights of the Child was adopted in 1990. That same year, the US Congress voted to ratify the Rights of the Child. Yet, President George H.W. Bush refused to sign the legislation.

Under President Bill Clinton, the Rights of the Child was never important enough to get it ratified. Under George W. Bush, thousands of immigrant children all across this country were victims of some of the harshest treatment, imprisoned “for profit” by the Bush cronies, and deported by the hundreds of thousands.

Untold hundreds have died under the policies of Bush, Cheney, Chertoff, DHS and ICE.

November 20, 2009 marks the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Yet, with the exception of Somalia, the United States is the only country in the world that has refused to ratify the Rights of the Child.

Rights of the Child USA is planning a major event to be held this coming November 20th . . . and has every confidence that the Obama Administration, that just chose to end the imprisonment of innocent immigrant children “for profit” in T. Don Hutto, will also ratify the international Rights of the Child.

If you and-or your organization would be interested in joining this movement and supporting legislation to ratify the Rights of the Child, or know of others who would, please feel free to contact Border Ambassadors as well as share the following contact information.

Jay J. Johnson-Castro, Sr.
jay@villadelrio.com
(830) 734-8636

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