Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The World's Children Represented by the 'Little Ambassador,' Know They Are All Born With Human Rights, But Why Not in the USA?

Above Desmond Tutu and Ariana Leilani King-Pfeiffer
Copyright 2008 ALF

GENEVA, June 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being issued by Ariel Foundation International and Ariana-Leilani Children's Foundation International:

"All of us share this world for but a brief moment in time. The question is whether we spend that time focused on what pushes us apart or whether we commit ourselves to an effort, a sustained effort to find common ground, to focus on the future we seek for our children and to respect the dignity of all human beings." (Obama, speech, June 4, 2009)

President Obama is called upon by the "Little Ambassador", Ariana-Leilani (Germany/USA) and Madison (Panama/USA) to join the rest of the world in recognizing children's human rights. The Ariel Foundation International (AFI) and the Ariana-Leilani Children's Foundation International (ALCF) will hold a press conference this month about the USA and the CRC in Geneva. The participants are Richard Harrison (UK/France): United Nations International civil servant; Roy Morris, JD (USA); Birgit Kruassman, JD (Germany); Dr. Ariel King (Germany/USA), President, Ariel Foundation International and Ariana-Leilani Children's Foundation.

"It's important that the United States return to its position as a respected global leader and promoter of Human Rights. It's embarrassing to find ourselves in the company of Somalia, a lawless land. I will review this and other treaties and ensure that the United States resumes its global leadership in Human Rights." (Walden University Presidential Debates, 2008).

On behalf of the worlds' children, two exceptional international children, the 6-year-old "Little Ambassador," Ariana-Leilani (USA/Germany) and 7-year-old Madison (USA/Panama), have illustrated the need for President Obama to lead the US Senate to recognize children's human rights as 193 other countries have done with the immediate ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Right of the Child (CRC). The United States of America was founded on the basic principles of justice and human rights.

President Obama stated "Those who stand up for justice are always on the right side of history." (Obama, speech June 23, 2009)

Children's status, as minors, renders them vulnerable and in need of safeguards to ensure their protection. In recognition of children's special status, the United Nations developed an inclusive, legally binding international human rights treaty for all the world's children. Harrison a retired UN staff said, "As an international civil servant who has worked for the United Nations in Geneva for forty years, I am notably shocked that the USA and Somalia are the only two member states that have not ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child." The CRC treaty that the USA helped to write aims to protect children from death, separation, abduction, abuse, deprivation, exploitation, and neglect. Krussman, lawyer in Germany believes that "it is not enough just to sign the convention, there also must be a good working system in each state, to transform the convention and to fill out this law construct and take care, that the rights of the children are respected. The people: teachers, police, judges, any adult or parent and the whole society should know and respect the rights of the children and take care, that the children are safe and secure and their rights are respected."

The USA does not have a national office or system responsible for the welfare of children. Instead at best there are 50 fragmented and incompatible systems that lack accountability, transparency and uniformity in their application of laws and services. "Despite the efforts of the (various states) child protection system, child maltreatment deaths remain a serious problem." (US Department of Health and Human Services. child welfare information gateway 2008). "The US must stop treating children as property, like a car or house. Ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is a necessary first step to joining the rest of the world in order to assure the life, safety, and wellbeing of all children in the USA," stated US attorney Roy Morris. Like slavery in the USA, which was abolished, children continue to be treated as property.

"We live in a culture that discourages empathy"(Obama, speech, July 12, 2006).

We have forgotten from where we came and our core values and principles. The result is our children are dying, neglected, abused, unheard, marginalized, and not considered. Of the USA's 75 million children, there are 3 million reports of child abuse made annually. Yet the real incidence of abuse is 3 times greater than is reported (9 million children). Every year 1,500 children die, four die each day from abuse and neglect and custody of 50,000 children is "given" -- like property -- to their abusive parent, and normal contact is denied to the protective parent who reports the abuse. (Leadership Council 2009) As a result of the CRC, the principle idea in German is, what is in the best interest of the child and also to have close contact to both parents. Also considered are the wishes and will of the child, and if old enough, the adults must hear the child." This is a very important part of the practical application of the CRC according to German lawyer Birgit Krussman.

Now trapped in child welfare Bermuda Triangle in the USA, the "Little Ambassador" a citizen of Germany and the USA is fighting for her basic human right to life. She has treatable serious life-threatening illness that is being neglected by her custodial parent. The Little Ambassador, Ariana-Leilani's abuse and severe medical neglect without treatment could lead to her death.

The child welfare systems are unable to respond because they are seriously deficient and ineffective. Domestic and international interest in the Little Ambassador's struggle has support from Congressman Steny Hoyer (MD) and Congressman Chris Van Hollen (MD), Mayor Adrian Fenty (Washington, DC), and the members of the United Nations Committee of the Rights of the Child in Geneva, Switzerland (Algeria, Chile, Egypt, Ghana, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Republic of Korea, Lithuania, Mauritius, Peru, Paraguay, Slovenia, Switzerland, Syria Arab Republic, Thailand, Tunisia, Uganda). The USA system for child assistance and protection is dangerous for children like the 6-year-old "Little Ambassador" Ariana-Leilani and 7-year-old Madison who have both received international concern and support, both are still trapped in abuse. Panama is now actively defending Madison's human rights while she is in the USA through the "Defensoria del Pueblo" and her plight has been recognized by elected President Martinelli. Both, Ariana-Leilani and Madison, like many other children in the USA await relief through extraordinary domestic and international intervention -- including the adoption of the CRC!

"The true test of the American ideal is whether we're able to recognize our failings and then rise together to meet the challenges of our time. Whether we allow ourselves to be shaped by events and history, or whether we act to shape them. Whether chance of birth or circumstance decides life's big winners and losers, or whether we build a community where, at the very least, everyone has a chance to work hard, get ahead, and reach their dreams. (Obama, speech, June 4, 2005)

The Ariel Foundation International (AFI) and the Ariana-Leilani Children's Foundation (AFCF) will continue to educate the public about the United Nations Convention of the Right of the Child by the launch in July 2009 of a free monthly e-Newsletter.

For "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." (Obama, speech, Feb. 5, 2008).

Websites: and

Source : Ariana-Leilani Children's Foundation
Ariel Foundation International

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