CyberDodo and the Implementation of the Agreement (2-4)
The writers of what is undoubtedly the most important text of modern times for children have thought of including some ‘catches’ in it, to ensure that good intentions are transformed into reality.
In this regard, article 4 is a good example, here it is in its ‘CyberDodo’ version:
The state commits itself to take every measure to implement the rights of children which are recognised in the convention. In certain areas, the state can make an appeal to international cooperation.
CyberDodo would say that upon accepting this article, the states are not allowed to use excuses to not apply the Convention concretely, and they must ensure the benefits are extended to the lives of children.
The call for international cooperation is also fundamental for several reasons, firstly, in order to provide solutions for countries which have limited resources, to help them avoid using other solutions which turn out to be unacceptable for their children.
Also to call rich countries to share with those which have thousands of their children dying each year because they do no not have the means to guarantee their survival. The appalling total, representing several million children who could be saved if true international solidarity existed, is …
Let us conclude with the definition given by CyberDodo to this notion of “implementation” of the Convention:
“When this marvellous idea is transformed into concrete action and it helps to improve the lives of children. This is when words become smiles …”
To see the cartoon on the implementation of the Convention, click here
To see the quiz, click here
To see the game, click here
© CyberDodo Productions
Firstly, this is because countries have established long, complex procedures for when they sign treaties between them (They can also be called “contracts”). These procedures are further complicated when it has to do with international conventions involving numerous states.
As the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is the treaty which has been signed by the biggest number of countries, there are several specific situations which make the proper, complete implementation more arduous.
Let us try to understand how this works, and to help us, let us take 2 examples from imaginary states:
A. Land of Happiness
The authorities of this country have read the Convention and discovered that all of its points correspond with the life styles and development that they would like to offer their children, as well as with existing national laws; the President calls a meeting with the media and it is signed with a lot of ceremonial pomp.
Parliament then ratifies it, and afterwards it is implemented, to the great happiness of its entire population.
B, Land of Misery
Due to the poor living conditions of the children in this country, there is heavy international pressure for this country to finally sign the Convention, and the authorities are not very happy about it. The government legal services examine it and confirm that profound changes need to be made to their laws, because in their present state, they are a lot less favourable to children.
2 main options available to this country:
It should change its laws to make them agree with the Convention
It should issue a statement about its reservations and refuse to commit itself to the articles which are considered to be problematic
Let’s imagine that this country lives up to its name and chooses to advise of its reservations; it can go ahead and announce what these are, after having signed and ratified the Convention, and shall not be obliged to respect the articles that it considers to be problematic.
The specialists explain that there are still other ways for a country to apply the Convention in ‘its own manner’, notably, by signing the interpretative declarations’, a document which explains how the country understands certain articles.
At the end of the first phase, the Convention is ratified, and whether or not this is based on its complete text, it must now be implemented!