According to the UNHCR website, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989. The Convention was entered into force in 1990. Since then, almost all United Nations members have ratified the Convention.
There are two prominent exceptions. One is the failed state, Somalia. Perhaps there wasn't a government to ratify it. Or some fundamentalist reason exists not to ratify it.
The other country not to ratify is a nation that often defies the United Nations and fears to be bound by international agreements possibly detrimental to itself. That country is the United States of America. Perhaps, some fundamentalist notion in itself is at play in the United States as well. Not surprisingly, the Homeschoolers oppose it! The companionship of Somalia and the United States indeed is striking!
Now let's see, what this means. I am now just talking about this in regards to immigration reform.
"States Parties shall ensure that a child shall not be separated from his or her parents against their will, except when competent authorities subject to judicial review determine, in accordance with applicable law and procedures, that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child...."
Okay, "competent" autorities implies for example the court that declared me divorced. Giving primary custody to the other parent. Whether in the best interest of the child has little to do with immigration reform as that court has no influence on immigration status of parents. That court cannot force me to remain with my child in the US (e.g. against USCIS demands). In a way, unfortunately.
"States Parties shall respect the right of the child who is separated from one or both parents to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis, except if it is contrary to the child's best interests."
In my case, and likely and hopefully in many cases, the court will wish to preserve the contacts of minor children to both parents. Yet, in placing immigration law above this, the States Party (United States) does not respect this right. Well, again, the United States is not bound to this as it did not ratify the Convention. How clever! And how shameful for this human rights champion!
Now I am not just gonna bash the United States here. Some other countries ratified, but with objections basically nullifying this article.
Not surprisingly, Germany has the most protracted, long phrases on how it deals with the Convention (Korea's below is just a short "no" to provisions). In Red here those objections and restrictions that in effect also make children of international divorce to second class children not allowed to have the other parent:
Upon signature: Declaration:
"The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany reserves the right to make, upon ratification, such declarations as it considers necessary, especially with regard to the interpretation of articles 9, 10, 18 and 22."
Upon ratification: Declarations:
....The planned measures include, in particular, a revision of the law on parental custody in respect of children whose parents have not married, are permanently living apart while still married, or are divorced. The principal aim will be to improve the conditions for the exercise of parental custody by both parents in such cases as well. The Federal Republic of Germany also declares that domestically the Convention does not apply directly. It establishes state obligations under international law that the Federal Republic of Germany fulfils in accordance with its national law, which conforms with the Convention.
The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany is of the opinion that article 18 (1) of the Convention does not imply that by virtue of the entry into force of this provision parental custody, automatically and without taking into account the best interests of the respective child, applies to both parents even in the case of children whose parents have not married, are permanently living apart while still married, or are divorced. Such an interpretation would be incompatible with article 3 (1) of the Convention. The situation must be examined in a case-by-case basis, particularly where the parents cannot agree on the joint exercise of custody.
Nothing in the Convention may be interpreted as implying that unlawful entry by an alien into the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany or his unlawful stay there is permitted; nor may any provision be interpreted to mean that it restricts the right of the Federal Republic of Germany to pass laws and regulations concerning the entry of aliens and the conditions of their stay or to make a distinction between nationals and aliens.
The Government of Japan declares that paragraph 1 of article 9 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child be interpreted not to apply to a case where a child is separated from his or her parents as a result of deportation in accordance with its immigration law.
The Republic of Korea considers itself not bound by the provisions of paragraph 3 of article 9, paragraph (a) of article 21 and sub-paragraph (b) (v) of paragraph 2 of article 40.
With respect to article 9, under Icelandic law the administrative authorities can take final decisions in some cases referred to in the article. These decisions are subject to judicial review in the sense that it is a principle of Icelandic law that courts can nullify administrative decisions if they conclude that they are based on unlawful premises. This competence of the courts to review administrative decisions is based on article 60 of the Constitution.
The countries of the former Yugoslavia withdrew earlier reservations on Article 9.1.
To summarize: Somalia and the United States did not ratify the Convention. Hence, immigration law can separate children from parents permanently. Germany has made reservations that effectively mean the same thing - yet the constitutional court meanwhile has ruled that deportation is not possible for parents of citizens (in German). Japan specifically states that immigration law trumps childrens rights, Korea without specification also feels not bound to Article 9. Iceland finally also states reservations that may mean the same. Hence, the core rogue nations in regards to human rights of children are about a handful!
Now dear reader you may understand my anger at the Comprehensive Immigration Reform if it does not implement relieve for broken families. Families broken because of failed immigration policies.