Explanation of Position for the Rights of the Child Resolution

Nicholas Hill
Deputy U.S. Representative to ECOSOC
New York, New York
November 18, 2021


Thank you.

We want to express appreciation to Uruguay and the Eu for their constructive engagement on this resolution.

The United States joins consensus on this resolution to underscore its commitment to respecting the human rights of children and the priority we place on our domestic and international efforts to protect and promote the well-being of children. In joining consensus today, we wish to clarify our views and note our concerns with certain elements of this resolution.

The United States recognizes that the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) provides the relevant framework for States Parties to the CRC. However, the United States does not understand references in this resolution to obligations or principles derived from the CRC, including references to the principle of the best interests of the child, as suggesting that the United States has obligations in that regard. We also note the resolution inaccurately characterizes certain obligations under the CRC.

Regarding preambular paragraph 16, the United States reads it to refer to punishment that rises to the level of child abuse, in line with domestic law.

With regards to preambular paragraph 17, we note that while children should have the ability to be heard, there is no general right to be heard.

With respect to preambular paragraph 11 and operative paragraphs 6, 19 and 43(f) of this resolution, we prefer the phrase “child sexual abuse material or child sexual abuse imagery, often referred to or criminalized as child pornography” over “child pornography and other child sexual abuse material.” We understand sexual images of children to constitute abuse and exploitation, not pornography, under U.S. domestic law.