Ratification & Review - Session 12

Roots: Parents, communities, and governments that work for and support human rights for children make continuous efforts to make the world a better place for their children and their children's children.

Rights: Review children's key rights

  • to equality;
  • to learn and develop to their fullest potential;
  • to be loved, nurtured, and understood;
  • to be respected;
  • to be protected from abuse, neglect, exploitation and cruelty;
  • to live in a safe and healthy environment;
  • to live in peace and harmony.
  • Responsibilities: Children are responsible for

  • treating themselves and others with respect;
  • acting safely and contributing to society and its laws;
  • practicing cooperation and peaceful problem solving;
  • taking care of themselves, their home, and others.
  • Session Outcomes


    • review various aspects of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child;
    • celebrate their learning through certificates of completion.
    • review various aspects of the Convention on the Rights of the Child;
    • celebrate their learning through certificates of completion;
    • learn about the ratification process of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and ways to support it.

    Materials needed:

    Interactive Activities

    • Bubble solution, sensory table or large tub, and paraphernalia to create bubbles;
    • Colored construction paper strips, staplers, tape, markers, pens, collage materials;
    • A variety of block sets that might include DUPLOS, Unit blocks, or Lincoln Logs;
    • Chalk or tape to mark floor; or use bean bags for markers.

    Children's Learning Circle

    • Easel;
    • One large fish shape;
    • Tin foil (silver) scales attached to the fish;
    • Small paper fish: one for each child;
    • Book: The Rainbow Fish;
    • Masking tape or a glue stick;
    • Children's Certificates, Handout PE #12c.
    Parent Education
    • Parent Education Handouts, PE #12a, #12b, #12e.
    • Certificates of Completion, rolled and ribboned (Handout PE #12d).
    • Audiotape: What a Wonderful World or The Rainbow Connection.
    • Extra copies of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.


    Greet as usual. Make sure everyone gets a name tag.

    Parent/Child Interactive Activities


    People are all connected with each other the chain is a symbol of the connections we have with each other, as individuals, as a family with the world.

    • Each family will decorate strips of construction paper in primary colors to represent one family member per link on the chain. On that link they will write one right they learned about during this class. Strips will be stapled together to make a chains. During circle time they will create one large chain by stapling each family chain to another. (The cue card for this activity appears in Session 1.)

    Provides opportunity for individual and cooperative play.

    • Fill Sensory Table with bubble solution. Provide wands and cups for participants to use in making bubbles. You may want to cover the floor with a sheet or newspaper so people don't slip. (The cue card for this activity appears in Session 1.)

    Provides opportunities for small and large muscle development, for creative problem solving, and cooperative decision making through the medium of play.

    • Parents and children can build and create with a variety of blocks. (The cue card for this activity appears in Session 9.)
    • 4. Favorite interactive activities from previous sessions.
    • Make available some of the activities that parents and children particularly enjoyed during the past weeks.


      • The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein
      • The Colors We Are, by Katie Kissinger
      • The Rainbow Fish, by Marcus Pfister
      • Planting A Rainbow, by Lois Ehlert
      • The Butter Battle Book, by Dr. Seuss
      • Hiawatha, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
      • Peace is A Circle of Love, by Joan Walsh Anglund
  • Community Circle

    Preparation: As you gather for circle, ask each family to bring their family paper chain to the circle. Bring a stapler or a roll of tape to connect all the paper chains together. Plan a space in the classroom to display the completed chain.

    • 1. Transition: Early childhood teacher speaks to each child, and/or touches them on the shoulder and reminds them that circle time will begin soon. After connecting with each child, the teacher begins a gathering song.
    • 2. Sing a gathering song and a name song. Next sing "Shake Hands With Friends and Say Hello."
    • 3. Introduction: "This circle time is focused on the whole United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. We are going to review and celebrate our efforts at learning about human rights for children and our ability to connect with the others in our class.
    • 4. Ask families to hold up their family chains. Go around and each parent read a right from the back of their family chain.
    • "That was a good review. Does anyone have anything to add?" (Encourage children to tell you a right they remember learning about.)
    • 5. "Now let's take some time to reflect on things we have in common with the family sitting next to us. You may want to look at your neighbor's chain. One thing you may have in common is similar colors on your chain! But you might have many more things that you share. For instance, you may have the same age child, same kind of job, same number of people in your family, same points-of-view on some issues, or maybe you children like to choose the same things in free choice time. Think about what your connections might be. I am going to come around and connect your chains. As I am doing this, please speak out the connections you have with the family your chain is connected to."
    • 6. "Who has a song they'd like to suggest today?" Take responses and sing a favorite from each family.
    • 7. Closing: Sing "This Land is Your Land," and "What A Wonderful World."

    Separate Learning Time

    • Children's Learning Circle Session 12
    • 1. Preparation: Gather supplies for circle. You may wish to read over the story of Rainbow Fish so you can tell it without the book. Prepare the large fish with enough scales for each child to have one, plus one left over for the big fish. Have extra masking tape or a glue stick to attach the scales.

    • 2. Introduce the story and hand out the small fish one to each child. Read (or tell) the story. As you get to the place where Rainbow Fish shares his scales, stop and give one silver scale to each child. Explain, "I'm sharing with you like the Rainbow Fish shared his scales."
    • *Help them attach it to their fish.
    • * Continue reading (or telling) the story.
    • * Conclude by singing the "Sharing Song" together:

    It's mine, but you can have some.

    With you I'd like to share it.

    'Cause if I share it with you.

    You'll have some too!

    • 3. "Today is the last session for this class. I have enjoyed being with you! I hope you will all share your talents and gifts with each other and the world. Today we are going to get a graduation certificate because we worked very hard to learn about rights and responsibilities. Since we reviewed the rights in the Community Circle, now let's review the responsibilities children have in honoring the rights of themselves and other children." Spend a few minutes reviewing.
    • 4. "Congratulations! You have remembered many responsibilities! Knowing your responsibilities will help you have good friends because you will be good friends to others. Knowing your responsibilities will also help you be happier because you will take good care of yourselves!"
    • 5. "Now it's time to celebrate your graduation from this class. I have written each of your names on one of these certificates of completion. When I call your name, you come and get the certificate, and tell me one responsibility you remember from the class and how you plan to do this responsibility."
    • 6. "Your certificates are very special, and we don't want to ruin them, so let's place them carefully on the floor in front of us and celebrate by singing some songs together."
    • 7. Ask for song suggestions, and/or choose "The More we Get Together," "All For Freedom," "You Gotta Sing When the Spirit Says Sing," "This Little Light of Mine," or "Every Little Soul Must Shine."

    Parent Education Session 12

    Preparation: Write the topic title, "Ratification and Review," on chart paper or on chalkboard.

    Have background music of Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World" or "The Rainbow Connection" playing in the room. Make sure everyone has copies of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    • 1. "Thanks for your interest in and your efforts for the rights of children, especially over the past twelve weeks. It's been wonderful getting to know you all and be partners in learning
    • about human rights."

    • 2. Convention Status: Article number 42 requires States Parties to make the rights contained in this document known to both adults and children, which has been the mission of this curriculum.
    • The United Nations General Assembly on November 20, 1989, unanimously adopted the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This document represents a codification of all existing international law regarding children. It was opened for signature and ratification on 26 January 1990. The date of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child's entry into force was September 2, 1990. It was the first international treaty to combine civil and political rights with economic, social and cultural rights for children.
    • On February 16, 1995, Ambassador Madeline Albright signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child for the United States (in honor of former head of UNICEF, James P. Grant, who died January 29, 1995.) The United States became the 177th country to have signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. However, the United States has not ratified it.
    • 4. The steps for ratification are:

    1. The President endorses the treaty by signing it; or as in this case, has his representative sign it (done February 16, 1995).

    2. The treaty is submitted to the U.S. Senate with recommendations for reservations, declarations, and understandings (RDUs).

    3. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee holds hearings and then makes a recommendation to the full Senate.

    4. The Senate votes for ratification. A ratification vote must succeed by a 2/3 majority.

    5. The legislation is implemented so RDUs are fulfilled.

    6. The President submits a formal document to the United Nations.

    7. Three months later the United States becomes a party to the treaty.

    • 5. Explain: As of October, 1999, the United States and Somalia are the only two nations that have not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The treaty has been signed by a representative of the President and has gone to the U.S. Senate for its recommendation. There is no limit to the length of time that the Senate may take to consent to the treaty. One of the factors which makes this such a lengthy process is that the Senate must attempt to ensure that all federal and/or state laws meet the standards of the treaty. If necessary, new legislation must be enacted before giving consent to the treaty. This is because the United States takes the position that the text of a treaty itself does not directly become part of United States' law. The Convention on the Rights of the Child (treaty) is then returned to the President for his or her final signature. Then the treaty is submitted to the appropriate international body (in this case, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child). Nations which ratify this treaty become "States Parties" to the convention and are required to submit periodic reports to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, detailing the measures they have taken to implement the
    • "Convention. The initial report is due two years after ratification. Succeeding reports are submitted every five years thereafter.
    • &6. Legal status. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is legally binding. When a government ratifies a convention, it is bound by law to realize its provisions. Since the United States has only signed this Convention, with intent to ratify, it is not yet legally bound, but is morally obliged to abide by the principles of this document and not to make or implement any laws or policies that are in conflict with it. At this juncture, there is no "enforcement" of the treaty, in the usual sense. Implementation is purely voluntary on the part of each nation which ratifies this treaty. The only outcome of failing to meet its standards is that of public embarrassment. For failing to meet our stated obligations. The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child is the monitoring body for this convention. It is made up of ten experts in the field of children's rights, who are elected by nations which have become States Parties. These experts are empowered to act in their individual capacities, without being subject to governmental influence. They meet on a regular basis and review the reports from the States Parties concerning the treatment of children.
    • "7. For current information see these sources.

    * UNICEF: http://www.unicef.org/crc

    * The Human Rights Resource Center: http://www.hrusa.org

    * Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights: http://www.mnadvocates.org

    * Voices of Youth, UNICEF: http://www.unicef.org/voy

    • 8. Review and decision making: "Each week, during this class, we have had action steps for you to choose from to make the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child real and concrete and to assure these rights for all children.
    • 9. The goals that we have had for this class include the following:

    1. Proactively working to end violence;

    2. Enhancing family empowerment through an understanding of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child;

    3. Helping young children understand their rights and corresponding responsibilities;

    4. Promoting human rights and special conditions and protections for children.

  • 10. Wrap up: Distribute Ending Survey Handout PE #12a and ask participants to spend a few minutes writing answers or go over the test as a group.

    11. Group discussion: Have participants form pairs or small groups.

    * How has your view of children changed during this class?

    * How has your view of your role as a parent changed with your new learning?

    12. Journal Assignment:

    * One reason I'm happy I took this class.

    * One thing I particularly want to remember.

    13. Conclusion:
    • * Play Louis Armstrong's, "What A Wonderful World" again to close.

    * Congratulate participants for their commitment to this process and their participation in class. Hand out Certificates of Completion (rolled and ribboned).

    * Hand out course evaluations, place an empty envelope on the table for participants to put their completed evaluations.

    * If time, play audio tape of "Rainbow Connection" as participants finish evaluations.

    copyright information