Nov. 20, 2019, marks 30 years since the Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. It is occasion for reflection, particularly since the United States remains the sole U.N. member state not party to it.

Daily realities of privation, abuses and precarious futures faced by millions of the world’s children make such American exceptionalism unacceptable. The harm that U.S. militarism, politics of self-interest, and public neglect has for children and youth across our country, and worldwide, is further moral grounds for ratification.

We must challenge mistaken claims, including that participatory rights of children threaten parental roles. While prospects for Senate ratification are dim for yet another year, we can instead prepare by learning how the Convention benefits children, and why it is essential that the United States join the other countries of the world.

Dr. James Loucky, Bellingham