Sunday, September 2, 2007

On September 2, ...

... 1945, nationalists led by Ho Chi Minh, in Ba Dinh Square, Hanoi (left), proclaimed the Declaration of Independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. It began by quoting language familiar to all students of the U.S. Declaration of 1776: "'All men are created equal. They are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among them are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.'" It continued with a reference to France's Declaration of the Rights of Man, then proceeded to condemn abuses by "the French imperialists" who wished to continue rule in Vietnam. For another 3 decades Ho's supporters would fight, 1st the French and then the Americans (in a war that President George W. Bush has cited, controversially, as a cautionary tale against U.S. troop withdawal from Iraq).
... 1990, having attained the ratification or accession of 20 U.N. member states, the Convention on the Rights of the Child entered into force. Today it has near-universal state party membership; the United States is almost the lone exception. The United States has ratified both the Optional Protocols to the Convention, however: 1 deals with sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography; the other, involvement of children in armed conflict. Moreover, as explored here, the Convention itself became a key source of consultation in the U.S. Supreme Court's 2005 decision invalidating the juvenile death penalty in Roper v. Simmons.

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