Academic journal article Journal of International Affairs

Editors' Foreword

Academic journal article Journal of International Affairs

Editors' Foreword

Article excerpt

Eleven years ago, the international community ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a watershed event for international human rights and for children. It is the most ratified human rights treaty in history. It signaled a need to provide for children's basic rights and brought these issues to the attention of the international community. However, despite medical, technological and communications advances, as well as an increasing cooperation among nations, children still face myriad tragedies ranging from displacement, discrimination and violence to lack of access to food, education and healthcare. The HIV/AIDS crisis, for example, is a complex emergency that is destroying more lives than all of the armed conflicts today. As we begin the first years of the millennium the Journal identifies the challenges and obstacles that affect children around the world and examines strategic alternatives to address these problems.

Our objectives for this issue are threefold. First, with the insights of our distinguished authors, we drive at thorough, fact-based analyses of the more critical and complex issues facing children around the globe. Second, we want to continue to generate alternatives and propel the debate forward toward the most effective solutions. Third, we hope to emphasize that the solutions to these challenges are within our reach; that children must become and remain a priority; that we must seek to include their voices and experiences to attain a more inclusive, equitable and just approach to development.

In our first article, international human rights lawyer Ilene Cohn tacldes the tough question of whether child soldiers in Sierra Leone should face criminal proceedings in an international court. An article by Beverlee Bruce also deals with the impact of warfare, violence and forced migration on children. On the labor front, author and economics professor Luis F. Lopez-Calva attempts to dispel myths surrounding child labor, while expounding on his own insights and theories. The Andrew Wellington Cordier Essay also deals with questions surrounding child labor legislation. Dr. Judith Evans writes on the importance of early childhood education, while Fabian Koss examines the digital divide and the impact it is having on education, and hence, the economies of the developing world. …

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