Chinese FM urges US to wash away its ‘greatest moral shame,’ join the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
Published: Jul 14, 2021 06:28 PM

Zhao Lijian

Zhao Lijian

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Wednesday urged the US to join the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child before judging other countries' human rights, saying if the US really cares about human rights, especially the rights of children, it should first wash away its "greatest moral shame."

Zhao Lijian, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said at Wednesday's routine press conference that the US is the only country in the world that has not ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and as a self-proclaimed "beacon of human rights," it only made issues of other countries' human rights. 

The US should first address its problem that it only cast the scrutinizing light on others while keeping itself from it, and wash away its "greatest moral shame," if the US really cares about human rights, Zhao said. 

Zhao's remarks were made after the Boy Scouts of America agreed to an $850 million settlement with around 60,000 alleged victims of sexual abuse. 

"The case is shocking, but it's just the tip of the iceberg of children's rights in the US," Zhao said. 

Child abuse is an alarming problem. The US Administration for Children and Families, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, in 2019 published the report of Child Maltreatment 2017. The report showed that approximately 3.5 million children were involved in the child victim reports, increasing by approximately 10 percent from 2013 to 2017, Zhao said. 

According to official US statistics, in 2019, US law enforcement officers found 858 cases of child labor in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. There are approximately 500,000 child farmworkers in the US. Many of these children started working as young as age 8, and 72-hour work weeks for them are not uncommon. Children are three times more susceptible to the pesticides' carcinogenic effects than are adults. Between 2003 and 2016, 237 children died in farm-related work accidents, representing half of the total. 

Global Times 
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