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SUNY Rockland Hosts Briefing on the Campaign for the Rights of the Child


DATE: October 25, 2007

CONTACT: Lisa Saunders

(845) 574-4244



SUNY Rockland Hosts Briefing on the Campaign for the Rights of the Child



Suffern, NY - SUNY Rockland Community College President, Dr. Cliff L. Wood, Chairman of the local Campaign for Child Rights Committee, will host a briefing on the importance of the U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.


The Campaign for the Rights of the Child briefing will be held Friday, November 16, 11:30 a.m. in the Ellipse of the Technology Center on the main campus in Suffern. Speakers will include Dr. Cliff L. Wood, Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef and Kate Weber, Director of the US Fund for UNICEF. Rockland County Legislature Chair Harriet Cornell will moderate a panel discussion that will include experts on health, child care, poverty and juvenile justice issues. Filmmaker Leonard Kurtz will also discuss the work of the Free the Children Campaign which supports children through education. The event is free and is open to the public.


Dr. Wood stated: "In anticipation of Universal Children''s Day, November 20, the 18th anniversary of the United Nations adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, it is important for people to be aware of the UN Rights of the Child. The ratification of these Child Rights by the United States is important to our citizens as well as for our nation's image in the world community. It is high time that our Senate join the other 193 nations that have ratified this international human rights treaty. This would leave Somalia as the lone nation that has not yet ratified this very critical document."


The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is a human rights treaty created specifically to promote and protect the rights of children worldwide. It is considered to be the world’s most comprehensive and accepted international agreement on the basic protections that should be provided to children. CRC calls for governments to respect the responsibilities, rights, and duties of parents to provide direction and guidance to their children. CRC sets forth basic standards, which individual nations agree to pursue on behalf of children. The four underlying principles of CRC are: Survival, Protection, Development and Participation. CRC builds on the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child that was adopted by the U.N. on November 20, 1959.


Dr. Walter Schneider, Vice President and Dean of Students at St. Thomas Aquinas College, Chairmen of the Rockland County Youth Bureau’s Board of Directors and Vice-Chair of the County’s CRC Committee, noted that, "While the U.S. has some of the best programs, services and laws to protect our children, too many of them continue to face considerable hardships, including insufficient health care, inadequate educational opportunities, and high rates of poverty, abuse, hunger, infant mortality, incarceration, teen pregnancy, homicide, suicide, and fire arm-related deaths." He continued, "It is most appropriate for Rockland to play a leadership role in advocating for the overdue ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. We live in one of the nation’s most affluent counties and it is only right that we speak out for those less fortunate."


In addition to Dr. Wood and Dr. Schneider, the Rockland Campaign for Child Rights Committee includes: Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef; Harriet Cornell, Chair of the Rockland County Legislature; Jane Brown, Executive Director of Child Care Resources of Rockland; Bryan Burrell, President of the Nyack School Board and Executive Director of the Rockland County School Boards Association; Anne Byrne, Vice President of the National School Boards Association and a member of the Nanuet School Board; Ouida Foster Dawson, Co-Executive Director, Head Start of Rockland; Dr. Valencia Douglas, Superintendent of the Nyack School District; Dennis Fleming, Executive Director of the Rockland County Youth Bureau and a member of the national CRC Steering Committee; Shardell Gerald, Co-Director, Head Start of Rockland; Dr. Susan Gordon, Executive Director, CEJJES Institute and retired pediatrician; Vedeta Hanley, Executive Director, Community Action Program of Rockland; Deborah Cary Murnion, Executive Director, VCS, Inc.; Sister Mary Eileen O’Brien, President, Dominican College; Edna Rivera, Executive Director, HOGAR, Inc. and Dr. Michael Scales, President, Nyack College.


For more information, contact the President’s Office at 845-574-4214.



Rockland Community College, a unit of the State University of New York, is located 25 miles northwest of NYC. The majority of its students transfer to four-year colleges, and many find immediate employment upon earning their associate's degree or certificate. The College also offers others, from preschoolers to senior citizens, the opportunity to simply learn something new. Quality a price you can afford.

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