Science in the fight to uphold the rights of children

PLoS Biol. 2018 Sep 18;16(9):e3000010. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3000010. eCollection 2018 Sep.


The United States is the only major nation to not yet have ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Recently, there has been an erosion of the rights of children across America, Europe, and elsewhere, but through science, we may have an opportunity to counter some of this alarming trend. In the area of vaccines, the scientific community can raise its voice on the dangers that nonmedical exemptions and delays pose to children at risk for measles, influenza, and other childhood illnesses. Poverty places infants and children at high risk for illness and homelessness. Gun violence and gun-related accidents are killing on average four American children daily, and climate change is promoting global pediatric malnutrition. Increasing international, federal, and state support to seek innovative solutions to these and related issues is a moral imperative.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Climate Change
  • Emigration and Immigration
  • Geography
  • Gun Violence
  • Human Rights*
  • Humans
  • Neglected Diseases / epidemiology
  • Poverty
  • Science*
  • United Nations
  • Vaccines / immunology


  • Vaccines

Grant support

The authors received no specific funding for this work.