Marsh Law Firm Blog


The U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child in Court

During the 28 years since the Convention on the Rights of the Child entered into force, it has become the world’s most ratified human rights treaty—with the notable exception of the United States—and a powerful tool for advancing children’s rights. The Convention is the canonical statement of children’s rights, but it is also an enforceable legal instrument being applied around the world to protect children’s rights.

The excellent Child Rights International Network ["CRIN"] launched the CRC in Court case law database in 2009 to highlight important court decisions that quote and discuss the Convention.

This report draws out the ways the CRC has been used around the world to challenge abuses of children’s rights, but also where it has been misunderstood and misapplied by national courts. It addresses the use of the Convention in general, and features more detailed analysis of three of the most cited rights under the Convention and the divergent ways they have been applied and interpreted.

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State and Federal Sexting Laws

This regularly updated fact sheet provides a brief overview and link to each of the state sexting laws.Hinduja, S. & Patchin, J. (2015). State Sexting Laws. Cyberbullying Research Center.

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Sextortion: Stalking Victims in the New Cyber Playground

In a new report, Benjamin Wittes, Cody Poplin, Quinta Jurecic and Clara Spera of the Brookings Institution discuss new research on "sextortion"—online, remote sexual assaults, sometimes over great distances, crossing international borders, or involving a great many victims.Sextortion: Cybersecurity, teenagers, and remote sexual assaultWe tend think of cybersecurity as a problem for governments, major corporations, and—at an individual level—for people with credit card numbers or identities to steal. The average teenage or young-adult Internet user, however, ...

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When Billy Is Called to Testify

By Kathryn Alfisi of the Children's Law CenterAccording to The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word "testimony" means "To talk and answer questions about something, especially in a court of law while formally promising that what you're saying is true."While it sounds like a relatively easy thing to do, if you add an intimidating setting, unfamiliar legal procedures and jargon, and the possibility of having someone who caused you harm sitting close by you, testifying could become a stressful and anxiety-ridden experience for the average adult.So what happens ...

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The Use of Coercion in the Child Maltreatment Investigation Field: A Comparison of American and Scottish Perspectives

The intent of this article is to investigate legal precedents and principles, which yield plausible uses of coercion in the child maltreatment investigative context. In doing so, the goal is to contribute to the underlying legal philosophy and its practical application in the child maltreatment field. In particular, this article addresses the use of coercion in the child protective investigative setting from both an American and Scottish perspective.Governmental coercion is actual and not merely metaphorical, although there are limits to its use. Our discussion is on ...

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U.S. Sentencing Commission Releases Video to Aid Federal Crime Victims

The United States Sentencing Commission today released a video entitled “Victims’ Rights and Federal Sentencing,” which aims to help crime victims exercise their right to participate in the sentencing process.Federal crime victims have a right to participate in sentencing and throughout the criminal justice process pursuant to the Crime Victims’ Rights Act (CVRA), signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 30, 2004. The Commission is commemorating the tenth anniversary of the CVRA this week by releasing this new video to help victims make maximum use ...

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Federal Criminal Restitution for Child Pornography Victims

On April 23, 2014, the United States Supreme Court issued a much-anticipated decision concerning federal criminal restitution for child pornography victims. The case, Paroline v. United States, 134 S. Ct. 1710 (2014), attracted 14 amicus briefs supporting a victim named Amy, whose road to the Supreme Court started in 2008.Victims of child pornography are harmed twice: first, by the sex abuse and sexual assault committed against them and, second, by the subsequent distribution and collection of the images and videos depicting their sexual abuse. The worldwide, ubiquitous ...

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Signs of Sexual Abuse: Tip Sheet for Media

A pamphlet developed by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), What Is Child Sexual Abuse?, highlights various forms of sexual victimization and their distinctive signs and symptoms. Targeted to media professionals, the pamphlet summarizes common behavioral red flags displayed by sexually abused children. A checklist of warning signs to help with the detection and identification are also provided, including: Bodily signs (i.e., bedwetting, stomachaches) Emotional signs (i.e., fear, sadness, acting out) Sexual signs (i.e., inappropriate ...

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Amy’s Story – The Price of a Stolen Childhood – Recognized for Excellence

The 2014 Dart Awards for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma recently awarded an honorable mention to the New York Times Magazine's story about the Marsh Law Firm's client Amy entitled The Price of a Stolen Childhood.The annual Dart Awards recognize outstanding reporting in all media that portrays traumatic events with accuracy, insight and sensitivity while illuminating the effects of violence and tragedy on victims’ lives. The Dart Awards, established in 1994, are administered by the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, based at the Columbia Journalism School.The Dart ...

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Children’s Rights Violations Now Directly Reportable to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child

The ratification of a new United Nations treaty allows children to lodge complaints directly with the Committee on the Rights of the Child when facing a violation of rights.This "Optional Protocol on a communications procedure,," which came into effect after being ratified by 10 countries (the United States has not yet ratified this protocol or the Convention on the Rights of the Child) recognizes a child's capacity to defend their rights by submitting complaints directly to the Committee about potential violence and exploitation under the Convention on the Rights of the ...

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