New York - Somalia ratified a UN convention ensuring the rights of children, on Thursday becoming the 196th party to the world's most widely ratified treaty - leaving the United States as the only member of the United Nations yet to join.
Adopted by the UN General Assembly on November 20, 1989, the Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most comprehensive human rights treaty on the promotion and protection of children's rights.
The document - the most widely ratified treaty in history - has led to legislative changes to protect children's rights around the globe.
Somalia, which signed the treaty in May 2002, had been one of two outstanding countries to accede to the convention before the country deposted its instrument of ratification on Thursday on the sidelines of the General Assembly.
The US is now the only UN member state that has not joined the treaty despite having signed the convention in February 1995.
The treaty aims to protect anyone under age 18 from violence and ensure adequate education, health care and nutrition.
It grants youngsters freedoms on issues including religion, thought and speech while guaranteeing safe spaces to play and engage in cultural activities.