Children’s Rights Can Make Canada Work Better

Members of the Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children (CCRC) will honour children in celebrations across the country for National Child Day on November 20, 2017.  We also celebrate the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is the reason for this day and for Child Rights Education Week (CREW 2017).  The Convention was adopted by the United Nations on November 20, 1989 and ratified by Canada in November 1991.
 
“The Convention is an undervalued treasure in Canada,” said Kathy Vandergrift, Chair and President of the CCRC, which brings together agencies and individuals committed to realizing the rights of children in Canada and globally. “The coming year is an opportunity to make progress for children through the upcoming review of how well Canada implements the Convention and realizes the rights of its children.”
 
The Coalition highlights the benefits of implementing the Convention that Canada ratified more than 25 years ago. The Convention provides an integrated framework for child development, bringing together all aspects of living conditions for children, all departments, and all levels of government. “Children are falling through the gaps of piecemeal policies and programs,” said Vandergrift, “which explains why Canada, a G-7 country, ranks in the middle or lower in international assessments of child well-being.”
 
In the last year the Coalition has focused on how implementing the Convention could make federalism work better in Canada.  The CCRC welcomes initiatives to work across traditional boundaries to address child poverty, early childhood development, housing, violence against girls, and child welfare.  Putting the Convention at the center of these initiatives would add value, and increase the impact for the central goal of supporting all children to achieve their full potential.
 
The Convention includes a review process, which is another benefit.  Canada will file its next report in July, 2018, to respond to more than 100 recommendations from the last review, many of which were also made in earlier reviews.  This year the ruling of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal on the matter of indigenous child welfare also showed that the systems for implementing and monitoring children’s rights are not working well.  The review provides an opportunity for all departments at all levels of government, child-serving agencies, and young people to find solutions that will make Canada work better for young people across the country.  
 
For more information, contact Kathy Vandergrift, Chair and President
Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children
www.rightsofchildren.ca; [email protected]; [email protected]

CASW is a proud member of CCRC.