Statements and Submissions

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CCCYA Comments on the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child Observations for Canada

June 9, 2022 (Saskatoon) – Canada ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child  in 1991, becoming legally bound to implement the rights codified within. The Committee last issued Concluding Observations to Canada in 2012. Unfortunately, due to Canada’s inaction, many of the same recommendations from 2012 remain in 2022.

“Although Canada ratified the UNCRC over 30 years ago, it has either stalled progress or has neglected to act entirely on a number of matters critical to ensuring the rights of children and youth are respected in our country,” said Dr. Lisa Broda, President of the Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates (CCCYA) and the Saskatchewan Advocate for Children and Youth. The Committee put a strong emphasis on improving accountability for the implementation of children’s rights. Its recommendations are in alignment with the Council’s own long-standing advocacy efforts for equal access to legal protections and independent monitoring processes in every jurisdiction and at every level.

Read the full statement: here

Read the french statement: here

Read the Concluding Observations of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (pdf)

The Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth stands in support of children in conflict zones, including the children in Ukraine and the Ukrainian diaspora around the world.

March 16, 2022  – We stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian community here in Manitoba, including our own staff and community partners. These are difficult times. If you or anyone you know needs mental health support, please reach out for help. Klinic Community Health provides free mental health support to anyone in Manitoba. To reach their 24/7 Crisis Hotline call 1-888-322-3019.

Read the full statement here.

MANITOBA ADVOCATE SUBMISSION TO THE GOVERNMENT OF MANITOBA ON HOMELESSNESS

March 1, 2022  – The Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth (MACY) was pleased to make a submission to the Department of Families with the purpose of informing Manitoba’s Homelessness Strategy.

This submission falls under MACY’s legal responsibility to advise ministers responsible for the provision of designated services about any matter relating to that service, as per section 13 of The Advocate for Children and Youth Act. The submission presents information and 13 summary actions intended to provide useful guidance to the Minister and the department as they embark on the development of Manitoba’s homelessness strategy.

Click here to read the full submission.

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Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates urges Canadians to call on government to safeguard the rights of children and youth

November 17, 2021 (Saskatoon) – November 20th is National Child Day, and the Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates (CCCYA) encourages everyone to hold governments accountable for protecting the rights of our young people.

In Canada, National Child Day is observed in recognition of our country’s commitment to upholding the rights of children and youth and to commemorate two important historical events – the United Nations’ adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child in 1959, and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in 1989. National Child Day also presents an opportunity to raise awareness about children’s rights, the progress that has been made, and the work still yet to do.

Canada ratified the UNCRC in 1991, and this year marks the 30th anniversary of its application in our country. The UNCRC is a legally-binding, international human rights treaty setting out the rights that all children are entitled to.

“It requires governments to ensure that young people are protected from harm, are provided with what they need to grow up healthy, happy and safe, are given opportunities to have their voice heard in matters that affect them and have decisions made with their best interests in mind,” said Dr. Lisa Broda, President of the CCCYA and Saskatchewan’s Advocate for Children and Youth.

National Child Day is especially important to CCCYA member offices, as all our work is grounded in the UNCRC. It is our role to help hold governments to account for meeting their legal obligations under this document. “Thirty years is a long time,” said Broda.  “Long enough for Canadians to expect the most basic rights of children and youth to be protected by, and safeguarded in, our laws and national policies. While there has been much progress made in the last three decades, there are still circumstances in which this is simply not the case.”

Read the full statement here.

Read the statement in French

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CCCYA SUBMISSION ON ALTERNATIVE CARE FOR THE UNITED NATIONS COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD

In Canada, child protection services and alternative care are provincial/territorial responsibilities. Therefore, legislative frameworks and operational systems differ slightly across the jurisdictions represented by members of the Canadian Council for Child and Youth Advocates (CCCYA). When assessing progress against international standards, such as the United Nations General Assembly’s Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children, it could be said that a combination of legislation, policies and practices in Canada sets out a framework for child protection and alternative care that appears largely consistent with these principles. However, the application of this framework falls short for far too many children and youth and, in particular, for First Nations, Métis and Inuit children and youth. In some instances, formal standards of care need to be more robust. In others, issues of resource allocation can lead to insufficient or inconsistent implementation of the standards that have been put in place. Through their advocacy functions, investigations, and systemic reporting, CCCYA members have conducted a vast body of work on child protection systems and alternative care. This submission provides a broad overview of this work in response to some of the guiding questions posed by the Committee in its “Guidelines on participation and submissions”, identifying good practices, persistent issues of concern and recommendations for improvement. While provincial and territorial governments have implemented some of the recommendations outlined here resulting in positive changes, there are many that still require action.

To read the full CCCYA statement, click here.
To read the full CCCYA statement in French, click here.
To read the full CCCYA Youth Submission, click here.
To read the full CCCYA Youth Submission in French, click here.

Children's shoes lined the steps of the legislature earlier this week.
LE CONSEIL CANADIEN DES DÉFENSEURS DES ENFANTS ET DES JEUNES RECONNAÎT LES 215 ENFANTS DÉCOUVERTS SUR LE SITE D’UN ANCIEN PENSIONNAT EN COLOMBIE-BRITANNIQUE

1er juin 2021 – SASKATOON – Le Conseil canadien des défenseurs des enfants et des jeunes a été profondément attristé d’apprendre que 215 enfants ont été retrouvés dans des tombes anonymes sur le site d’un ancien pensionnat en Colombie-Britannique. « Nous comprenons la peine qui afflige les familles et les communautés. Que la découverte de ces enfants nous rappelle les conséquences dévastatrices des pensionnats sur les enfants, les familles et les collectivités autochtones, et qu’elle nous amène à nous concentrer sans réserve sur la vérité et la réconciliation en vue d’apporter un changement véritable à l’avenir, » a soutenu Lisa Broda, présidente du Conseil canadien des défenseurs des enfants et des jeunes

Cliquez ici pour lire la soumission complète.

Children's shoes lined the steps of the legislature earlier this week.

STATEMENT FROM THE ACTING MANITOBA ADVOCATE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH HONOURING THE 215 CHILDREN FOUND AT THE FORMER KAMLOOPS RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL AS WE MARK THE SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF THE FINAL MMIWG2S INQUIRY REPORT.

June 3, 2021 – “Waking up last week to hear the news that bodies of 215 Indigenous children had been discovered in an unmarked grave on the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School has unleashed a wrenching sadness within. I want to express my profound sorrow and grief – and that of MACY staff –
over this enormous loss and offer condolences to the families involved, as well as Tk’emlups te Secwépmc First Nation. Once again, we witness another example of the genocide committed against children and their families, the original Peoples of these lands.

Earlier this week, I stood with the Knowledge Keeper from our office, Cheryl Alexander, at the steps of the Manitoba Legislature in grief with community and survivors. We went to honour and give gifts, offer tobacco, and to witness the display of children’s shoes that are placed on the steps of the legislature.
There, I was also reminded of the many Indigenous-led organizations, survivors, and community leaders who are actively working towards healing and community building.

Click here to read the full submission.

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CHILDREN’S ADVOCATES CALL FOR SIGNIFICANT MENTAL HEALTH PLANNING AND INVESTMENT FOR YOUNG PEOPLE NOW AND AFTER PANDEMIC ON NATIONAL CHILD AND YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH DAY

May 7, 2021 – SASKATOON – COVID-19 is having major mental health consequences for children and youth across Canada and will have a lasting – and potentially devastating impact – if governments do not act now, say members of the Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates (CCCYA).

“This pandemic is more than a physical health crisis. What we are now seeing is that, for child and youth mental health, COVID-19 is a critical situation in the making,” said CCCYA President and Saskatchewan Advocate for Children and Youth, Dr. Lisa Broda. “This is alarming as pre-pandemic public investment in mental health was already painfully inadequate, so without significant and thoughtful investment now and in the future by governments at all levels in all provinces and territories, we are staring down a catastrophe.”

Click here to read the full submission.

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À L’OCCASION DE LA JOURNÉE NATIONALE DE LA SANTÉ MENTALE DES ENFANTS ET DES JEUNES, LES DÉFENSEURS DES ENFANTS DEMANDENT UNE PLANIFICATION ET DES INVESTISSEMENTS IMPORTANTS EN MATIÈRE DE SANTÉ MENTALE POUR LES JEUNES, MAINTENANT ET APRÈS LA PANDÉMIE

Mai 7, 2021 – SASKATOON – La COVID-19 a des conséquences majeures sur la santé mentale des enfants et des jeunes du Canada et aura un effet durable – et potentiellement dévastateur – si les gouvernements n’agissent pas maintenant, affirment les membres du Conseil canadien des défenseurs des enfants et des jeunes (CCDEJ).

« Cette pandémie est plus qu’une crise de santé physique. Ce que nous constatons maintenant, c’est que, pour la santé mentale des enfants et des jeunes, la pandémie de COVID-19 est une situation critique en devenir, a déclaré la présidente du CCDEJ et défenseur des enfants et des jeunes de la Saskatchewan, la Dre Lisa Broda. C’est alarmant, car l’investissement public en santé mentale avant la pandémie était déjà douloureusement inadéquat, alors sans un investissement significatif et réfléchi maintenant et à l’avenir par les gouvernements à tous les niveaux dans l’ensemble des provinces et des territoires, nous sommes face à une catastrophe. »

Cliquez ici pour lire la soumission complète.

MANITOBA ADVOCATE AND FIRST NATIONS HEALTH AND SOCIAL SECRETARIAT OF MANITOBA PROVIDE JOINT SUBMISSION TO UNITED NATIONS

March 1, 2021 – The Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth (MACY) and the First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba (FNHSSM) sent a joint submission to the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) in response to the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council 33/25 on the rights of the Indigenous child under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP, 2007). This submission is guided and structured according to the priorities of the Indigenous youth of MACY’s Youth Ambassador Advisory Squad (YAAS!) and highlights Indigenous-led programs and initiatives as they relate to the realization of Indigenous children’s right to health.

Click here to read the full submission.

CANADIAN COUNCIL OF CHILD AND YOUTH ADVOCATES STRESSES THE NEED TO MAKE CHILDREN’S RIGHTS A PRIORITY ON NATIONAL CHILD DAY AND BEYOND

November 19, 2020 – Saskatoon – November 20th is National Child Day, and the Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates (CCCYA) encourages everyone to participate in virtual activities to celebrate children and their rights. National Child Day is a day dedicated to honouring children and increasing awareness of their rights under The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). The UNCRC is an international human rights law that sets out the broad range of rights held by children and youth. Under the terms of the UNCRC, Canada is required to meet the basic needs of young people across the country, without discrimination, and to help them reach their full potential.

English Media Statement
French Media Statement

MANITOBA ADVOCATE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH’S SUBMISSION TO THE MANITOBA COMMISSION ON KINDERGARTEN TO GRADE 12 EDUCATION (2019)

June 20, 2019 – MANITOBA –The Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth (Manitoba Advocate) is pleased to make this submission to the Manitoba Commission on Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education (the Commission) with the purpose of improving education services for all children in Manitoba.

This submission falls under the Manitoba Advocate’s legal responsibility to conduct research on the provision of designated services for the purpose of making recommendations to improve the effectiveness and responsiveness of that service, as per section 11(1) (b) of The Advocate for Children and Youth Act.

THE MANITOBA ADVOCATE’S STATEMENT OF CONCERN
A Call to Action: A Mental Health and Addictions System to Meet the Needs of Children and Youth
What we need here in Manitoba is a continuum of youth mental health and addiction services and supports that are evidence-based, culturally-safe, trauma-informed, and accessible when they are needed.

CANADIAN COUNCIL OF CHILD AND YOUTH ADVOCATES (CCCYA) STATEMENT OF CONCERN
A National Paper on Youth Suicide
As part of its work, the Council has been actively monitoring what the provincial, territorial and federal governments are doing to address the issue of child and youth suicide in Canada. While much work has been done by the Advocates to better understand this issue, they have also called for government to take concrete action to address it.

CANADIAN COUNCIL OF CHILD AND YOUTH ADVOCATES (CCCYA) STATEMENT OF CONCERN
Statement on Children’s Rights in Canada
Children’s rights in Canada were under siege in 2018. Young people who are marginalized, vulnerable and involved with government systems, saw their rights curtailed and voices silenced. It is imperative that Canadians join us to demand their governments act to advance and uphold the rights of children and youth. To not take action is to fail them.