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.”