Statements and Submissions

THE MANITOBA ADVOCATE’S STATEMENT OF CONCERN ON YOUTH SUICIDE

December 1, 2023 – To reinforce the significance of the enduring youth suicide crisis in Manitoba, the Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth (MACY) has released a statement that calls for emergency meetings and urgent action from government agencies, mental health organizations, and educational institutions, in collaboration with community leaders, families, and young people.

This statement is aligned with the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People and the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Specifically, this statement reinforces UNCRC Article 6 which recognizes that all children have the right to grow and develop, and the government should do as much as they can to prevent the deaths of young people. As well as UNCRC Article 24, children and youth should know about the health services available to them, and should be provided information about their physical and mental health. 

Read the full statement of concern here (PDF).

THE MANITOBA ADVOCATE’S STATEMENT OF CONCERN ON CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION

March 14, 2023 – In recognition of Stop Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Week, taking place March 13 to 17, 2023, the Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth has released a statement calling on the Manitoba government to evaluate and update the Tracia’s Trust strategy to end sexual exploitation and sex trafficking. The Manitoba Advocate stresses the urgency of updating the strategy to reflect current realities and include more robust prevention and intervention initiatives across Manitoba.

Read the full statement of concern here (PDF).

Read the press release in English here (PDF).

MANITOBA ADVOCATE’S SUBMISSION TO THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON HEALTH

August 11, 2022 The Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth (MACY) was pleased to make a submission to the Standing Committee on Health to report on MACY’s recent child-centred research. The submission focused on youth suicide and infant mortality in Manitoba and how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted children’s health and access to support services in our province.

This submission is aligned with the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) and the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Specifically, this submission reinforces Article 21 of UNDRIP, which asserts Canada’s responsibility to improve the health of Indigenous children and Call to Action 19, which calls for the reduction in health gaps, including infant mortality, between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.

Read the full submission here (PDF).

THE CANADIAN COUNCIL OF CHILD AND YOUTH ADVOCATES COMMENT ON THE UNITED NATIONS COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD OBSERVATIONS FOR CANADA

June 9, 2022 – The Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates (CCCYA) has released a statement on the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child observations of the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in Canada.  Canada signed the UNCRC in 1991, thus becoming legally bound to implement the rights codified within. The last observations by the CCCYA about implementation of the UNCRC in Canada took place in 2012. Unfortunately, due to Canada’s inaction, many of the recommendations from 2012 remain incomplete.

The committee put a strong emphasis on improving accountability for the implementation of children’s rights. Its recommendations are aligned with the council’s long-standing advocacy efforts for equal access to legal protections and independent monitoring processes in every jurisdiction, at every level.

Read the full CCCYA statement here (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 – In recognition of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth (MACY) released a statement in support of children in conflict zones. The danger and threat posed to children’s rights in ongoing armed conflicts cannot be overlooked. All children and youth have fundamental human rights and it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure their protection and realization.

This statement highlights the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) Article 6, a children’s inherent right to not only live, but thrive, and UNCRC Article 27, a child’s right to food, clothing, and a safe place to live.

The short and long-term impacts of armed conflict on children, youth, and those who care for them are profound. MACY stands in support of children in conflict zones, and those effected around the world.

Read the full statement of concern here (PDF).

MANITOBA ADVOCATE SUBMISSION TO THE GOVERNMENT OF MANITOBA ON HOMELESSNESS

 February 17, 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 subsection 13 of The Advocate for Children and Youth Act. The submission presents information and 13 summary actions intended to provide useful guidance to ministers and their departments, as they embark on the development of Manitoba’s homelessness strategy.

Read the full submission here (PDF).

THE CANADIAN COUNCIL OF CHILD AND YOUTH ADVOCATES URGES CANADIANS TO CALL ON GOVERNMENT TO SAFEGUARD THE RIGHTS OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH

November 17, 2021  Ahead of National Child Day, celebrated annually on November 20th, the Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates (CCCYA) has released a statement encouraging the public to hold governments accountable for protecting the rights of young people in Canada, as detailed in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

In Canada, National Child Day is observed in recognition of Canada’s commitment to upholding the rights of children and youth. The day also presents an opportunity to raise awareness about children’s rights, the progress that has been made by public systems, and the work that is still yet to be done by those systems. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Canada’s commitment to the UNCRC, a legally-binding, international human rights treaty that sets out rights that all children and youth are entitled to. The work of the CCCYA Is grounded in the rights put forth by the UNCRC. It is the role of advocates to help hold governments accountable in protecting children’s rights in Canada.

Read the full CCCYA statement here (PDF).

THE CANADIAN COUNCIL OF CHILD AND YOUTH ADVOCATES SUBMISSION ON ALTERNATIVE CARE FOR THE UNITED NATIONS COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD

June 17, 2021 The Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates (CCCYA) has released a statement following consultations with youth on alternative care options. In Canada, child protection services and alternative care are provincial and territorial responsibilities. Therefore, legislative frameworks and operational systems differ slightly across the jurisdictions represented by members of the CCCYA. Conversations with youth sought to assess international standards, policies, and practices in Canada, such as the United Nations General Assembly’s Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children.

When assessing progress against international standards, it was found that policies and practices in Canada set out a framework for child protection and alternative care that is largely consistent with these principles. The application of this framework falls short, however, 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 standards that have been put in place.

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, with some resulting in positive changes, there are recommendations that still require action.

Read the full CCCYA statement here (PDF).

Read the full CCCYA youth submission here (PDF).

STATEMENT FROM THE ACTING MANITOBA ADVOCATE HONOURING THE 215 CHILDREN FOUND AT THE FORMER KAMLOOPS RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL

June 3, 2021 – The Acting Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth (MACY) has released a statement upon the discovery of the 215 unmarked graves of Indigenous children on the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. The MACY office stands with residential school survivors, their families, and their communities during this difficult time.

Today also marks the two-year anniversary of the release of the Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. This report serves as an important remember of the persistent human and Indigenous rights violations that still exist today. The MACY office offers their condolences for this tremendous loss and recommits to walking the shared path forward to reconciliation.

Read the full statement here (PDF).

THE CANADIAN COUNCIL OF CHILD AND YOUTH ADVOCATES CALL FOR SIGNIFICANT MENTAL HEALTH PLANNING AND INVESTMENT FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

May 7, 2021 Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates (CCCYA) has released a statement on mental health supports for youth. The CCCYA stresses the need for a comprehensive mental health strategy from government systems for young people across Canada, to address the mental health consequences of the pandemic.

Across the country, provincial and territorial children’s advocates are seeing similar themes related to insufficient mental health services to support young people amidst mounting pressures on that are associated with the pandemic. CCCYA continues its longstanding advocacy to address the gaps, fragmentation, lack of coordination, and the need for a more robust array of services and supports, including supportive housing, substance use services, and transitional supports. The pandemic increases the urgency for these deficiencies to be rectified.

Read the full CCCYA statement here (PDF).

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

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

Read the full submission here (PDF)

THE 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 In honour of National Child Day, celebrated annually on November 20, the Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates (CCCYA) has released a statement encouraging participation in virtual activities that celebrate children and their human rights, as detailed in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). The UNCRC is an international human rights document 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.

National Child Day presents an opportunity to raise public awareness of children’s rights and to reflect as a nation on our progress to implement them.

Read the full CCCYA statement here (PDF).

THE MANITOBA ADVOCATE’S SUBMISSION TO THE MANITOBA COMMISSION ON KINDERGARTEN TO GRADE 12 EDUCATION

June 20, 2019 The Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth (MACY) was pleased to make a submission to the Manitoba Commission on Kindergarten to Grade 12 education, 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.

Read the full submission here (PDF).

THE MANITOBA ADVOCATE’S STATEMENT OF CONCERN ON THE MENTAL HEALTH OF YOUTH

September 21, 2019 – The Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth has released a statement of concern on the mental health and addictions supports available to youth in Manitoba. The statement is a call to action to public systems to create a comprehensive mental health and addictions strategy that meets the needs of children and youth. The systems in place should be evidence-based, culturally-safe, trauma-informed, and accessible to all young people in Manitoba.

In Manitoba, 10.8% of children aged 6-12 have experienced a significant mental health or addictions issue, for youth aged 13-19, this rate increases to 17% (Manitoba Centre for Health Policy). Given the prevalence of mental illness and addiction issues among our young people, this means there can be no one who is untouched by this crisis. As advocates, we have a responsibility to do better by our children.

Read the full statement of concern here (PDF).

THE CANADIAN COUNCIL OF CHILD AND YOUTH ADVOCATES STATEMENT OF CONCERN ON CHILDREN’S RIGHTS IN CANADA

March 26, 2019 – The Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates (CCCYA) released a statement on children’s rights in Canada. The statement calls for government systems to act to advance and uphold the rights of children and youth. It also highlights the need to amplify the voices of children when making decisions that will impact them.

Read the full CCCYA statement here (PDF).