2016 is the 25th Anniversary of Canada’s Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child – time to ask about progress in implementation. Substantive progress in some areas is combined with no action in others, based on recommendations to Canada in the last review of children’s rights in 2012. The CCRC offers this sampling of progress across the full range of recommendations as a start to preparations for the next full review. Canada’s next report is due in July, 2018. The CCRC proposes improvements in the process to make and assess progress in Canada before the next international review. For distribution, discussion, and feedback: ccrc-25th-anniversary-of-ratification-flyer
November 22: Panel and Workshop discussion on how children’s rights could improve federal/provincial/first nations cooperation to benefit all children in Canada. 2016 is the 25th Anniversary of Ratification of the Convention on the Rights on the Child. Implementation remains a challenge. This topic is timely because progress in many areas involves more several governing bodies. Sponsored by the CCRC and partners at the University of Ottawa.
The CCRC welcomes the strong focus on ending violence against women and girls. Paying attention to children’s rights is essential and beneficial for the success of proposed national strategies. That is the message in two submissions the CCRC is making.
We hope Status of Women Canada will consider Article 19 of the Convention, General Comment 13, and what has been learned in the global campaign to end violence against children. childrens-rights-and-a-national-strategy-on-gender-based-violence.
CCRC asks members of parliament who are studying violence against young women and girls to inform themselves of their responsibilities to implement commitments Canada made to children in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, including recommendations in the last review of Canada’s record. childrens-right-to-freedom-from-violence-ccrc-submission-for-parliamentary-study-on-violence-against-young-women-and-girls
The CCRC has proposed a way to strengthen Canada’s international assistance program. In a submission for the current review, the CCRC proposes that the Convention on the Rights of the Child be adopted as the framework for all international assistance that impacts children, rather than being one small area of programming. This would improve sustainability of outcomes; it would addressing governance issues as well as immediate needs; and it would provide coherence between the various parts of Canada’s international relations with other countries. The CCRC proposes the use of Child Rights Impact Assessments as a tool to ensure that all the rights of children are considered in all aspects of programming. See CCRC Submission for Review of International Assistance.
For many years the CCRC has proposed establishment of a National Children’s Commissioner as a focal point for implementation of children’s rights in Canada. The need for and benefit of such an office have been well-documented. What we need now is a national dialogue to build consensus on the mandate and how the office would work with young people and other government agencies, such as the provincial children’s advocates. Organizations and individuals are asked to support and help promote a joint call to action:Joint Call to Action and Elements for Discussion re Canadian Commissioner for Children and Youth; Appel à la concertation pour un Commissaire canadien à l’enfance et à la jeunesse.
The review of Canada’s international assistance program provides an opportunity to make the Convention on the Rights of the Child a comprehensive framework for policies that affect children. The benefit would be greater impact for children through coherence and integration between all aspects of program and policy. The CCRC also proposed that a Child Rights Impact Assessment tool be used to identify impacts for children in other program areas, such as economic development and sustainability. In addition to a submission to a parliamentary committee reviewing sectoral priorities, the CCRC will make similar proposals to a more comprehensive department-led review.CCRC submission for Study of Sectoral Priorities in International Assistance final.
Assisted Dying: Alternatives to Arbitrary Minimum Age
The government has announced that they will hold further consultations on the question of the age of eligibility in the new legal framework for assistance in dying. For now, the proposed bill includes age 18 as a minimum age requirement.
The use of arbitrary age limits in many areas of public policy raises questions under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which respects the evolving capacity of young people to participate in making decisions about their care. As pointed out in the CCRC submission to the parliamentary committee that studied assisted dying, this principle has been recognized in Canadian court rulings on health care, including recognition of the right of competent young people to decide to end treatment that may result in their death. CCRC Submission on Physician-assisted Drying.
Hopefully the consultation will be based on the Convention, which Canada has ratified, and focus on what criteria and process would be reasonable in the case of assisted dying, in place of the use of an arbitrary age limit. The CCRC will continue to be engaged on this matter, as part of its mandate to work for full implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Canada. A CCRC-sponsored symposium on the Best Interests of the Child in 2009 suggested a review of all age-based legislation to provide clear rationales based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child.