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Children’s Rights and Governance

Upcoming Review of Children’s Rights in Canada

Governments in Canada are starting to prepare for the next review of children’s rights and so is the CCRC.  July 2018 is the deadline for Canada to submit an official report on implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Canada.  A key focus is action on the recommendations Canada received in 2012.  Many of the recommendations reflected proposals made by the CCRC in its alternative report.

Action on the previous recommendations will be the focus of a CCRC campaign in the fall.   The first step is collecting information from young people’s organizations across the country.  The CCRC is looking for information and analysis that relates to all aspects of children’s rights in Canada. This will inform the fall campaign in Canada before the official report and an alternative report for use by the UN Committee when they review Canada’s record.

Read about the CCRC plans and how to become part of this process.  This is the way to hold our governments accountable for progressive realization of children’s rights across Canada.  Previous reports and updates are available on the  Children’s Rights Monitoring Page.

25th Anniversary of Ratification of CRC in Canada: How Are We Doing?

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

Evolving Capacity, Age, and Assisted Dying

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.