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Children’s Rights in Canada

Children with Disabilities: Recommendations for Canada

The rights of children with disabilities received attention during the first review of how Canada implements the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  The Concluding Observations includes recommendations relating to: inclusive education and teacher training; services for parents so disability is not a reason to put a child in care; access to services for indigenous children with disabilities; attention to disabilities in the proposed poverty reduction strategy, and others.   Several recommendations are similar to those for the Convention on the Rights of Children, including: data collection; federal-provincial cooperation; and monitoring progress.  For this Convention, it is recommended that the Canadian Human Rights Commission take on the role of monitoring progress.  Another area of common interest are negotiations to ratify a complaints process.  The CCRC advocates for a complaints process for children’s rights as well.

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.

Children and Canada’s Poverty Reduction Strategy

A specific focus on children and the use of multiple indicators of deprivation are recommendations made by the CCRC for Canada’s Poverty Reduction Strategy.  The CCRC also recommends short-term rolling targets to measure progress, a mix of income support and community programs, and youth participation.  The submission highlights the importance of food security as a missing piece in the current patchwork of new programs, and it  suggests that the coherent framework of the Convention on the Rights of the Child would help to maximize benefits from the individual pieces. CCRC Submission for National Poverty Reduction Strategy. 

Young People in the Workplace: Rights, Rules, Safety, and Fairness

Young people benefit from work experience, but they can also be exploited in the workplace.  Knowing about the rules, their rights, and how to report unsafe working conditions or unfair treatment is essential for all young people.  The Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children (CCRC) is asking all governments, federal and provincial, to ensure that Canada is fulfilling its duties for young people in the workplace.  One step is to inform young people across the country about their rights before Canada’s ratification of International Labour Organization Convention 138 comes into effect in June 2017. High rates of workplace injuries for young people indicate a need for improvement in the area of safety. Research done by the CCRC shows that improvements are needed in all provinces to fully protect the workplace rights of young people.

A Fact sheet provides an overview of the issues and recommendations for action.  A Working Paper provides analysis for each province and steps needed to fully implement the workplace-related provisions in Convention on the Rights of the Child, ILO 138, and ILO 182.

This is the first in a series of updates the CCRC is doing in 2017 to follow up on Canada’s last review under the Convention and prepare for the next review in 2018.

Children’s Rights and Bill S-206

The Senate will begin debate on Bill S-206 this week.  The bill, sponsored by Senator Murray Sinclair, will repeal Section 43 of the Criminal Code.  It will protect the right of every child, as well as every adult, to not be hit by anyone.  It is an important step in implementation of children’s right to be free from all forms of violence, as provided in Article 19 of the Convention on the Rights of Children.

The CCRC Open Letter to Senate on Bill S-206 addresses a number of the issues involved and the importance of this step for children’s rights in Canada.