First Call for Children in Budget & Program Review

The CCRC proposes that the First Call for Children principle be applied in the upcoming program review and budget cuts to reduce the deficit.  A letter to the Prime Minister also proposes the use of child impact assessments before the adoption of new policies that affect children.  Read letter: letter-to-pm-on-first-call-for-children.

Omar Khadr: Best Interests of the Child Key to Court Decision

A small phrase in the Supreme Court Decision on Omar Khadr is key for an appropriate reponse by the government. It is the principle of the Best Interests of the Child.  Read CCRC commentary: omar-khadr-decision-commentary

Prevention of Sexual Exploitation

The Senate Human Rights Committee is studying Sexual Exploitation of Children in Canada. The CCRC emphasized three themes in its presentation:
1. strengthen focus on prevention in national strategy
2. enforce existing laws by supporting young people through the process to increase rate of conviction of predators
3. national leadership in respect for children’s rights is essential.
To read the full submission or submissions by others, check out the offical record of the hearings on the Senate committee website.

New Mechanisms for Human Rights in Canada

The CCRC joined other human rights groups to call for reform of existing mechanisms to implement international human rights agreements in Canada. The occasion was the weak response by Canada to recommendations received during its first review under the new Universal Periodic Review by the UN Human Rights Council. See news-release-for-upr-news-conference

Tasers and Children

The CCRC drew attention to the issue of tasers and children through letters to members of the House of Commons Public Safety Committee. In an earlier presentation the RCMP stated that they use tasers on teenagers as young as 13 years old and they do not have specific policies or training for the use of tasers with adolescents. They also acknowledged publicly that use of this device poses high risks for the life and health of some targets, especially persons who are agitated.

The CCRC asked MPs to clarify RCMP policy and practice with regard to the situations in which the deployment of tasers is permissible with young people and eligible subjects in terms of level of risk for injury or death. Young people are still undergoing physical and psychological development, and therefore warrant consideration apart from adults.

As a government agency, the RCMP needs to ensure that it complies with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, particularly article 37 which prohibits cruel and inhuman treatment and article 19, which protects children from all forms of violence and injury.
These rights extend to situations involving use of force by police during arrest and detention.