Children’s Rights Under Review

Children’s Rights in Canada are Under Review

The government’s official 5th-6th report on implementation of children’s rights in Canada was filed at the end of February 2019, more than six months late.  The report provides information on some actions taken in response to the 2012 recommendations from the last review, but there are many gaps in both analysis and action.  Canada’s response to recommendations from the last review is incomplete and inadequate.

The official government report does not serve children well.   It is now important that civil society groups and citizens actively engage in the review process.   The goal of the CCRC is to use the review process to work for changes that will improve the real-life situation of children in Canada.

Find the government report and CCRC initial response  here.

Be Part of the Review Process

We can do better in Canada.  You can be part of the CCRC’s plan to use the review process for its intended purpose: to take stock and improve the situation for children in our country. Implementing the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Canada would benefit all children across the country.   Implementation remains weak and the official report is lame.  Children in comparable countries where the Convention is implemented fare better than children in Canada.  All Canadians have a stake in this process.  Children will benefit if we do better.

The CCRC will foster a more robust review in Canada by sharing information and analysis that is missing or misrepresented in the government’s official report. This page is a place for organizations and individuals  to share knowledge and explore the links between different areas of children’s rights.  It will also be a resource for all those who decide to make submissions for the official review by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.  The date for that review has not been set yet.

Here you will find easy-to-read Fact Sheets on important themes and issues for the review.  Each will be linked to background research and discussion papers done by persons with expertise and/or experience in specific areas of children’s rights.   Analysis and research documents will be shared under the four areas of the review listed below.

If you have relevant information to contribute,  please contact us at

Fact Sheets

A series of fact sheets introduces important issues for children and their rights in Canada.  The CCRC invites you to share these fact sheets with others.  More detail on each issue will be available on one of the four pages linked below.

Child Welfare and Children’s Rights: Fact Sheet I

Child welfare systems in Canada are not working for many children, with serious consequences for them and for Canada.  Taking children’s rights seriously would  make them more effective.  This Fact Sheet names three priority areas for reform.  Detailed analysis is available in a discussion paper found on the page for Vulnerable Children.

Closing Gaps: All Rights, All Children: Fact Sheet II

Canada has a patchwork of policies for children. That means some fall through the cracks of fragmented support systems.  Children need coherence in order to flourish.  Implementing the Convention in Canada would benefit children by turning patchwork to coherence.  This Fact Sheet on General Measures: All Rights for All Children highlights critical changes needed in Canada.  A Working Paper, entitled  Closing Gaps: Systemic Change is Essential for Children in Canada, provides detailed analysis of how Canada has failed to respond to recommendations for systemic change and what the CCRC proposes to improve conditions for children in Canada.

Healthy Conditions for Growing Up in Canada:  Fact Sheet III

The Right to Health, Article 24 in the Convention, is important for Canada because it focuses on healthy living conditions, which need more attention in health policy in Canada.   This Fact Sheet, Healthy Conditions for Growing Up in Canada, outlines 3 areas for action during this review of children rights.  A Working Paper, entitled The Social Determinants of Health, provides a summary of existing research that shows what we need to do to improve the health of our children in Canada.

Rights and Preventing Youth Homelessness:  Fact Sheet IV

Implementing children’s rights would help to prevent youth homelessness.  Research with young people who experience homelessness reveals a pattern of waiting too long, until there is  crisis, to respond to issues that affect them.  Early intervention that considers all the factors and brings together home, school, and community could better realize children’s right to a home and reduce the need for more costly crisis response services.   This Fact Sheet, Rights and Preventing Youth Homelessness, provides basic facts and outlines 3 areas of action for a national plan to prevent youth homelessness, as part of the new national housing strategy and  part of the 5th/6th Review of how Canada implements children’s rights.

This Fact Sheet is prepared in cooperation with A Way Home, an organization that focuses on youth homelessness in Canada.

Mental Health and Children’s Rights:  Fact Sheet V

Mental health is named as a high priority for improvement by young people.   This Fact Sheet, Mental Health and Children’s Rights outlines key issues in Canada, how Canada responded to recommendations in the last review, and what should be done before the end of this review to make progress for children’s right to grow up healthy.

What are the issues in this review?

Find rights-based analysis and share your work under the following themes:

Children’s Rights in Canada: Basic principles, good governance for children


Vulnerable Children: Child welfare, indigenous children, refugees, children with disabilities      


    Child Development: Early childhood, education, health

   Protecting Children from Harm: Violence against children, exploitation


What can you do?   Use the review to advance your goals in the next year:

  • Share evidence you have about the situation of children in Canada. The CCRC will help you relate your evidence to the review of how Canada implements children’s rights.
  • Share CCRC Fact Sheets through your network to increase public awareness of children’s rights and what could be done to implement them in Canada.
  • Consider making a report or being part of the CCRC report; learn more about the process.