Child Development: Early Childhood, Education, Health

On this page you will find research reports related to the review of how Canada is implementing the broad range of Articles in the Convention that relate to child development.

Mental Health and Children’s Rights

Mental health is named by young people as a high priority for improvement in Canada.  Mental Health and Children’s Rights: A Working Paper identifies key issues, relates them to articles in the Convention, analyses how Canada acted on recommendations in the last review, and names actions that should be taken before the current review is complete.

Right to a Home: Preventing Youth Homelessness

Implementing children’s rights would help to prevent youth homelessness, which is an urgent need in Canada.  The following research reports identify factors that contribute to youth homelessness and the relationship to children’s rights:

  • Without A Home reports findings of an extensive 2016 survey of youth experiencing homelessness in Canada.  It highlights factors that contribute to homelessness and the common theme of waiting too long to respond to identifiable needs.   Shifting from crisis response to preventive strategies is critical for effectiveness in reducing the problem of youth homelessness.
  • Ending Youth Homeless:  A Human Rights Guide links the factors that contribute to homelessness with the rights of young people.  It also shows the benefits of a rights-based approach to addressing youth homelessness.
  • Child Welfare and Youth Homelessness explains how and why young people fall through the cracks of our child welfare systems to end up on the street. It illustrates the benefits of  early intervention to realize the rights of children and prevent youth homelessness.

Right to Health: Living Conditions for Growing Up in Canada

Implementing the right to health in Article 24 of the Convention would help Canada because it puts a focus on healthy living conditions, which need more attention in public health policy.  Canada’s 5th/6th report is inadequate in both analysis and action for children’s health.  This Fact Sheet outlines three areas for action during the review.  This discussion paper summarizes research that show what we need to do to improve children’s health in Canada.

Right to Education:  More than the Right to Go to School

This discussion paper focuses specifically on what has been done to ensure that all children learn about their rights. Canada was asked to use school curricula and government websites to make progress on Article 29 and 42, because a majority of children in Canada still report that they were never taught about their rights.  It looks at how children’s rights are taught in provincial curricula and whether government websites inform children about their rights.

The CCRC hopes that the 5th/6th report will include significant steps to improve the implementation of the recommendations in the last review and achieve targets for raising awareness within five years.

Children’s Right to Know Their Rights and Curriculum Reform in Ontario:

The CCRC continues to put a high priority on the right of every child in Canada to learn about their rights.  During the last review, provincial curricula were identified as one of the means to implement this core element of the Convention.  Articles 29 and 42 more specifically outline the duties of governments to ensure that all children learn about their  rights and respect for the rights of others.  The current curriculum reform in Ontario is an opportunity to make progress toward implementation of recommendations in the last review, as Canada undergoes another round  of review.   A CCRC submission highlights the importance of learning about children’s rights and the duties of provincial governments in education.  It also addresses the relationship between children’s rights and parental rights in education, another theme common to other provinces as well as Ontario.  The CCRC hopes other provinces will include plans to implement this right in the upcoming official report for the next review of children’s rights in Canada.