Closing Gaps: Systemic Change is Needed to Implement Children’s Rights in Canada
Better outcomes for children depend on the integration of policies by different departments and levels of government. The Convention provides a useful tool for such integration. This Working Paper analyzes the recommendations Canada received to improve its systems for implementation, what the official government report for the 5th/6th review says about those recommendations and what the CCRC proposes to achieve better outcomes for children.
Systems Approach to Implementation of the Convention
After 29 years of weak implementation at both federal and provincial government levels, the Coalition invites discussion of a systems approach. Children’s rights can make governance for children work better, but systemic change is needed in Canada to achieve progress. This discussion paper analyses the major barriers to implementation and suggests feasible structural changes, given existing systems of governance. It is designed to move from the existing culture where children’s rights are viewed as an additional burden in governance to a culture of seeing children’s rights as an asset for good governance in Canada’s federalist system.
Basic Principles: Improving Implementation in Canada
Improving implementation of five basic elements in children’s rights are central to make the current review productive in Canada. Read what the CCRC proposes as reasonable action on the following five themes:
- Every child’s right to know their rights
- Taking seriously the views of children in making decisions that affect them
- Preventing all forms of violence against children
- Eliminating child poverty
- Equitable access to services, especially for vulnerable or marginalized groups.
Children’s Rights Can Make Canada Work Better
Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child would make governance work better for children. Children do better in countries that take the Convention seriously.
It would help to close gaps between departments and levels of government. Provinces are duty-bearers as well as the federal government. The Convention can be helpful to integrate different policies that affect children. A discussion paper by the CCRC illustrates why it is smart policy to implement the Convention.