Governance for Children: All Rights; All Children

Alternative Reports for the 5th/6th Review of Children’s Rights in Canada

Close Gaps through Systemic Change:  Implement Children’s Rights in Canada: CCRC Report for the 5th/6th Review

Children’s rights could make Canada work better but they are not widely implemented. The CCRC alternative report analyzes why children’s rights are still poorly implemented in Canada 30 years after the Convention on the Rights of the Child was widely endorsed. This report focuses on the need for better governance for children. It asks why previous recommendations that would  benefit Canada are ignored. It names issues that are not covered in the official report, including Access to Justice, the Right to a Healthy Environment, and the Right to Play.  It makes recommendations for a systems approach to close gaps and better support children to reach their full potential. 

If implemented, the recommendations in this report would change the way all governments develop and implement children’s policies.  It would bring the Convention home to Canada.

Executive Summary of CCRC report focuses on proposals for a system that could implement children’s rights in Canada.

Canada’s Legal Obligations:  Canadian Bar Association/Children and Youth Law Division Report for the 5th/6th review of children’s rights in Canada.

What does it mean to take children’s rights seriously?  This report by the Children and Law Division of the Canadian Bar Association addresses the law, systems for implementation, and basic principles.

Good Governance for Children: Summary of UNICEF Canada’s Alternative Report for the 5th/6th Review of Canada

This summary, titled The Need for Effective Children’s Rights Governance in Canada, explains why Canada needs to change the way public policies for children are developed, implemented, and monitored for effective outcomes.

Canadian Human Rights Commission:  Alternative Report on systemic implementation and selected issues for children in Canada

Systemic implementation issues are confirmed in this alternative report from Canada’s  official National Human Rights Institution.  This report also provides evidence relating to the rights of  Indigenous children, children with disabilities, intersex and gender-diverse children, and racially diverse children.

Amnesty International Canada:   Alternative Report on  Various Issues for Children’s  Rights in Canada

This report provides evidence relating to the rights of First Nations children, violence against Indigenous girls, children in the immigration and refugee system, inter-sex children, and the situation of Canadian children in northern Syria.

Children’s Advocates Speak Up:  Alternative report by the Canadian Council of Children and Youth Advocates

This report provides analysis and recommendations from the perspective of provincial children’s advocates.

 Analysis of Issues Affecting Children of Racial Minority Groups. Report by Colour of Poverty/Colour of Change and 10 associated agencies and persons

This report provides evidence on a range of issues that present barriers to the realization of the rights of children in racial minority groups, along with recommendations for action.

Children On-line, Participation, Privacy, and Children’s Rights:

Taking On-line Rights Seriously: Ensuring Children’s Active Participation in Network Spaces: The eQuality Project report

This report addresses the implications of children’s rights to participate and to privacy  for public policies that regulate on-line activity in Canada.  It makes recommendations for action in Canada.

New Brunswick:  Alternative Report by the Children’s Advocate of New Brunswick

This report provides an analysis of how children’s rights are implemented in New Brunswick, including progress made and recommendations for improvement.

British Colombia:  A Closer Look at Child and Youth Rights in BC:  Collaborative Report from BC

This report provides information from young people and agencies who work with young people in British Colombia.  It examines a number of priority issues in BC and recommends actions by both provincial and federal governments.

Quebec: Alternative Report: Alternative Report_Child Rights In Quebec_NGO Report

Presently, many adults and children across Quebec are unaware of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC). Inadequate knowledge, action, policies, implementation, and assessment have led to continuous violations of the rights of children within education, law, healthcare, and child welfare to name a few.

Research Reports:

Closing Gaps:  Working Paper on Previous Systemic Recommendations

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:

  1. Every child’s right to know their rights
  2.  Taking seriously the views of children in making decisions that affect them
  3.  Preventing all forms of violence against children
  4.   Eliminating child poverty
  5.   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.


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