Government Report and Review Process

Current Review of Children’s Rights in Canada

The current review of progress in how Canada implements the Convention on the Rights of the Child is officially called the 5th-6th review.  On this page you will find:

  • Links to the official report by the federal and provincial governments;
  • General response to the report by the CCRC and links to alternative analyses being done by the CCRC and its members
  • Links to previous recommendations and actions promoted by the CCRC to realize children’s rights in Canada
  • Information about the official process as it moves forward.

Government Report on Children’s Rights in Canada

Canada filed its official 5th-6th report today, more than six months late. Les cinquième et sixième rapports.

Annex I is statistical information. Annex 2 is a report on what officials heard.  Annex 3 is an executive summary of report from young people.  Annexe 1 – Renseignements et données statistiques . Annexe 2 : Ce que nous avons entendu . Annexe-3-Sommaire-exécutif-du-rapport-CDE.

CCRC Overview Analysis of the Government Report

The report provides general statements and names some specific initiatives that relate to the 2012 recommendations.  Missing is substantive analysis of outcomes for children.  Missing is analysis of serious issues for the realization of children’s rights. There are major gaps in the response to previous recommendations. Some responses to previous recommendations are half-answers.  A few good provincial initiatives are listed, for example, but there is no reporting on what has been done in all the other provinces. Recommendations for systemic change are ignored, in spite of clear evidence in Canada that the current system is not working.  Rulings by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal since the last review have ordered redress for serious violations of the rights of indigenous children.  If the systems to implement, monitor, and report on children’s rights in Canada were working as they should under the Convention, this would have been addressed years ago. Canada’s report is a missed opportunity to fix a system that is not working well.  Using the review to make substantive changes, as well as listing a few specific programs, would benefit all children and make Canada’s federalist system of governance work better for our children and the well-being of our nation.

Children in Canada are not well-served by this report.  It will be up to civil society organizations to provide a more honest and balanced account of progress on children’s rights in Canada.

Canada’s 5th/6th report comes on the 30th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  One benefit of the Convention is a holistic approach that puts children at the center.  This report fails to do that.   Full implementation of children’s rights, the CCRC goal, would make Canada work better for children.  We can do better in Canada than this report.

The CCRC and its members will now provide alternative analyses to inform public discussion in Canada and review by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Next Steps in Review Process

The first step is raising public awareness in Canada through Fact Sheets and background research documents. See below.

The next stage is a more formal process.   Below are the timelines for this process.  The CCRC is organizing a webinar to provide more information on the process.  We will post updates and more detailed information on each step in the future:

  • March 1, 2020:  Deadline for submission of your issue and suggestions as an alternative report on what is really happening for children in Canada, for use in Canada and UN.
  • May, 2020:  The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child will host a pre-session to gather input for the review of Canada. More detailed information later.
  • Summer, 2020:  A List of Issues for Canada to address will be public. These come from our submissions.
  • October, 2020:  Deadline for Canada to submit its official response to the list of issues. (Last time Canada’s response was late – the CCRC will track it and keep you informed)
  •  December, 2020:  Deadline for additional information from civil-society on list of issues..
  • January 11-29. 2021: Official hearing before UN Committee. More details later
  • Spring, 2021: Report with recommendations for government action
  • 2021-Next Review:  Follow-up and monitoring progress

CCRC Fact sheets and Research Documents

During 2019, members of the CCRC and partner organizations will produce easy-to-read fact sheets of themes and important issues in this review.  Each fact sheet will be linked to research documents prepared by persons with expertise in that area of children’s rights.   Sharing knowledge and analysis is the goal of these pages

If you have information and analysis that relates to children’s rights in Canada, the CCRC is interested in hearing from you.  To share information you have, or get further information about  CCRC plans for the 2018 Review, send a message to info@rightsofchildren.ca.

Raising the Bar for Canada’s Report

In anticipation of Canada’s official report, the CCRC set out reasonable expectations for five central components to make progress in Canada.

2012 Review:  Recommendations to Canada, CCRC reports

Check the recommendations Canada received in 2012, 10 Action Steps proposed by the CCRC to implement the recommendations, the CCRC alternative report for the 3th/4th review, and background research reports on our Monitoring Page.

Summary of progress five years after the 3th/4th review

In 2017 the CCRC prepared an overview of  progress on the recommendations from the 2012 review, as of November, 2017.

More Information

If you would like more detailed information or discuss how you can contribute and work with others, please send a message to info@rightsofchildren.ca.