Raise the Bar: Children’s Rights In Canada 

21 & 22 November 2018

> En français

Join us in Ottawa from November 21-22 to work together for the rights of Canadian children and youth!

You are invited to join NGOs, Parliamentarians, government officials, researchers, and advocates together with children and youth from across Canada to share your priorities, successes and challenges at Raise the Bar: Children’s Rights in Canada, November 21-22, in Ottawa.

Hosted by the Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children (CCRC), this forum will offer opportunities to share, learn and engage to influence and advance fulfillment of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Canada as we head into the United Nations Review of Canada’s respect for children’s universal human rights.

Wisdom2Action (W2A) will facilitate this event on behalf of CCRC. W2A hosts community knowledge sharing events across Canada and internationally. The goal is to bring everyone – researchers, service providers, youth, educators, health care professionals and more – to meet face-to-face to discuss critical children’s rights issues and build networks so that together we can advance work on children’s rights in Canada. A youth host team, supported by W2A, will lead the development of the agenda and facilitate the event.

* In the spirit of inclusivity and accessibility, CCRC will waive the registration fee for any youth or other individual for whom the fee is a barrier to participation. To request to have the registration fee waived, please e-mail info@rightsofchildren.ca.



Download Agenda (pdf)

8:00am – 5:30pm WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 21 *


8:00                        Registration

8:30                        Opening Circle and Introductions – Kathy Vandergrift, Chair, CCRC, Facilitated by W2A Youth Host Team

9:45                        World Café  – Facilitated by W2A Youth Host Team

Share what is happening in children’s rights in your community and learn from others about priorities and challenges they see. Some of the topics will include discussion on:

  • Teaching children about rights
  • Realizing the full potential of every child
  • Prevention of violence against children
  • Making best interests of children a top priority

10:15                     Break (30 minutes)

10:45                     World Café Continued –  Facilitated by W2A Youth Host Team

12:00                     Lunch (60 minutes)

1:00                       Learning Sessions – Facilitated by W2A Youth Host Team

Presentations on critical and current children’s rights issues, including:

  • Child well-being indicators – Lisa Wolff, Policy Director, UNICEF Canada
  • What does each article in the Convention Mean? – Dr. Ziba Vaghri, Executive Director of GlobalChild
  • Violence against children in Canada – Dr. Debra Pepler, PrevNet Canada
  • Access to justice – Dr. Mona Pare, Professor of Law, Director of Research Laboratory for Children Rights, University of Ottawa
  • Age and the evolving capacity of children – Kathy Vandergrift, Chair of CCRC

3:00                        Travel to Centre Block, Parliament Hill


4:00                        Keynote:

Marie-Claude Landry, Ad.E., Chief Commissioner, Canadian Human Rights Commission

4:45                        Children’s Rights and Environments:

Launch of the 5th issue of the Canadian Journal of Children’s Rights, in cooperation with the Landon Pearson Centre for the Study of Childhood and Children’s Rights.

Reception to follow.



9:00am -5:00pm THURSDAY 22 NOVEMBER*


8:45                        Arrival

9:00                        ProAction Café  –  Facilitated by W2A Youth Host Team

Presentations on critical and current children’s rights issues, including:

  • Immigrant and refugee children – detention
  • Justice issues
  • Youth engagement initiatives
  • Access to health care
  • Education including access to sexual health education
  • Mental health

A detailed list of topics will be announced after release of the official government report. 

10:15                    Break (30 minutes)

10:45                   Child Rights Connect – UNICEF Canada

Skype in with Child Rights Connect to learn and ask questions about how to make the most of the UN Review of Canada’s Report on the Convention on the Rights of the Child

11:00                    Government Engagement – Facilitated by W2A Youth Host Team

Discussions with Government of Canada officials on specific children’s rights issues

12:30                     Lunch (60 minutes)

1:30                       Open Space – Facilitated by W2A Youth Host Team

Participants will be able to imagine the follow-up actions to these two days of exchange, reflect upon what was shared, and formulate recommendations.

3:00                       Closing  – Kathy Vandergrift, Chair, CCRC and youth participants

3:30                       Annual General Meeting, CCRC



  • Updates to the program will be posted at rightsofchildren.ca
  • Exciting activities still to be scheduled include a potential National Child Day breakfast on the Hill.
  • Please contact CCRC if you are interested in presenting your work for and with children and youth.

Download Agenda (pdf)