Children’s Rights: Fact Sheets

This series of fact sheets introduces important issues for children in Canada. Each fact sheet has easy-to-use information on a specific aspect of children’s rights in Canada.

Learn  about priorities for action in Canada. Share the fact sheets with others.   More detail on each issue is available in associated Working Papers.

Children with Disabilities:  Time for Action


This Factsheet outlines steps that Canada needs to take to implement its duties under two Conventions that include provisions for children with disabilities.  Canada ratified both the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  Implementation of both needs action. A  co-ordinated approach to implementation and monitoring would benefit children across the country.

The Factsheet, released for National AccessAbility Week, May 31-June 6, 2020,  also names actions required in relation to the response to Covid-19.

Equitable Access in Early Childhood

Children’s right to equitable access to services begins in early childhood.   This Fact Sheet analyzes how well Canada’s current approach to early childhood learning and care fulfills children’s rights.  It calls for the incorporation of children’s rights into policy and programming, with a focus on equitable access and making children’s rights visible throughout the system.


Preventing Violence Against Children


Canada continues to have high rates of violence against children. This Fact Sheet provides an overview of types, causes, and effective steps to implement Article 19 which articulates a duty to take all appropriate measures to prevent all forms of violence against children.

Detailed analysis is available in three documents posted here.



Child Welfare and Children's Rights


Child welfare systems in Canada are not working for many children, with serious consequences for them and for Canada.
Taking children’s rights seriously would  make them more effective.  This Fact Sheet names three priority areas for reform.
Detailed analysis is available in a working paper, Child Welfare and Children’s Rights.




Children's Rights in Canada


Canada has a patchwork of policies for children. That means some fall through the cracks of fragmented support systems.  Children need coherence in order to flourish.  Implementing the Convention in Canada would benefit children by bringing greater coherence.  This Fact Sheet on General Measures: All Rights for All Children highlights critical changes needed in Canada.  A Working Paper, entitled  Closing Gaps: Systemic Change is Essential for Children in Canada, provides detailed analysis of how Canada has responded to recommendations for systemic change and what the CCRC proposes to improve conditions for children in Canada.


Right to Play

Children’s right to play is important for healthy development, but it is often neglected in Canada.  Children are often unable to exercise their right to free play because of the over-emphasis adults put on safety, high academic achievement to prepare for a career,  performance in competitive sports, or  other organized activities.   This Fact Sheet outlines why play is important and priority areas for action in Canada.


Right to Health


The Right to Health, Article 24 in the Convention, is important for Canada because it focuses on healthy living conditions, which need more attention in health policy in Canada.   This Fact Sheet, Healthy Conditions for Growing Up in Canada, outlines 3 areas for action during this review of children rights.  A Working Paper, entitled The Social Determinants of Health, provides a summary of existing research that shows what we need to do to improve the health of our children in Canada.




Right to a Home


Implementing children’s rights would help to prevent youth homelessness.  Research with young people who experience homelessness reveals a pattern of waiting too long, until there is a crisis, to respond to issues that affect them.  Early intervention could better realize children’s right to a home and reduce the need for more costly crisis response services.  This Fact Sheet, Rights and Preventing Youth Homelessness, provides basic facts and outlines 3 areas of action, as part of the new national housing strategy and  part of the 5th/6th Review of how Canada implements children’s rights.



Mental Health and Children's Rights


Mental health is named as a high priority for improvement by young people.   This Fact Sheet, Mental Health and Children’s Rights outlines key issues in Canada, how Canada responded to recommendations in the last review, and what should be done before the end of this review to make progress for children’s right to grow up healthy.  More details are available in Mental Health and Children’s Rights: A Working Paper.





Access to sufficient and nutritious food is basic for healthy child development.  It is unacceptable that over a million children lack food security in Canada.  This Fact Sheet on the Right to Food provides an overview of the issues in Canada and suggests practical actions to reduce food insecurity in Canada.  For more detail see a submission prepared by the Center for Health Science and the Law for the 5th/6th review of Canada under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.