National Child Day 2018

Canada, Release Report on Canadian Children’s Rights

OTTAWA, ON: To mark National Child Day 2018, the Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children (CCRC) calls on the federal government to release an overdue report for public discussion on how children’s rights are implemented in Canada. According to UNICEF, Canada ranks 25th out of 41 affluent nations for our children’s well-being.

National Child Day on November 20th is a day to celebrate children and their rights.  It commemorates adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on November 20, 1989. Celebrating means more than fine words about children. It means taking children’s rights seriously.

Canada’s 5th/6th report on implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child was due on July 18, 2018. It is now four months late and there has been no public input into the report.  More importantly, recommendations received in the last review six years ago have been ignored. There has been no public reporting or accountability to children and those who support them, which is an essential part of children’s rights. If implemented, the recommendations would benefit children across the country.  The 2012 UN report includes recommendations to address:

  • child poverty;
  • reduce violence against children;
  • end the inequitable treatment of Indigenous children;
  • improve support for vulnerable children; and,
  • inform all children about their rights.

Citizens are stepping up where governments fail to lead. On November 21-22 young people, experts in all areas of children’s rights, and adults who work with children are gathering at CCRC’s Raise the Bar for Children’s Rights in Canada. The conference, held at the University of Ottawa, will take stock of progress made on important issues identified by young people, such as the right to know their rights, the right to grow up free from violence, and the right to equitable treatment for children with disabilities, First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, and other vulnerable groups of young Canadians.

“Implementing the Convention on the Rights of the Child would make Canada work better for young people and for adults, too,” said Kathy Vandergrift, Chair of the Coalition for the Rights of Children. “The regular review of the implementation of rights, which is an essential part of the Convention, is an opportunity to make progress for all children in Canada.”  The Raise the Bar conference is part of the Coalition’s efforts to foster robust public debate in Canada and necessary improvements in policies that affect children and their rights.

Public release of the federal government’s report, parliamentary debate on it, and public engagement with children and organizations who work with children is needed in Canada before the official review by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. The United Nations review will take place sometime in 2019.

For more information on Raise the Bar conference:


National Child Day 2017:  This year the CCRC highlights the benefits of the Convention on the Rights of the Child for Canada.  A public statement calls on all governments to use the upcoming review to respond to the many recommendations for improvement in the last review.  Implementation of the Convention would help to address gaps in public policy for children and improve Canada’s middle or low ranking on international assessments of child well-being.  Public statement in French.