On April 26, 2013, Canada will be appearing before the UN Human Rights Council to report on its implementation of human rights instruments in the country. The Coalition participated in the NGO consultation on Canada’s performance and had input into the NGO report that went to the UN. Advance questions from the Council ahead of the hearing include a number of specific questions related to the rights of children. Those questions are as follows:
- Violence against women. Given reports of violence against indigenous women and girls, how does the Government of Canada intend to address discrimination against this vulnerable group?
- What measures is the Government of Canada taking to ensure that the rights of the child are protected in the Canadian legal system?
- What it the status of the process to withdraw Canada’s reservation to article 37(c) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child? ( “The Government of Canada accepts the general principles of article 37 (c) of the Convention, but reserves the right not to detain children separately from adults where this is not appropriate or feasible”)
- How is proper legal representation guaranteed to asylum seekers that fall under the Designated Country of Origin category?
- Has the implementation of the Bill S-2 reduced the number of family violence incidents against indigenous women and their children?
- Committee of the Rights of the Child expressed its concern that in the Criminal Code of Canada under Section 43 the corporal punishment is allowed by law. The Committee urges Canada to repeal Section 43 of the Criminal Code to remove existing authorization of the use of “reasonable force” in disciplining children and explicitly prohibit all forms of violence against all age groups of children. Estonia would like to ask what measures Canada is taking to address this issue.
The hearing will be live webcast from Geneva. You can link to it here: http://webtv.un.org
You can find background documents, including Canada’s report to the Council here: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/CASession16.aspx