UNICEF Canada supports call for federal Commissioner for Children and Youth
UNICEF Canada’s One Youth welcomes debate on Private Member’s Bill C-441 An Act respecting the Office of the Commissioner for Young Persons in Canada
TORONTO, April 9, 2019 – UNICEF Canada welcomes the introduction of Bill C-441 An Act respecting the Office of the Commissioner for Young Persons in Canada to support debate about how to improve the well-being of Canada’schildren and youth.
A Commissioner for Children and Youth is a key role in government to ensure that children are priority in decision-making. While Canada has seen some recent progress on reducing child poverty and giving children a better start in life, Canada’s young people continue to experience more violence and have poorer health than children in many other rich countries. Children in Canada are falling behind in rates of bullying, suicide, homicide, food security and unhealthy weight. These threats exist across many communities, with First Nations, Métis and Inuit children more likely to bear these burdens.
“As we approach the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Canada ranks 25th of the 41 richest nations in overall child and youth well-being. Canada is one of the few rich countries without an independent advocate for children at the national government level,” said David Morley, UNICEF Canada’s President & CEO. “For the cost of about a dollar per child, roughly the amount of the federal budget spends every 10 minutes; a Commissioner for them is a small investment to help fulfill the government’s obligation to children.”
Bill C-441 would give Canada’s 8 million children and youth a louder voice in Ottawa. Current debates about poverty reduction, marketing to kids, privacy, food, housing, pollution, solitary confinement and data would all be improved by giving children’s best interests higher consideration in discussions.
UNICEF Canada believes in Truth and Reconciliation and emphasizes the need for Bill C-441 to enable the opportunity for further consultations with Indigenous organizations and communities to find the best path forward for First Nations, Métis and Inuit children. Further dialogue is needed to address the concerns raised by these leaders about the most effective ways to fulfil the specific rights and duties owed to Indigenous children, while respecting their rights to self-determination and nation-to-nation relationships.
UNICEF is the world’s leading humanitarian organization focused on children. We work in the most challenging areas to provide protection, healthcare and immunizations, education, safe water and sanitation and nutrition. As part of the United Nations, our unrivaled reach spans more than 190 countries and territories, ensuring we are on the ground to help the most disadvantaged children. While part of the UN system, UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations to finance our live-saving work. Please visit unicef.ca.
About UNICEF Canada’s One Youth
From 25th to 1st place, UNICEF Canada’s One Youth is working to make Canada the best place in the world to grow up in. As the global UN agency for kids, UNICEF has worked to improve conditions for every child around the world for more than 70 years, and has saved more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization. UNICEF Canada’s One Youth brings that work to Canada, by building the new gold standard for measuring child well-being, and developing and testing innovative solutions to the challenges they face. We are calling on Canadians to take action and do better for children and youth.
UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations. For more information about UNICEF Canada’s One Youth, please visit http://www.oneyouthcanada.ca.
For further information: To arrange interviews or for more information please contact: Emily O’Connor, Communications Manager, UNICEF Canada, email@example.com, Tel./Tél.: +1 416 482 4444 ext/poste 8866 | +1 647 500 4230