Children and Youth from Across Canada Draft First-Ever Canadian Children’s Charter in Ottawa
Charter sets out a vision and plan of action to make Canada the best place in the world for kids to grow up
Almost 40 youth from across Canada have together drafted Canada’s first children’s charter –a blueprint for how the federal government could develop programs and policies for the betterment of Canadian children.
The Canadian Children’s Charter was drafted after a three-day National Summit in Ottawa, where youth delegates identified priorities that need to be addressed in Canadian public policies. It also follows months of regional focus groups and national consultations, including a digital campaign where youth had an opportunity to share their experiences and offer input to the charter.
The push for a national children’s charter was led by Children First Canada, in partnership with Wisdom2Action, and with the support of numerous leading child and youth-focused organizations from across Canada.
Highlights from the Canadian Children’s Charter draft include:
- Children have a clear voice and opportunity to lead in their schools, families, governments and communities;
- Mental health services and treatment are accessible to every child in Canada, whenever and wherever they need it, including in-person and online;
- Children have a right to participate in the decisions affecting them;
- Schools, communities, governments and systems all identify the Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls to action for which they are responsible and undertake these;
- Support for all people involved in bullying – bullies, victims and bystanders; and
- All Canadians have access to ongoing education against all forms of violence, abuse and harassment.
The draft was released to the public by Sara Austin, Founder and Lead Director of Children First Canada, and presented to Parliamentary Secretary Peter Schiefke at the National Summit Closing Reception, November 22nd at the Westin Hotel, Ottawa.
“We should all be so proud of all these young delegates that came together to create a plan of action that will make Canada the best place in the world for kids to grow up. Millions of kids in our country are growing up in poverty, experiencing abuse and neglect, and facing serious threats to their health. The Canadian Children’s Charter aims to unite government and Canadians to ensure all kids in this country are living the great lives they deserve,” says Austin, Founder and Lead Director of Children First Canada.
This Canadian Children's Charter is a step towards offering all children an effective learning environment, regardless of background,” says delegate Brady Sager. “This will offer opportunities to youth that may have never previously had those chances, as well as the opportunity to make the most of these chances,” adds the 16-year-old Mohawk, from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.
>> Read the draft Children's Charter
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