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The Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children (CCRC) is a network of Canadian organizations and individuals who promote respect for the rights of children. View this email in your browser
                                                                                                                                       November 18, 2019

                                      Voting Age

There are a growing number of questions about age 18 as the minimum age for voting in Canada.  The CCRC is joining with other organizations to explore a court challenge, based on Canada's constitution and the principles in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  The project has two parts: consultation with young people to discuss the issues and hear their views; and research to compile evidence and relevant legal arguments.  Cheryl Milne, Executive Director of the Asper Center,  and Mary Birdsell, Executive Director of Justice for Children and Youth, two well-known children's rights advocates and members of the CCRC, are leading this initiative.  Read more about this initiative in a recent news release. 

If you know young people who are interested in this issue and might like to participate in the consultation process, please contact the Asper Center, as indicated in the news release.

This is another step in  the on-going CCRC focus on age-based policies in Canada and children's rights. The CCRC has recommended review of all age-based policies to make them for coherent and consistent with relevant provisions in the Convention, such as respect for the evolving capacities of children.  A CCRC discussion starter is available for use on various issues relating to age-based decision-making. 
  MARK the DATE: Webinar on Review of Children's Rights 
                                    January 7:  8 am PST, 11 am EST
Staff from Child Rights Connect in Geneva will join the CCRC to discuss how you can use the review process to advocate for children's rights issues that are important for you.  Learn more about the official review process by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.  There will be opportunity to ask questions. 

More detailed information about the webinar will be sent in December.  Mark the date now. 

The CCRC continues to focus on making this process more productive.  We are encouraging groups to use it to draw attention to important issues in Canada and through the UN Committee process.  The CCRC will help in the following ways:
  • help to position your issues in relation to the Convention and recommendations to Canada;
  • provide assistance to draft a report or  include your issue in other alternative  reports; and
  • follow-up through the process and advocacy for resulting recommendations. 

TIMELINES for REVIEW PROCESS

IMPORTANT NEWS!   We now know the timeline for the steps in the official review of how Canada implements children's rights.  Please work with these to make your plans to participate:
  • March 1, 2020:  Deadline for submission of your issue and suggestions as an alternative report on what is really happening for children in Canada, for use in Canada and UN. 
  • May, 2020:  The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child will host a pre-session to gather input for the review of Canada. More detailed information later. 
  • Summer, 2020:  A List of Issues for Canada to address will be public. These come from our submissions. 
  • October, 2020:  Deadline for Canada to submit its official response to the list of issues. (Last time Canada's response was late - the CCRC will track it and keep you informed)
  •  December, 2020:  Deadline for additional information from civil-society on list of issues..
  • January 11-29. 2021: Official hearing before UN Committee. More details later
  • Spring, 2021: Report with recommendations for government action 
  • 2021-Next Review:  Follow-up and monitoring progress 
 
HOW CAN YOU USE THIS PROCESS FOR YOUR GOALS?  Consider the following steps:
  1.  Name the significant issues in your experience or work that relate to children’s rights.
  2.  Consider what evidence you might have to contribute -  to describe the issue and/or suggest actions that would better respect children’s rights.
  3. Tune in to webinar to find out how process works, check CCRC website for related resources, and contact us if you need more information. Detail on webinar coming soon. 
  4. Plan to submit a short analysis of your issue or area of expertise, engage young people in your circle, and use your work for advocacy in Canada in parallel with the review process.
  5. Use the report back to Canada to support your own and collective advocacy until children’s rights are implemented in Canada.
 HOW WILL THE CCRC SUPPORT YOU?   We will provide:
  •  Updates on the process and resources to use in your own work
  •  Webinar on the process with Child Rights Connect, experts in Geneva
  •   Fact-sheets and analysis by others for your use on the CCRC website
  •   Contact Persons for assistance in using this process to advance your goals
  •   CCRC alternative report on systemic issues will  link the work of all groups on specific issues and address general issues that affect everyone. 
  • Follow-up to recommendations to Canada through advocacy and public information
     

                    Review Project: Special Donations  

Can you consider a special donation to achieve the CCRC goal for the review process - real change for children in Canada? All donations will be used for public awareness and more participation in Canada.   

Plans include regional gatherings to focus on the situation of children in different provinces;  sharing information between different groups and different aspects of children's rights; commentary on the official process for groups who can't go to Geneva; and follow-up on the report to get action by governments.

You can donate safely through the website and receive a charitable receipt for tax purposes.   
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