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
                                                                                                                                        October 22, 2019

  Bridging Divides in Canada

Photos of children, speeches about loving children, reducing the costs of raising children, the future for children and grandchildren under climate change: all these figured in the election campaign. But there was little evidence of a coherent, cohesive approach to public policy for children.  There were internal contradictions in some party platforms that would help some children but hurt others without analysis of impacts, big gaps that could undermine the benefits of specific promises designed to attract votes, and near the end there was the troubling news that the two leading parties supported going back to court rather than resolving the long-standing violation of the rights of First Nations children in Canada. Ironically, it was the climate change issue that brought children's rights into the public election debate.  It  also increased calls to lower the age of voting so young people could have a stronger voice. 

Post-election, the shape of this particular minority federal government highlights the need for bridging divisions within the country, between regions, urban centers and rural areas, provinces, and cultural groups. In this context, a children's rights approach could be very helpful because it allows flexibility and decentralization in program approaches, while promoting equitable treatment and opportunities for all children.  

For the last two years a core message of the CCRC has been that children's rights can make federalism work better for children and for the country as a whole.  The Convention could be an asset for Canada, if it was implemented; this counters the perception that children's rights are an extra burden, a nice aspiration, or only for less developed countries.  It can help to bridge the divides between provinces, the federal government, indigenous groups, and local communities because all are duty-bearers in an integrated approach that focuses on outcomes more than who spends how much money.  

The 30th Anniversary of the Convention this fall and the 5th/6th review of how Canada implements the Convention in 2020 come together to provide an opportunity to make progress for children's rights in Canada.  Taking advantage of this opportunity will require strong cooperation between all the different groups involved in all aspects of children's rights.  The emergence of a new children's rights network in Quebec is positive, as are plans for other provincial gatherings.  The CCRC strategy of linking specific themes and diverse groups together across Canada has the potential to make gains in the current political context.  

Commentary by Kathy Vandergrift, Chair of the CCRC  

        Reflections on 30 Years of Children's Rights

The CCRC invites you to share your own reflections on the 30th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  What difference has it made?  Are there emerging children's rights issues that need attention?  What do you think would help promote realization of the Convention in Canada?  How could we better address barriers and obstacles?  If you could rewrite the Convention, what might you change or add?

This is intended to be an open space for personal reflections. Contributions will be shared by newsletter and on a special page of the CCRC website.   It is designed to foster discussion and dialogue in the lead up to November 20.  It will also help to inform discussion within the CCRC about next steps in our work to promote the full realization of children's rights in Canada and globally. 

For more information, send a message to 

$30 Membership for 30th Anniversary

Celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and of the Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children (CCRC).  Join the Coalition to promote respect for children's rights across Canada. 

The Coalition was established in 1989 to promote awareness and implementation of the Convention in Canada. We are still doing that - and the need is as great as it was in 1989! 

In honour of the 30th Anniversary, the board of the CCRC decided to offer a special individual membership for $30 this year. Link to Membership Form. It's easy.  Do it now. 

As a member, you support the critical role that the CCRC plays in advocacy and monitoring progress for children's rights in Canada, especially during the review process this year.  A series of Fact Sheets raises awareness in Canada, and the CCRC will facilitate reporting to the UN Committee in 2020.Last year the CCRC was instrumental in making several strategic gains, such as recognition of children's rights in new federal legislation on family law and indigenous children's services. CCRC newsletters, conferences, and training workshops  increase knowledge and connection for anyone interested in children's rights in Canada. All for $30!  Join Now!
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