UNICEF Canada's "Bring your MP to School Day" unites students and
Members of Parliament from across the country
TORONTO, Nov. 20, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, UNICEF Canada celebrates National
Child Day in Canada and Universal Children's Day worldwide by
empowering young people to use their voice. To mark the day, UNICEF
Canada's "Bring your MP to School Day," gives students across the
country the opportunity to meet and converse with their Members of
Parliament to highlight issues that matter most to them.
In the week leading up to National Child Day, close to 40 MPs visited
schools across the country to speak to their youngest constituents. No
child was too far to be heard. The participating MPs recognize their
duty to hear the views of the youngest citizens - who don't vote but
are a quarter of Canada's population.
"'Bring your MP to School Day' is a great opportunity for children to
not only share their opinions, but to also inform decisions that affect
them," said David Morley, President and CEO, UNICEF Canada. "It's very
encouraging to see MPs connect with young people on important issues. A
meaningful dialogue can set the foundation for good governance as well
as happy, healthy childhoods."
Under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, children have the
right to express their views and to be heard on the issues affecting
them. During the "Bring your MP to School Day" visits, students
discussed issues ranging from Canada's Northern sovereignty to
homelessness. A number of classrooms also discussed concern for global
issues such as those affected by Typhoon Haiyan and the ongoing
conflict in Syria.
All participating MPs were delighted to have participated in this
initiative. "I am very happy to be participating in UNICEF's 'Bring
Your MP to School Day'. I have engaged with these students, have
listened and learned from what they have to say" remarked Larry Miller,
MP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound.
"We forget they have really important things to offer and we should
listen to them. Despite the fact that students are too young to vote,
they still deserve to be heard because children do remarkable things!"
said Malcolm Allen, MP for Welland.
"I was thrilled to participate and I think this initiative is important
because it can help young people learn about how government impacts
their day to day life, and how they can participate in the political
process. I was impressed with the excellent questions the students
asked me. They showed that they have been following the news and have
developed their own views about current events" said Geoff Regan, MP
for Halifax West.
UNICEF Canada will continue to encourage Canadian youth to be heard by
hosting Twitter exchanges today. Canadian youth can discuss issues in
Canada and how international development can create better futures for
children around the world by tweeting to @UNICEFLive and @UNICEFQuebec with the hashtag #timetobeheard.
To learn more about National Child Day, Universal Children's Day or
UNICEF Canada's "Bring your MP to School Day," including a list of
participating schools and MPs, visit www.unicef.ca/ncd.
UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian
organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families,
doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children
with healthcare and immunization, clean water, and food security,
education, emergency relief and more.
UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children
regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are
active in over 190 countries - more than any other organization. Our
determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too
far to go to help a child survive.
SOURCE: UNICEF Canada
For further information:
(Office) 514 288-5134 ext 8425