OTTAWA, Nov. 20, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, issued the following statement today in honour of National Child Day:
"Today on National Child Day we commemorate the United Nations' adoption of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child" on November 20, 1959, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on November 20, 1989.
When Canada ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991, Canada made a commitment to ensure that all children are treated with dignity and respect. We reaffirmed that all children must have the opportunity to have a voice in the decisions that affect them and to reach their full potential. We committed to protecting them from harm and to providing them with their basic needs.
This year's theme, "It's Our Right to Belong" is particularly relevant to First Nations, Inuit and Métis children in Canada.
We have much more work to do together with Indigenous children, youth and leaders to improve their quality of life and contribute to stronger and more vibrant communities.
Our government is committed to working with Indigenous peoples and the provinces and territories to reform education systems and child and family services to ensure that we are putting the needs of Indigenous children first so that they grow up proud of their culture and language.
It is critically important that Indigenous children and youth have the tools, opportunities, experiences and encouragement they need to succeed. Their families, their communities and the entire country will be stronger as a result of their successes.
Every day I am inspired by the leadership of First Nations, Inuit and Métis children and youth. Today, we reaffirm our commitment to promote and safeguard their rights."
This statement is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca.
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SOURCE Government of Canada
For further information: Sabrina Williams, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, 613-697-8316; INAC Media Relations, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-953-1160