TORONTO, Nov. 20, 2013 /CNW/ - Today is National Child Day and marks the 24th anniversary when Canada adopted the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Each year, this day reminds us to celebrate our children and the rights they are afforded through the UNCRC and recognize those who are marginalized and whose rights do not come easily.
"The UNCRC gives us a vision of what life could be like for children and youth and what they should expect from all of us. For many children and youth in my mandate, it's not yet a reality. They are largely invisible and often feel left out of their own lives," said Irwin Elman, Ontario's Advocate for Children and Youth. "Today, we can renew our efforts as a province and provide opportunities for our children to be heard. Their lived experience is a vital source of wisdom and we must listen to them. If we are going to improve the lives of young people, we need to live and breathe the UNCRC in our practice."
Throughout the day, staff of the Advocate's office will attend youth-focused events across the province to mark National Child Day. Notably, some of the young people from the Advocate's office who are leading Feathers of Hope, a movement to address the issue of suicide and hopelessness that affects many First Nations children and youth, will present their vision for safer, healthier communities at the Assembly of First Nations National Youth Summit in Saskatoon.
We encourage young people and everyone to learn more about the rights of children and youth by reading the UNCRC child and youth friendly version. For more information about the Provincial Advocate, please visit our website. You can also join the conversation and follow the Provincial Advocate on Twitter (@OntarioAdvocate) and our youth-focused initiatives: Our Voice Our Turn (@ourvoiceourturn); You Are Not Alone (@OPACYYANA); I Do Care (@projectIDC) and Feathers of Hope (@FOHTBay).
About the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth
The Office of the Provincial Advocate reports directly to the Legislature and provides an independent voice for children and youth, including children with special needs and First Nations children. The Provincial Advocate receives and responds to concerns from children, youth and families who are seeking or receiving services under the Child and Family Services Act and the Education Act (Provincial and Demonstration Schools). The Provincial Advocate identifies systemic problems involving children, conducts reviews and provides education and advice on the issue of advocacy and the rights of children. The Office is guided by the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and has a strong commitment to youth involvement.
SOURCE: Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth
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