Ontario's Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth walks alongside youth at Pride

TORONTO, June 30, 2016 /CNW/ - Ontario's Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth will walk in solidarity with children and youth who identify as LGBTQ2S in the annual Toronto Pride Parade on July 4. This year marks Canada's first-ever Pride month, which runs from June 1 until July 4.

"Young people from the LGBTQ2S community continue to feel marginalized, alone and unsafe," said Irwin Elman, Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth. "Now, more than ever, we need to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the LGBTQ2S community and collectively push for change so they can enjoy the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. I encourage others to stand with us."

In 2012, during Toronto Pride Week, the Advocate's Office launched the "You Are Not Alone" (YANA) project to elevate the voices of LGBTQ2S children and youth, and educate young people and service providers about their specific rights. YANA provides a safe forum for LGBTQ2S children and youth under the Advocate Office's mandate to share their stories and ideas for making the system more supportive and equitable.

In celebration of World Pride 2014 in Toronto, the Office introduced the "Be Our Ally" campaign – an initiative led by young people through the YANA project – to invite service providers and professionals in the child welfare, youth justice, social services, and health and education systems to share their best practices and ideas for resolving barriers faced by LGBTQ2S children and youth. 

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 advocates receive and respond 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 Office is guided by the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and has a strong commitment to youth involvement. For more information, visit: www.provincialadvocate.on.ca. For updates, read the Advocate's Blog and follow us on https://www.youtube.com/user/ProvincialAdvocate/featuredTwitter and Facebook.

SOURCE Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth

For further information: Akihiko Tse, Communications, Media Relations Coordinator, (416)-325-5994, akihiko.tse@provincialadvocate.on.ca, Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth


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