What do young people have to say about the rights of children and young
people in Ontario?

TORONTO, Nov. 18 /CNW/ - On November 19, children and young people from across Ontario will raise their voices about children's rights and issues of importance to them during a press conference and reception at the Legislature of Ontario.

Representatives from Ontario's three political parties, the Speaker of the House, Defence for Children International, the Provincial Child and Youth Advocate's Office and UNICEF Canada have been involved in a unique mentoring experience with children and young people from across the province. In preparation for this historic day at the Legislature, mentors provided encouragement and support to children and young people and will assist throughout the day as the assembled children and young people share their views on children's rights.

The day will begin at 9 a.m. with a press conference involving children and young people, Defence for Children International, UNICEF Canada and the Provincial Child and Youth Advocate. The focus of the day will be children's rights and related advocacy issues affecting children and young people in the province. At 11:30 a.m., children and young people will share the podium with elected officials and the organizers of the day during a reception. Following this at 1 p.m., statements will be read in the House by each of Ontario's three main political parties.

These two historic events at the Legislature of Ontario are in recognition of National Child Day and the twentieth anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Comments:

Liberals

"The 20th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child provides us with an opportunity to celebrate the progress we have made through investing in our kids and protecting their rights. It also gives us a chance to reflect on the work left to do and the important role that youth have in helping to shape and inform that work moving forward," said Laurel Broten, Minister of Children and Youth Services."

NDP

"The young people we are welcoming to Queen's Park represent the voices of young people from across our province," said MPP Andrea Horwath, Ontario's NDP Leader. "It is our duty not only to hear what young people have to say, but to listen to them, respect their input and act on their concerns."

Conservatives

"I am happy to be a part of this important anniversary for children across the world and right here in Ontario," said Sylvia Jones, Progressive Conservative Critic for Children and Youth. "Any movement to support the rights of children is welcomed and appreciated."

DCI

"Do we live in a world fit for children? Far from it," says Les Horne Executive Director of Defence for Children International-Canada "But the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child gives us hope and a vision of what life could be like for our children."

UNICEF "The adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 20 years ago ushered in a new consensus on childhood," said Cathie Guthrie, Vice President of Programmes and Advocacy, UNICEF Canada. "Its anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate progress for children, but also a time to confront the attitudes and practices that continue to undermine good childhoods, and an occasion to challenge societies to address their unfinished business in implementing the Convention."

Advocate's Office

"Too many children fight so hard for rights that come so easily for others," says Provincial Advocate, Irwin Elman. "The Convention should remind us here in Ontario of a possibility not yet attained for many of the young people my office is mandated to serve."

SOURCE Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth

For further information: For further information: Laura Arndt by phone, (416) 325-5669, Email: laura.arndt@provincialadvocate.on.ca


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