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The importance of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child for Canadian Children: The gap between promise and reality Katherine Covell,

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Presentation on theme: "The importance of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child for Canadian Children: The gap between promise and reality Katherine Covell,"— Presentation transcript:

1 The importance of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child for Canadian Children: The gap between promise and reality Katherine Covell, PhD

2 Child rights violations

3 Disproportionately represented in: poverty low birth weight infant mortality child protection system juvenile justice system substance dependence youth suicide

4 Canada’s obligations Implement the rights of the child progressively over time Send reports to UN Committee on the Rights of the Child Respond to reports from the Committee and improve performance

5 Rights of Protection Rights of Provision Rights of Participation

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7 PROTECTION RIGHTS What children say about family violence Some people beat their kids, push them, slap them, kick them and everything – parents shouldn’t be allowed to hit their children Really bad violence happens in homes Parents fighting with each other is a type of violence that affects kids – you don’t have to be hit yourself to be affected by it

8 Adults try to blame videogames and the internet. I think you learn more from your parents. Witnessing violence teaches you violence and makes you hate. What children say about family violence

9 States with full prohibition on the use of corporal punishment against children 2011 South Sudan Albania Hungary CongoRomania Costa Rica Ukraine GreeceIceland Liechtenstein Bulgaria LuxembourgGermany Spain Israel Moldovia Netherlands Croatia New Zealand Cyprus KenyaDenmark PortugalLatvia Poland Togo Austria Tunisia Finland UruguayNorway Venezuela 1979Sweden I

10 Link between corporal punishment and abuse

11 Child maltreatment deaths

12 Children in care Slow removal Multiple moves Placed in hotels Transition to the street

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14 Children in the justice system Cops defend using Taser on teen Taser used to break up teen brawl Teen youngest Taser-related death in Canada

15 Ashley Smith, New Brunswick Youth Centre My Life My life I no longer love Id rather be set free above Get it over with while the time is right Late some rainy night Turn black as the sky and as cold as the sea Say goodbye to Ashley Miss me but dont be sad Im not sad Im happy and glad Im free, where I want to be No more caged up Ashley Wishing I were free Free like a bird.

16 Typical statements from youth participants in the UN Study on Violence Against Children, North America Cops are really rough with kids. Cops are aggressive with kids, they slam you to the ground and when they strip search you they are rough. I was planning on killing myself in there

17 PROVISION: Child poverty

18 Chronic and early poverty affects Health School performance Behavior

19 Pediatric dental care To age: 19 British Columbia 18 Alberta, Saskatchewan Manitoba, Ontario New Brunswick 17 PEI, Newfoundland 10 Quebec Nova Scotia

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21 Comparison of child care services UNICEF Sweden Germany Iceland Italy Denmark Japan Finland Portugal France Republic of Korea Norway Mexico Belgium Spain Hungary Switzerland New Zealand United States Slovenia Australia Austria Ireland and Canada Netherlands United Kingdom

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23 Early enthusiasm for school…

24 to early disengagement

25 Participation in classroom rules

26 Participation in learning

27 Rights-based critical thinking “ Her stepmother was very cruel and denied her right to be protected from abuse and it infringed article 31 when they didn’t let her go to the ball, because children have a right to play.”

28 Participation in committees

29 Teacher comments “ The more I let them participate in the class, the more they respect me – you’d think you’d be losing authority.” “Now I remember why I went into teaching – to make a difference.”

30 What would you change about your school? “I would like it if we had a hospital at the school. Then there would be no more eternity leaves – the teacher could have the baby at lunch time if there was a hospital and then come back to class. Too many teachers are on eternity leave and we miss them.”

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