National Child Day
We celebrate National Child Day each year on Novmber 20th. National Child Day commemorates the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Child in 1989.
What are children’s rights?
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child enshrines the basic rights of all children.
These rights can be grouped into three categories:
Provision rights - the right to an adequate standard of living, education, health care and to play.
Participation rights - the right to express their views about matters that affect them and participate in decision-making processes.
Protection rights – the right to be protected from abuse, neglect, discrimination, and all forms of exploitation.
All levels of government, community organizations and institutions, including religious institutions, families, and individuals have a role to play in making sure children’s rights are respected.
This year, we join with Pope Francis’ prayer intention for November to pray for ‘children who suffer.’
Many children in Canada suffer. According to the Raising Canada 2022 Report from Children First Canada, these are the top ten threats to children in Canada:
Unintentional and Preventable Injuries
Poor Mental Health
Systemic Racism and Discrimination
Vaccine Preventable Illnesses
Poverty and Food and Nutritional Insecurity
Limited Physical Activity and Play
How are we Promoting Children’s Rights in Canada?
The Loretto Sisters, through the Mary Ward Centre, work with several partners to promote the rights of children and alleviate their suffering. We provide spiritual support and accompaniment through retreats and workshops, we advocate for children’s rights in Canada and at the United Nations, and we participate in the process of Truth and Reconciliation. We commit to a synodal approach, one of deep mutual listening and sharing, when working with children and we uphold the safeguarding of children.
Resources and To Learn More
Mary Ward Centre National Child Day webpage
National Child Day – Government of Canada website dedicated to National Child Day that provides free resources to education about children’s rights.
Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children – The CCRC is a network of Canadian organizations and individuals who promote respect for the rights of children. Its purpose is to:
exchange information; provide public education materials about the Convention; monitor implementation of the Convention in Canada; and engage in dialogue with government officials on children’s rights issues.
UNICEF Canada – Learn more about National Child Day and UNICEF’s initiatives to promote children’s rights.
Children First Canada – CFC is a national charitable organization that works collaboratively with a network of partners to advocate for and with children and youth in Canada.