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Children's Rights Champion, Marv Bernstein, Joins UNICEF Canada as Chief Advisor, Advocacy

2010-11-22

TORONTO, November 19, 2010 - Kim Moran, Interim CEO, UNICEF Canada, is pleased to announce the appointment of Marv Bernstein to the position of Chief Advisor, Advocacy for UNICEF Canada. Bernstein joins a team of UNICEF Canada advocacy specialists who work with partners in international and Canadian government and civil society to strengthen legislation, policy and practice that contribute to better outcomes for Canada's children, consistent with Canada's obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Bernstein will bring further leadership to UNICEF Canada's advocacy department and support their child advocacy priorities which include: supporting the establishment of a national Children's Commissioner for Canada; preventing and protecting children from violence, neglect, exploitation and abuse; advancing the use of child impact assessments in legislation, policy and practice; and promoting regular coordination, consultation, monitoring and reporting on the state of children in Canada.

"I am thrilled that Marv Bernstein, who has decades of Canadian and international experience in the area of children's rights and child welfare is joining UNICEF Canada's domestic advocacy team," said Kim Moran, Interim CEO, UNICEF Canada. UNICEF Canada, with Marv's support, will continue to work with Canada's policymakers and push for Canada to meet its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child."

Bernstein's entire career has been devoted to the well being of children. He previously served as Saskatchewan's Children's Advocate from 2005 to 2010. From 2001 to 2005, he was Director of Policy Development and Legal Support at the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies in Toronto and for 20 years previous, he acted as Chief Counsel to the Catholic Children's Aid Society of Toronto.

"As National Child Day approaches, I am reminded that there is still inequality and a significant disparity in the enjoyment of rights amongst Canada's children," said Marv Bernstein, Chief Advisor, Advocacy, UNICEF Canada. "I look forward to working with UNICEF Canada and contributing to their work in promoting better outcomes for our nation's children. It is vital that children's best interests come first at all times and in all environments, and that no child is excluded or forgotten in this pursuit."

Bernstein is a widely published author, having written extensively in the areas of children's rights, child welfare, adoption, mediation, corporal punishment, privacy in the child welfare sector, inquests and social worker liability. He has a Bachelor of Arts, a Juris Doctor and a Master of Laws in Alternative Dispute Resolution.

UNICEF is the world's leading child-focused humanitarian and development agency. Through innovative programs and advocacy work, we save children's lives and secure their rights in virtually every country. Our global reach, unparalleled influence on policymakers, and diverse partnerships make us an instrumental force in shaping a world in which no child dies of a preventable cause. UNICEF is entirely supported by voluntary donations and helps all children, regardless of race, religion or politics. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca.

For further information:

Stefanie Carmichael, Communications Specialist, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8866; Cell: (647) 500-4230, scarmichael@unicef.ca.
Tiffany Baggetta, Director, Communications and Brand, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8892; Cell: (647) 308-4806, tbaggetta@unicef.ca.