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Global Classroom - About

National Child Day is Canada’s official day to celebrate the rights of children to food, clothing, housing and education; to be protected from harm; and to be treated with dignity and respect.

Those rights (and others) are part of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Canada committed in 1991. A treaty adopted by 193 countries, the Convention promises that all children have the right to reach their full potential.

Every time we honour a child’s rights, we move one step closer to a better world. Children who are able to reach their full potential will help shape a healthier, more productive, more peaceful society. We can all play a part in the transformation.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child

In 1989, world leaders decided that children warranted a special human rights treaty because people under 18 years old often need care and protection that adults do not.

The leaders also wanted to make sure that the world recognizes that children have human rights too—the same as adults—including civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is more than an agreement — it is international law, and the first legally binding treaty to spell out the rights of all children. It says:

  1. Everyone under 18 has these rights.
  2. All children have these rights, no matter who they are, where they live, what their parents do, what language they speak, what their religion is, whether they are a boy or girl, what their culture is, whether they have a disability, whether they are rich or poor. No child should be treated unfairly on any basis.
  3. All adults should do what is best for children. When adults make decisions, they should think about how their decisions will affect children.

 The government has a responsibility to make sure children’s rights are protected. It must help families protect children’s rights and create an environment in which every child can grow and reach their potential.

The Convention has achieved near-universal acceptance, having now been ratified by 193 parties [countries], including Canada. That’s more than any other treaty introduced in history!

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