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Global Classroom - learn about children’s rights

Why do we need to learn about children’s rights?

Every society expects that its children will grow up to be capable and responsible citizens who contribute to the well-being of their communities. In fact, the goal of public education in Canada reflects this basic aspiration.

Yet in Canada and around the world, many children are denied the rights that would enable them to survive and develop to their full potential.

Children cope daily with violence and abuse. Some work long hours at jobs that are damaging to their health and education. Too many are denied access to school, and suffer preventable diseases and malnutrition. Environmental damage takes the largest toll on children; discrimination denies many of their basic rights.

The denial of basic rights is not only the cause of personal suffering; it also sows the seeds of political and social unrest. Rights issues touch everyone, everywhere.

All human beings, no matter their age, where they live, or what their culture or socioeconomic status, have similar basic needs: nutritious food, health care, shelter, education, protection from harm—every person has the right to have these needs fulfilled. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child [Go to About Page] affirms these rights for children. The Convention has been ratified by almost every country, including Canada with the support of its provinces.

Children’s rights education is an important part of global education and citizenship education, entrenched in curricula for civics, citizenship, life skill development and social studies across Canada.

As global citizens with universal rights, children and young people must learn to exercise their rights responsibly as part of the duties of citizenship. Governments that commit to the Convention on the Rights of the Child have the responsibility to ensure that children’s rights are fulfilled.


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