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Awareness, Education and Training

Awareness of the implications of children’s rights for governments, other institutions and professionals who work with and for children is critical to ensure children’s rights are protected and provided for, and that the core principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child – including priority for the best interests of children – guide action.

Public opinion polls in Canada suggest limited awareness of children’s rights, and considerable misunderstanding of the positive use of the Convention to improve children’s well-being and the relationships they have with peers, adults and the institutions that affect their lives.

UNICEF Canada, the Government of Canada, and a number of institutions and organizations are working to raise awareness of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and promote education and training in schools, government departments and professional organizations.

UNICEF Canada offers engaging, curriculum-connected educational resources for children’s rights. Our Rights Respecting Schools initiative works with Canada’s education sector to support healthy, respectful relationships in schools. Schools that apply a children’s rights approach to teaching, learning and school culture have been shown to create a sense of community where respect for rights becomes the values framework that students use to make decisions, choose behaviour and guide participation. Children show increased levels of socially responsible behaviour and respect for the rights of others. According to the research, using a children’s rights approach provides a number of benefits for both children and teachers:

  • Improved self-esteem and sense of well-being
  • Improved relationships and behaviour (reductions in bullying and exclusions and improved attendance)
  • Improved engagement in learning
  • Positive attitudes towards diversity in society and the reduction of prejudice
  • Children and young people’s enhanced moral understanding.

Contact UNICEF Canada to inquire about training for professional organizations. 

Get more information about the state of awareness, education and training for children’s rights in Canada and worldwide - LINK TO General measures section of Research and Policy Analysis Page