Convention on the Rights of the Child | UNICEF Canada: For Every Child Skip to main content

Learn more about UNICEF’s work under the topic "Convention on the Rights of the Child".

Urgent action and a recommitment to child rights needed to address age-old and emerging threats

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Our president and CEO David Morley was in New York City recently for the annual United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). While on the plane back to Toronto, he crafted this letter, about the impact being at the UNGA had on him and the work that we do as UNICEF Canada.

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For the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), UNICEF’s Executive Director Henrietta Fore has drafted an open letter to the world’s children – about why she’s worried, and hopeful, for the next generation.

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Children were reportedly killed in ongoing turmoil that broke out last month in Sudan. According to reports, scores of children were also injured while others were detained.

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As many children in Canada head into the first weeks of summer vacation, for many others, their summer vacations will never start. That’s because they were never in school to begin with. Worldwide, one in every five children, adolescents and youth is out of school – that is more than 263 million kids being denied their right to education. At UNICEF, we believe one child denied his or her right to learn is one too many. Two hundred and sixty-three million is beyond imaginable.


Migration is not inherently dangerous for children – it’s the lack of legal opportunities that makes it risky. As things stand, many children find few opportunities to move legally. Family reunification is often tied to certain residency and income requirements and limited to the nuclear family, excluding extended family members whom children often depend on for care. Part 6 of 6.


Separation from family leaves children more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse not to mention the damaging psychological impact of the separation. Part 5 of 6.


Rarely are children detained to protect them from imminent danger. Often it is a matter of administrative convenience or lack of adequate facilities. Usually children are detained upon arrival, for registration and identification purposes, or prior to being deported; they often remain in detention for extended periods of time. Part 4 of 6.


Children often find few opportunities to move legally. Family reunification, humanitarian visas and refugee resettlement spots, and work or study visas are out of reach for most. Many families are also pulled apart by work visa only permitting the parent to migrate, leaving children behind. Part 3 of 6.


Protracted conflicts, persistent violence and extreme poverty drive millions of children from their homes. Part 2 of 6.