Commitment to Racial Justice | UNICEF Canada: For Every Child Skip to main content

UNICEF Canada strongly condemns all racist and discriminatory practices. We affirm our commitment to racial justice and our dedication to working for a more equitable world for every child. Black Lives Matter. The lives and futures of Black, Brown and Indigenous children matter.

UNICEF Canada is a global leader in promoting children’s rights and well-being. We defend the right to a childhood. Every child has the right to health, equality and education. The right to be free from discrimination, the right to be protected from violence and the right to express their views.

Disproportionate use of force by the police against Black people, Indigenous people, and other racialized people, and the underlying systemic racism and discrimination that exists in many institutions and sectors, pose a severe risk to children and their rights.

According to our Canadian Index of Child and Youth Well-being, more than 1 in 3 young people report experiencing discrimination or being treated unfairly by others, and only 44% of 15-17-year-olds think the local police force does a good job of being approachable, providing information and treating people fairly. UNICEF Canada recognizes that we all need to be doing more to build an anti-racist society that guarantees Black, Indigenous and racialized children and youth their right to a safe and healthy childhood.

UNICEF Canada recognizes that we all need to be doing more to build an anti-racist society that guarantees Black, Indigenous and racialized children and youth their right to a safe and healthy childhood.

UNICEF Canada commits to the following actions to help end the practices and biases that marginalize Black, Indigenous and racialized people:

  • Use our U-Report program to learn from hard to reach Black, Indigenous and racialized youth and amplify their concerns;
  • Undertake advocacy work with organizations led by or engaging Black, Indigenous and racialized youth to support their human rights, through our One Youth program;
  • Define, launch and support the work of a staff Diversity and Inclusion Committee and embed its’ work in our organization;
  • Engage with the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI) to enable ongoing training and dialogue to ensure our staff and volunteers have the skills, systems and processes to identify biases and provide solutions to end racism;
  • Continue our ongoing review of our hiring processes to ensure our recruitment and hiring practices eliminate any risk of racial bias;
  • Support the work of organizations in our sector which are working to provide more opportunities for young Black, Indigenous and racialized professionals;
  • Continue to carry out our work around the world to ensure that all children have the right to education, health, and protection and reduce racism against marginalized groups;
  • Foster UNICEF Canada’s established relationships with Indigenous organizations’ leaders, community groups, researchers and youth, and engage in an ongoing dialogue to understand their priorities and interests, provide opportunities for their participation and design or adapt our advocacy work to support their priorities, while continuing on our own Truth and Reconciliation journey as an organization.

Fighting and addressing systemic racism is an ongoing priority for UNICEF Canada.  We know from experience that change can happen to address inequities, but it will take focus, deliberate action and a willingness to never give up.

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