Youth activists from across Canada to gather in Ottawa for National Child Day
UNICEF Canada Ambassador Simu Liu will participate in conversations with young changemakers
OTTAWA, November 16, 2023 – Canada's leading youth activists are marking National Child Day and World Children's Day by raising their voices at UNICEF Canada's largest ever Youth Advocacy Summit in Ottawa, Ontario, on November 20.
More than seventy young people will be greeted at the event with an encouraging message from renowned actor and UNICEF Canada Ambassador Simu Liu, who will be in Ottawa for UNICEF Canada’s annual day of action for children and youth.
“In Canada and around the world, young people are raising their voices on the issues that matter to them and calling on adults to create a better future for all,” said UNICEF Canada Ambassador Simu Liu. “I encourage everyone to be part of the conversations that can ensure every right, for every child.”
An intergenerational panel, introduced by UNICEF Canada Ambassador Saara Chaudry and moderated by UNICEF Canada Ambassador Solange Tuyishime, will feature youth activists as well as partners, decision-makers and adult influencers, including Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam and First Nations child and family rights activist Dr. Cindy Blackstock. Young people will be speaking out and sharing their call for urgent action on 2SLGBTQ+ rights, child labour, education, healthcare, and mental health.
"There has never been a greater need for young people in Canada to be active agents of change,” said Arnav Talwani, 20, of Ontario. " From the COVID-19 pandemic to the wave of high inflation, young people are confronting pressing challenges that demand immediate attention and action, including child labour, lack of education, and the challenging of the rights and well-being of minorities and youth at large."
November 20, 2023, marks the 34th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, the landmark treaty that lays out the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights that all children, everywhere, are entitled to.
"The Convention of the Rights of the Child is a promise to children and youth that their governments will do everything in their power to promote, protect and fulfill all their rights,” said Sevaun Palvetzian, President & CEO of UNICEF Canada. "Our Youth Advocacy Summit serves as a reminder that just making the promise is not enough – we need to ensure that young people are meaningfully engaged and considered in all decisions that affect them.”
UNICEF Canada’s Youth Advocacy Summit: The Right to be Heard is hosted in partnership with BGC Canada, Equitas, the National Reconciliation Program at Save the Children Canada, Plan Canada, the Students Commission of Canada, and YMCA Canada.
To show their support, Canadians are encouraged to use the hashtag #EveryRightForEveryChild on social media and download UNICEF Canada’s National Child Day Toolkit. Landmarks across the country will be going blue, including the CN Tower, Calgary Tower, and Montreal’s Olympic Stadium.
For more information and to access the National Child Day Toolkit, visit unicef.ca/NationalChildDay.
UNICEF is the world’s leading humanitarian organization focused on children. We work in the most challenging areas to provide protection, healthcare and immunizations, education, safe water and sanitation and nutrition. As part of the United Nations, our unrivaled reach spans more than 190 countries and territories, ensuring we are on the ground to help the most disadvantaged children. While part of the UN system, UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations to finance our life-saving work. Please visit unicef.ca and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.