National Child Day is celebrated in Canada on November 20 in recognition of our country’s commitment to upholding the rights of children and two historic events: the 1959 signing of the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child sets out the rights of children and provides us with a solid road map of what is needed to raise healthy and happy children and youth.
The definition of a child is any person under the age of 18. All children have all these rights, no matter who they are, where they live, what language they speak, what their religion is, what they think, what they look like, if they are a boy or girl, if they have a disability, if they are rich or poor, and no matter who their parents or families are or what their parents or families believe or do. No child should be treated unfairly for any reason.
Everyone under 18 has rights.
You have the right to protection against discrimination.
Adults should make good decisions for you, especially for your protection and safety.
The government is responsible for helping to protect your rights.
Your family is responsible for teaching you your rights and helping to protect them.
You have the right to not only live but thrive!
You have the right to have a name and nationality.
You have the right to an identity - an official record of who you are.
You have the right to have contact with both your parents unless it’s not safe for you.
If you live in a different country than your parents, you have the right to get back together with them.
Governments should protect children from being taken out of the country illegally.
You have the right to express your opinion and to be heard by adults.
You have the right to learn and share information, as long as it doesn’t harm other people.
You have the right to practice your religion and beliefs, as long as you don’t harm anyone.
You have the right to voice your opinion and demonstrate peacefully.
You have the right to privacy
You have the right to get information from the media.
The care of children is a shared responsibility of both parents, and the government should help parents by providing services.
You have the right to be protected from abuse or neglect, mentally and/or physically.
If you can’t live with your own family, you have the right to be raised respectfully according to your traditions.
You have the right to care and protection if you are in foster care or adopted.
Children who come to Canada as refugees should have the same rights as children born here.
If you live with a disability you have the right to special care, support, and to be included in the community.
You have the right to quality health care, a safe environment, clean water and nutritious food at an affordable price.
If you live in care, you have the right to have regular contact with your social worker.
Children of families in need have the right to extra help from the government.
You have the right to food, clothing and a safe place to live in a caring environment.
You have the right to the same quality of education that every other Canadian child has, regardless of your school location.
Your education should help you develop your talents and abilities, and respect your identity, language and values.
Indigenous children have the right to speak their language and enjoy their culture.
You have the right to play, rest and enjoy your life.
You have the right to be protected from work that is dangerous or might harm your health or education.
It is the government’s responsibility to protect you from dangerous and illegal drugs.
The government should protect children from sexual abuse.* *Don’t keep this a secret. Tell a responsible adult so that you can get help.
The government must protect children from human trafficking.
Children must be protected from activities that could harm their development.
Children in the justice system must be treated with dignity and have the right to access their families and culture.
You cannot be made to fight in a war.
You have the right to get help if you’ve been abused, neglected or treated badly.
You have the right to legal help and fair treatment in the justice system.
If any laws in Canada protect you better than the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, you must be protected under Canadian laws.
The government should make the UN Rights of the Child known to caregivers and children.