Children's Rights/Quality of Life

Children should have rights as human beings ...
not as human-becomings.

(Otto Driedger,
University of Regina, Saskatchewan.
Testimony to The Senate of Canada, 2006)


What are children's rights?

In 1989, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This landmark treaty spells out the rights of all children ... to health, to education, to an adequate standard of living, to leisure and play, to protection from exploitation, to express their own opinions ... and many more. All children have these rights.

The Cartoons for Children's Rights are for both children and adults. With its captivating images and cross-cultural appeal, animation is the perfect tool for informing children about their rights and society about its obligations. By airing the Cartoons for Children's Rights, broadcasters can use their influence to help realize the rights of every child.

Next Steps for Canada

- 10 critical steps to ensure Children's Rights are Protected in Canada - 2012 PDF document

Children's Rights to Health

By signing the United Nation's Convention on the Rights of Children, Canada agreed that children have a right to health and health care. An entire text could be written about the state's responsibility to protect, ensure and promote children's health. From autonomy, dignity and justice to education and freedom from harm, understood in the broadest terms, "health" underpins the UNCRC. The primary article in the United Nation's Convention on the Rights of Children (UNCRC) that describes children's health rights is article 24. This article describes the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and to facilities for the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health. In addition, under article 2, the principle of non-discrimination requires that these health rights be accessible to every child regardless of their situation or status, and, under article 3, all decisions affecting the health or health care of the child require that the best interests of the child be a primary consideration. However, with a broader definition of health, i.e one that understands health as socially defined, I argue that each and every right found within the CRC is in fact associated with health. With that in mind, might we then understand children's rights as critical to child/youth health? If we do - if we are ready to embrace that then we will be able to embrace children and youth as citizens worthy of voice, choice, dignity and
full participation in Canada.

Dr. C. van Daalen-Smith, Oct, 2010