17 November 2017
FREDERICTON (GNB) – Nov. 20-26 is Child Rights Education Week, a time to celebrate, promote and advocate for the rights of children. The campaign began in New Brunswick but has since been embraced across the country. National partners include other child and youth advocates, the Canadian Red Cross, the Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children and UNICEF Canada.
The national steering committee has partnered with youth to design a social media campaign. The campaign poses questions to young people, engaging them in a national conversation on child rights. Following the campaign, young people will have an opportunity to contribute to the alternative report that will be sent to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child
“This week is an opportunity to see all parts of the community engage in child rights education,” said Child and Youth Advocate Norman Bossé. “This year’s theme is based on articles 4 and 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Article 4 discusses governments’ responsibility to promote and protect child rights, and Article 12 discusses the child’s right to be heard.”
Two youths, Shekinah Rutande and Katherine Mills, will be advocate for a day as part of the UNICEF children’s takeover campaign on Nov. 20, the anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
“It is a wonderful opportunity to highlight the role of youth in decision-making,” said Mills.
“It is important to ensure that the rights of young people are respected,” said Rutande.
To celebrate the week, the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate will promote events related to the theme of child rights. Event hosts this year include Battle of the Arts NB, Recreation NB, and the Fredericton YMCA. Submissions for events are still welcome, and will be featured on the child and youth advocate’s website.
In addition to these events, the advocate and office staff will be visiting classrooms to speak with youth about child rights and the work of the child and youth advocate. Educational resources are available online to support teachers in leading discussions about child rights.
As in past years, the week will be launched with the State of the Child Breakfast beginning at 7 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 20, at the Crowne Plaza Fredericton Lord Beaverbrook. The event will be sponsored by NB Champions for Child Rights Inc. and will serve as a fundraiser for the organization. At the breakfast, the child and youth advocate will make a presentation on issues facing New Brunswick’s young people. His report will discuss child rights indicators, as well as progress and obstacles in the province, specifically concerning youth criminal justice.
“Lying at the heart of children’s right protection, children’s rights education is essential to a genuine process of global change and that means also taking into consideration children’s and youths’ opinions,” said Sarah Dennene, co-chair of the Child Rights Education Week national steering committee.