On November 20th, Canada and countries around the world celebrate National Child Day as a reminder of our shared commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The CRC is the most comprehensive treaty in support of children. It is signed and ratified by more nations than any other human rights document in history, attesting to its global significance and the underlying universal values it upholds.
National Child Day is celebrated annually to mark two historic events: the 1959 signing of the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.
The founding principles of the Convention include:
- Acting in the best interests of the child.
- Genuinely considering the views of the child in all decision-making that affects them.
- Ensuring children have the right to primary consideration in all economic, social, and political decisions, policies, programs, and expenditures that impact upon them.
There are many reasons to celebrate children, but most of all because children deserve to be recognized as important members of our community.
- All children have the right to an adequate standard of living, health care and to play.
- All children have the right to express their views about things that affect them and to participate in communities, programs and services.
- All children have the right to be protected from abuse, neglect, exploitation and discrimination.
Many children in Alberta do not have the basics – affordable housing or quality childcare, for example. As a province rich in children, it is important for Albertans to recognize National Child Day. As a community, we are able to have the most direct positive impact on the lives of children. National Child Day is an opportunity we can not afford to miss to engage our community as a whole about these key issues and their implications.