Today is National Child Day. It was on November 20th 1959 that the United Nations Assembly adopted the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child. Later in 1989, the same assembly adopted the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
These two documents are promises to protect children around the globe and protect their rights to grow and thrive, to be heard and to reach their full potential.
Since the adoption of the Charter, we have come a long way, but there is still much to be done to uphold the rights defined in the Charter. Child poverty is an undeniable reality across the globe and here in Canada as well.
The depth and breadth of poverty among First Nations children and families in Canada is staggering. First Nations children under 6 years of age living off reserve are more than twice as likely to live in low income families as compared to other Canadians. 1
Poverty is a key determinant of health. If our First Nations children don’t have decent housing, access to safe drinking water and healthcare providers we are not upholding the rights of First Nations children in Canada. The National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health has created this Fact Sheet on the Rights of First Nations Children in Canada that is ideal reading to compliment your understanding of Children’s Rights.
You can learn more about National Child Day at the Public Health Agency of Canada website.