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Happy Family

Children's rights

The United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1989. Canada signed the convention in 1991 which means they promise to protect these rights of children. The UNCRC recognizes children are not recipients of charity or unaffected by government policies, private sector, or family practices. It establishes that children are rights-holders and empowered actors in their own development. The UNCRC defines childhood separately from adulthood and establishes rights that must be realized for children to develop to their full potential. This makes governments, private sector, and all adults obligated to implement rights into practice by ensuring policies, decision making, and actions should be in accordance with the best interest of children.  

Why are the rights of the child so important?

Children's rights are important because the actions or inaction of government, adults, private sector, and communities impact them the most. Children are vulnerable to conditions that can harm their physical and mental health, development, and safety due to their lack of control over environments in which they grow up. The UNCRC lays a framework and obligations for us to ensure we are supporting and enabling the healthy development of children. This is crucial to the current and future well-being of our society. 

Four Key Principles




Best interests of the child

Right to survival and development



The views of the child

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