The Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates is an association of independent, appointed children’s Advocates, Representatives, and Ombudmans in the provinces and territories who hold explicit legislated mandates to protect the rights of children and youth in Canada through systemic advocacy. The work of CCCYA members is primarily grounded in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Members work together to identify areas of mutual concern and address national issues.
Vision and Mandate
That the rights, interests and well-being of all children and youth are valued and respected in Canadian communities and in government legislation, policy, programs, and practices.
The CCCYA is an association of Child and Youth Advocates, Representatives and Ombudsmans from across Canada who are independent officers of the legislatures in their respective jurisdictions with mandates to promote and protect children’s human rights through complaint resolution, advice to government, amplification of child and youth voices, and public education. The work of CCCYA members is primarily grounded in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Members work together to identify areas of mutual concern and address national issues.
The work of the national Council is foundationally guided by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action, and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Calls to Justice.
The Guiding Principles of the UNCRC that underpin the national work of Council, specifically relate to:
- The right to provision and protection of rights without discrimination (Article 2).
- The right to have the best interests of the child be a primary consideration in all actions and decisions affecting children (Article 3).
- The right to life, survival, and development of the child to the maximum extent possible (Article 6).
- The right of the child to express their views freely in all matters affecting the child, and for those views to be given due weight in accordance with the child’s age and maturity (Article 12).
The UNDRIP is guided by the purpose and principles of the United Nations, which recognizes and affirms Indigenous people’s inherent and sovereign rights. The UNDRIP references 46 articles pertaining to land, culture, language, protection of elder, women, and children, the right to survive and develop, liberty and freedom, and for participation of Indigenous people in decisions that affect them.
In the spirit of active reconciliation, the Council supports the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Calls to Action and the fundamental principles of reconciliation underpin the Council’s work nationally in its advocacy for Indigenous children. The Council’s stated Declaration of Reconciliation (2015) reflects Council’s commitment to ensuring the rights of Indigenous children is kept at the forefront of national advocacy. Similarly, and aligning with the TRC Calls to Action, the Council commits to support and advocate for the Calls to Justice rendered from the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girl Inquiry.
Purpose and Scope of Council Work
- To identify areas of mutual concern and to work nationally to address common issues which are national in scope;
- Advocating for the fullest possible implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child;
- Supporting collective systemic advocacy for children’s rights;
- Undertaking initiatives nationally to promote the voices, rights, and dignity of children and youth;
- Sharing cross-jurisdictional information, approaches, and strategies;
- Working with provincial, territorial, First Nations, Métis, and Inuit governments, and child and youth serving organizations; and,
- Engaging with other child and youth-serving organizations nationally and internationally to contribute to advancing the rights of children globally.
Jurisdictions Working Together
- Support the development and implementation of independent statutory offices for children;
- Facilitate cooperation, collaboration, and mutual support across jurisdictions with respect to any matter pertaining to children and youth; and,
- Provide for sharing of information about the work of each of the offices, and to support training of staff, including organizing a biennial conference for Advocates and staff.