Child and Youth Rights and Resources

About Children and Youth Rights

The CCCYA believes it is critical for the public to understand and recognize that children and youth have rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and under these rights are afforded special protections because of their age, limited ability to participate in political processes, and because young people are dependent on adults to make decisions for and about them.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is the treaty that guarantees these special protections to all people under 18 years of age and is the basis for the systemic work done provincially, territorially, and nationally by the Advocates, Representatives, and Ombudsmans in their respective jurisdictions and nationally by the CCCYA.

Canada ratified the UNCRC in 1991, thereby becoming legally obligated to implement it. The UNCRC recognizes that children require nurturing and guidance as they grow up and that, ideally, this support would come from families and caregivers. However, government – at all levels – has the overarching responsibility for ensuring that the rights of children and youth are respected, protected, and fulfilled.

Children’s rights, as human rights, are universal and inalienable which means that all children across Canada are rights holders and these should never be taken away, except in very specific circumstances according to due process.

Information on this page is to inform the public about our national advocacy on the rights of children and youth, provide information to public on the United Nations Reporting Cycle, to inform about Canada’s reporting to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child in how it addresses and implements the rights of children, and to provide other important resources pertaining to the rights of children.

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child – Reporting Cycle

Child Rights Impact Assessment (CRIA) Online Tool and Training – Justice Canada

This resource is a 2.5 hour only training for anyone who wants to learn more about the rights of children and youth and who want to understand the governments obligation to consider the rights of children in decisions it makes and to consider the impacts of new legislation, regulations, and policy on young people whether provincially, territorially, or nationally. While primarily aimed for federal officials, the tool can be used widely by those who want to better understand the impact of new or changing policies. For more information, click the link below to take the training, engage with the tools or obtain information on child rights impact assessments.

Child Rights Impact Assessment and Community of Practice