Excerpts from introduction
The Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children (CCRC) is a national umbrella group of organizations and individuals committed to the full implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Canada and globally. It pursues its mission through public education, policy analysis, advocacy, and monitoring progress in Canada.
Governments in Canada do not provide any funding for civil society monitoring of children’s rights. The CCRC relies on voluntary contributions from member organizations and individuals, which limits the capacity for detailed analysis and regular engagement with young people.
For the 3rd/4th review of Canada, the CCRC worked with a broad range of civil society organizations to compile a comprehensive overview of the situation of children in Canada, entitled Right in Principle, Right in Practice. Its main theme was that implementing children’s rights in Canada is both the right thing to do and of practical benefit to children and Canadian society.
Following the 3rd/4th review, the CCRC followed-up the Concluding Observations in an on-going strategy that was designed to make the process more productive, including:
• A public call for an action plan within a year, proposing 10 Practical Steps Canada could take;
• Distributing a youth-friendly version of the Concluding Observations, prepared in cooperation with the Office of the Ontario Children’s Advocate and UNICEF;
• On-going advocacy on specific issues, relating them to previous recommendations;
• A fact sheet on follow-up to the major recommendations in 2016;
• An early letter proposing a more effective process for the 5th/6th review in 2017;
• Engagement in an initiative to improve implementation of all human rights obligations in Canada;
• A call for action and a national conference on five major areas for attention in 2018; and
• A series of public fact sheets on important issues in the review during 2019.
For this 5th/6th review, the CCRC alternative report will strategically focus on follow-up to previous recommendations that would be of benefit in Canada. Priority is given to general measures of implementation that relate to all rights and all children. This reflects our analysis that the machinery of government is a major barrier to progress in Canada and that taking previous recommendations seriously would help to address major issues in Canada. Members and other organizations will submit reports on specific aspects of the reality for children in Canada, illustrating the depth of civil society support for stronger implementation.
The CCRC continues to advocate for a more productive approach to the review process in Canada, in keeping with the purpose of monitoring in the Convention and good practices in other countries.