In July of 2012, OCASI was invited by the Committe for the Rights of the Child, an independent body which monitors the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), to submit a shadow report on the state of children's rights in Canada. This report was presented in Geneva, Switzerland in the Fall of 2012.
The UNCRC is a human rights treaty setting out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children within member countries. The Convention details basic human rights that children everywhere have: the right to survival; to develop to the fullest; to protection from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation; and to participate fully in family, cultural and social life. Canada signed the convention in 1990 and ratified it a year later and is bound by its 54 Articles and two Optional Protocols.
The UNCRC requires reports every five years. OCASI was asked to report on four specific groups; African-Canadian, Roma, refugee and migrant children and youth. The report consists of literature reviews, statistical data and interviews with youth.
To read OCASI's report, go HERE.
After reviewing shadow reports and the submission from the Government of Canada, among the Committee's conclusions is that the federal government's "tough-on-crime" agenda is excessively punitive for youth, that aboriginal and black children are significantly overly represented in the justice system, and that Canada's juvenile justice system does not conform to the Convention.
To read the UN Committee's observations, go HERE.
To learn more about the Convention, go HERE.