What We Do

Canadian Children’s Charter

In 2017, Children First Canada launched an exciting project to create a Canadian Children’s Charter: a call to action to respect, protect and fulfil the rights of children!

We consulted thousands of children and youth from coast to coast to coast. Together, they created a plan of action by children, for children.

Children’s charters have been created around the world as tools to establish a national vision for the life that every child deserves. They have also helped to engage key stakeholders, such as charities, government leaders – and children themselves – to create a plan to achieve that vision.

The Canadian Children’s Charter is available in English and French.

Did you know?

Check out these 3 interesting facts about children’s charters.

1

Several provinces and municipalities in Canada have their own children’s charters. With the input of thousands of young Canadians, we created a vision and plan of action for all young people in Canada.

2

Children’s charters are often based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Charters have been adopted by municipalities, provinces and other national governments around the world to guide public policies and programs that affect the well-being of children.

3

Children’s charters represent a shared commitment to respect the rights of children and promote children’s well-being. This includes support from families, parents, guardians, governments, and the local community, including civil society organizations and the private sector. The Canadian Children’s Charter is founded on principles of respect for the rights of children, mutual responsibility and accountability.

How the Canadian Children’s Charter was formed

The Canadian Children’s Charter was developed through a dynamic process of consultation involving young people from coast to coast to coast. It also involved input and support from a wide range of stakeholders, including government, civil society, the private sector and community leaders.

A national digital campaign

The path to creating the charter began with a national digital campaign, hearing directly from children and youth about the biggest challenges that affect their lives, as well as their ideas for taking action.

We invited all Canadians below the age of 18 to share their input on the critical issues facing them and their peers, and to identify opportunities for action at a local and national level.

National summits in Ottawa

The consultation culminated in a National Summit in Ottawa on November 20-22, 2017, where children and youth met with leaders of children’s charities, corporations, government and the media. Together, they created the first draft of the Canadian Children’s Charter: a call to action to respect, protect and fulfill the rights of children.

The youth delegates had the opportunity to meet with Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, visit the Prime Minister’s Office, meet with MPs and senators, and present the draft Canadian Children’s Charter at the National Press Gallery on Parliament Hill.

In the following 6 months, the draft was shared and feedback was received. In June 2018, children and youth returned to Ottawa for a second summit to finalize the charter.

The official launch of the Canadian Children’s Charter

The final version of the Canadian Children’s Charter was released on National Child Day in November 2018, and received support from the Prime Minister of Canada and other parliamentarians, business leaders, and those serving and supporting kids.

Alongside CFC’s founder and CEO, Sara Austin, Youth Ambassadors (from left to right) Reem Al-Ameri, Roman Wolfli and Toney Bedell speak up for children’s rights on Parliament Hill in 2017. In consultation with youth from across the country, they helped establish the first draft of the Canadian Children’s Charter.

Sara Austin meets with Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau on Parliament Hill.

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