38,000 Kids Will Gather Across the Country to Demand Action on Children’s Rights, Doubling Last Year’s Record!

Event comes as Canada sees increase in child food insecurity, poor mental health and violence against kids.

November 20, 2022, Calgary, AB – More than 38,000 kids from Kindergarten to Grade 12 are gathering across the country today, on National Child Day, to demand that governments prioritize their rights and freedoms.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of National Child Day in Canada and commemorates the 1959 signing of the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989. Globally the day is known as World Children’s Day. The day also marks the 5th anniversary of the Canadian Children’s Charter – a plan created by thousands of children across Canada to ensure the protection of their rights.

Children First Canada (CFC), a national charity that serves as an independent voice for all 8 million children in Canada, has organized today’s event, which is expected to be the largest in history. The virtual event will include speakers from the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and Amnesty International, along with Raffi and others dedicated to defending the rights of children.

This year’s theme is #EveryChildEveryRight because, as CFC notes, the 8 million kids in Canada should ALL be able to experience ALL of their rights! Last year’s virtual event drew 20,000 students from across the country, along with teachers, parents, and leaders in government, and the private sector, who came together to call for action to protect children’s rights.

“As Canadians we step up on the world stage to defend the rights of the most vulnerable, yet we here at home we are failing to protect the rights of our own children,” says Sara Austin, Founder and CEO of Children First Canada. “There has been a drastic increase in food insecurity, poor mental health, and violence against children this year. Kids are dying from predictable and preventable causes, and those that survive and languishing. How bad does it need to get for government to take action?”

“We’re coming together in solidarity to stand up for our rights and to tell governments across the country that we are a force that needs to be recognized and prioritized,” says 15-year-old Josephine, from Ottawa. “We are tired for waiting, and we want to be part of the solution.”

Today’s event will also launch videos produced by children to promote their rights and what they mean to them; the culmination of a contest launched at National Child Day last year with the support of the Government of Canada.

CFC’S National Child Day event is made possible thanks to the support of: TELUS, the Government of Canada, SickKids, CHEO, the IWK and the Muttart Foundation.

For more information about the National Child Day event, or for an interview with Sara Austin, a youth participant or teacher, please contact:

Andrea Chrysanthou


About Children First Canada:

Children First Canada (CFC) is a national charitable organization with a bold and ambitious vision that together we can make Canada the best place in the world for kids to grow up. We are a strong, effective and independent voice for all 8 million children in Canada, committed to defending their rights to childhood. CFC is harnessing the strength of many organizations that are committed to improving the lives of children in Canada, including children’s charities and hospitals, research centres, government, corporations, community leaders, and children themselves.

Visit childrenfirstcanada.org for more information.

About National Child Day:

National Child Day honours Canada’s commitment to upholding the rights of children and youth; it is celebrated globally as World Children’s Day. This year’s theme is #EveryChildEveryRight in recognition of 8 million children in Canada and their rights to a safe and healthy childhood. This year also marks the 5th anniversary of the creation of the Canadian Children’s Charter – a plan created by thousands of children across the country to ensure the protection of their rights.

Visit nationalchildday.org for more information.