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Children’s Rights Awareness Week to be observed Nov. 18 – 24

Office of the Child and Youth Advocate

06 November 2012

Fredericton (GNB) – After a successful inaugural campaign in New Brunswick last year, Children’s Rights Awareness Week will be observed across Canada from Nov. 18 to 24.

“This year the national campaign will use the theme Children helping Children to highlight the ways in which young people across Canada are lending a hand to their families and friends to build safer and stronger communities,” said acting Child and Youth Advocate Christian Whalen.

Based on the interplay between article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the right to rest, leisure, play, recreation, arts and culture, and article 19, the right to be safe from violence, injury, abuse, neglect or maltreatment, Children’s Rights Awareness Week will emphasize the importance of children working together to build environments that are both physically and emotionally safe in which to develop and grow.

As part of the week’s activities, the Child and Youth Advocate will release its 5th annual State of Child report at a launch event in Fredericton on Nov. 20. The report will include the second edition of the Children’s Rights and Wellbeing Framework for New Brunswick produced in collaboration with the New Brunswick Health Council.

“This year’s State of the Child report will serve as a companion piece to our Play Matters! report which we unveiled last year,” said Whalen. “The report offers an overview of where opportunities for play, rest and leisure are available for children and youth in our province, as well as areas where we see room for improvement in services offered.”

In anticipation of the week, the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate has launched a website andFacebook page dedicated to the myriad of activities that will take place. Community groups, organizations, and children and youth are encouraged to plan and register their own events online. The website will host a complete registry of all activities.

Prominent events include the Battle of the Arts Finale, which will take place Friday, Nov. 23 at the Fredericton Playhouse, as well as a symposium for Champions of Children’s Rights in Saint John, and the screening of the film Rebelle at the Festival international du cinéma francophone en Acadie in Moncton.

In addition to events in New Brunswick, child and youth advocates across Canada are working with leading youth-serving organizations such as Equitas, Right To Play, and UNICEF Canada to host community events and promote Children’s Rights Awareness Week throughout their networks. These organizations are also holding a national postcard contest for young people. The Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates event page is available online.

“We are convinced that the community development process is inherently youth driven,” said Whalen. “Through a nationwide Children’s Rights Awareness Week we want to encourage Canadians to listen to the voices of children and youth and actively include them in building healthier and happier communities for us all.”


Media Contact(s)

Matt DeCourcey, communications, education and outreach co-ordinator, Office of the Child and Youth Advocate, 506-453-2789, cell: 506-440-3394.