Child’s advocate encourages everyone to advocate for children, always
- EFN Staff | November 20, 2018
The Saskatchewan Advocate for Children and Youth challenges people in the province to participate in National Child Day activities.
“While we look forward to National Child Day every year as on opportunity to celebrate the rights of children and youth, our Office, the Canadian Council for Child and Youth Advocates, and all of the allies of our young people work tirelessly to ensure the rights, wellbeing and voice of children and youth are respected and valued year-round,” said advocate Corey O’Soup.
National Child Day falls on November 20th of each year to commemorate the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) to the UN General Assembly in 1989. This day is dedicated to raising awareness and educating all people on the rights of children and youth which Canada adopted in 1991.
The UNCRC is comprised of 54 articles that outlines the rights on the protection, provision and participation pertaining to children and youth, including specific provisions.
O’Soup stated that being in a position that elevates youth voice has been the most humbling and valuable experience of his professional career.
“Giving children in Saskatchewan a voice on the topic of suicide through the Shhh…LISTEN!! We Have Something to Say: Youth Voices from the North report has shown that young people can be part of change,” he said. “Our report provided a platform for Saskatchewan citizens and beyond to learn from youth about their needs to address what is deemed one of the most serious and pervasive issues affecting entire communities.”
The advocate added that children and youth have unique rights to safety and protection, to culture and identity and to their overall well-being – rights that provide access to education, healthcare and adequate living conditions. In Saskatchewan, many children are not being afforded these rights where governments, communities and individuals are falling short in providing for these children regardless of effort or intention. Often a child’s voice is absent when decisions are being made for them in many of these forums. But O’Soup hopes people take up on his challenge to make children and youth a priority especially on National Child Day and throughout the week.
“I challenge you all to be advocates for the children and youth in your lives. I challenge [the] government, communities, families and friends of young people. Listen to what these young people have to say, encourage them to use their voice and allow their ideas to influence and guide the decisions which impact their lives,” said O’Soup.