Senate committee calls for children's commissioner to protect rights
Canadian Press, November 2, 2005
OTTAWA (CP) - A Senate committee says Canada needs a children's commissioner to protect the rights of young people.
In an interim report Thursday, the human rights committee recommends that a commissioner monitor Canada's progress on implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The independent appointee, reporting annually to Parliament, would conduct ongoing reviews of federal legislation, services, and funding for programs affecting children and their rights.
Senator Raynell Andreychuk, who chaired the committee, says a commissioner is essential so children can tell their true stories to Canadians.
"We have come to the conclusion from our studies that children are without voice and without vote and consequently their rights have been impaired," she said.
The senators also call for an interdepartmental working group for children's rights to co-ordinate activities, policies, and laws.
The senators plan to continue hearings across Canada next year, focusing on children who are medically fragile, disabled, exploited and caught in conflict.