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BC child care advocates at the United Nations to defend children’s rights

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Child care is a right project
Harney, Susan
Publication Date: 
18 Apr 2012


On February 6, 2012, two BC child care advocates representing the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC (CCCABC) and the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada (CCAAC) appeared in Geneva, Switzerland before the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. I was one of those advocates. Along with my colleague Lynell Anderson, we had been invited to speak to the Committee's Pre‐Sessional Working Group about Canada's shameful lack of affordable, accessible, quality child care programs. Our task was to highlight Canada's failure to uphold the rights of the majority of Canada's young children (and their families) and to ask the international community to hold Canada accountable for its lack of progress towards building a system of early care and learning.

But let me start from the beginning. Two years ago during a strategic planning session of the CCCABC Board of Directors, a number of key issues emerged:

• It had been 40 years since the Royal Commission on the Status of Women first called for a national system of affordable child care services.
• It has been 20 years since Canada ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (December 13, 1991). More recently, the Committee adopted General Comment 7 (GC7, 2005),
which provides additional guidance about implementing rights in early childhood. GC7 clearly
addresses the importance of access to affordable child care, with well‐trained,appropriately paidand socially valued staff.
• Within the social justice community, more and more organizations were talking about issues
through a "rights based lens."
• The United Nations review process of Canada's implementation of the Convention on the Rights
of the Child was scheduled for 2011‐2012. This process provided an opportunity for us, as nongovernmental
organizations (NGOs), to intervene and bring attention to Canada's lack of
progress in developing and funding an early care and learning system.
• Multiple international studies, including those published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and UNICEF, ranked Canada last amongst the world's developed countries in its lack of public support for families with young children.

And so, with a commitment to reaffirm our roots as an organization based on the principles of women's and children's rights, our project "Child Care is a Right" was born.

press release
Entered Date: 
18 Apr 2012
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