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Early childhood education and child care is a human right

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Friendly, Martha
Publication Date: 
26 Sep 2012

This week, the Government of Canada will appear before the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva, part of the standard process of reviewing each signatory country's progress towards complying with the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC). In response to Canada's most recent official report as well as to submissions made by NGOs, the Committee issued a list of questions for the Government of Canada, the written response to which became available last week. Following Canada's hearing before the Committee this week, the Committee will develop and publish a report of its Concluding Observations regarding Canada's compliance with the CRC's human rights obligations.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child provides important benchmarks for how countries treat their youngest citizens. As the Coalition on the Right of the Child (Canada) noted in 2004, "It provides an important international standard. Canada and all the provinces have ratified the Convention..." , along with most countries in the United Nations".

Early childhood education and child care also figures as a human rights issue in a number of other important United Nations conventions and agreements. These include the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Education for All (EFA) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). (See the website of the UN High Commission on Human Rights for information about Canada's status vis-a-vis United Nations human rights treaties and associated information).

The Government of Canada's CRC Committee session this week (September 26 and 27) will be web cast, so is available to the public. Click here for information about accessing the web cast.

For many of the key Government of Canada, NGO and UN documents and schedules pertinent to Canada's current CRC review, click here.

For specific information about child care in Canada as a human right in the context of the CRC, see - Child care is a right: Supporting documents from the United Nations Pre-sessional Committee on the Rights of the Child and Canadian early learning and child care and the Convention on the Rights of the Child

For more information about children's rights (including child care) and the CRC process, click here.

For the list of questions the Committee has asked Canada to answer, click here

Tthe Government of Canada's replies to the list of questions are available in PDF,  in English and French.


ca_response_rights_child.pdf2.34 MB
ca_reponses_des_droits_de_l_enfant.pdf2.4 MB
Entered Date: 
26 Sep 2012
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