I read the news and wonder if we are truly a country that values children's rights.
The Liberals' proposal would put a more comprehensive focus on children's rights and domestic violence for the first time in two decades.
Given the fragile nature of our planet's environment, there are lots of things to think about this Earth Day But this year, I'm thinking about how climate change -- and the droughts that are becoming more frequent and more severe as a result -- is affecting some of the most vulnerable communities in the world.
Eighty years ago, the Spanish Civil War resulted in a vast displacement and large number of unaccompanied child refugees. It was from the ashes of that crisis that Plan International was created. I am sure John Langdon-Davies, the founder of Plan International, would be heartbroken to know how urgently, in so many parts of the world, our work is still needed.
Here in Canada, most of us don't really think about water. Easy access to clean drinking water is part of our daily expectations. But in many parts of Kenya, where I recently visited to see some of Plan International Canada's programs, it's impossible not to think about water -- or rather, the severe lack of it.
As Canada enters its 150th year, it's a moment in which we can all resolve to invest in nation's greatest resource and asset -- our children. You may not think that our children need protection. As Canadians, we tend to expect that our kids fare quite well compared with their global peers. Yet this simply isn't true.
"The winter months are even more brutal for children inside Syria. I saw children who fled their homes with nothing but the clothes on their back. After the horrors they have lived through, now they have to cope with the piercing cold."
There's one segment of the population that can't express themselves through a ballot, and that group is children. Yet many of the laws and policies debated by government have a direct impact on their lives. In Canada at this moment federal parliamentarians are debating parental leave benefits, marketing to children and funding for First Nations children, among many other issues. We must ensure that the people directly affected have a say in these discussions and decisions.
Twenty-five years since it ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Canada has certainly made significant progress towards protecting its children's rights, providing for their needs and enabling their participation in society, but there is still a long way to go -- and we must do better.
Each year around this time, I find myself frustrated that the world still needs to observe Universal Children's Day on November 20th. Don't get me wrong, kids are worth celebrating. As someone who has dedicated my life to serving children, I believe that at my core.