Children and Adolescent rights. What does that mean to you?
Well a country like Canada takes this statement very seriously. The country has many laws in place to protect the children and adolescents. Canada promotes children rights internationally and it has also been recognized as a leading advocate for promoting the protection of children in an armed conflict.
The country has done this by endorsing the Safe Schools Declaration, in which it is stated that schools or universities should not be used for military purposes during any armed conflict. This declaration signifies the importance of education, which is a fundamental right for any child. “Education shouldn’t be seen as a privilege, but as a basic right. Regardless of where children grow up, it’s through education that our youth learn about how to interact with society and where values of openness and respect are taught. By endorsing the Safe Schools Declaration, Canada is reaffirming its commitment to defend and protect the rights of children in conflict zones.”- Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie.
Many war zone countries recruit young children in the army and train them to fight. This violates the child’s freedom. Canada is completely against this so the country donated 2 million dollars to the UNICEF’s not soldier’s children campaign. The campaign goal is to end the recruitment of children or their use from any armed forces. Other than donating to UNICEF, Canada has also, funded many initiatives in preventing the recruitment of young children in the army in some countries.
Canada has also, helped creating international treaties like the Optional protocol to the Conventions on the Rights of the child on the involvement of Children in armed conflict. The country has its fair share in promoting the rights of the child as listed above. The country believes in fairness for all children in any situation.
Canada signed an optional protocol in November 2001. The protocol required the nation to criminalize activities such as child prostitution, Child pornography and also child pornography. The law allows any permanent Canadian resident to be punished, if he/she engages in any sexual activity with a child, and if they do this aboard they can be prosecuted. The country provides funds for initiatives which work to prevent the sexual exploitation of children. There are many non-government organizations that are involved in preventing sexual exploitation of children. Canada is trying its best to protect children not only in the country but around the world too.Written by: Akanksha Sharma Member of network Child and Adolescent Correspondents in Consultive Councils-IIN