Office of the Child and Youth Advocate

Fredericton – The vice-chair of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child concluded her four-day visit to Canada, which included a stop on Dec. 5 in New Brunswick’s Elsipogtog First Nation.

Marta Maurás of Chile was invited by acting Child and Youth Advocate Christian Whalen and his colleagues at the Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates to visit Canada to observe first-hand this country’s implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The visit comes following the committee’s concluding observations to Canada’s third and fourth periodic report on implementation of the convention, presented this past September in Geneva, Switzerland.

In their report, the committee expressed concern over the lack of improvement to Canada’s child poverty rate, as well as health issues such as unhealthy weights and child mental illness. They also cited inadequate monitoring mechanisms for tracking the well-being of children and insufficient co-ordination between various levels of government when it comes to serving Canadian children.

“According to the UNICEF scorecard for industrialized countries, Canada stands 24th out of 35, with one in seven children, and one in four First Nations children, living in poverty,” said Maurás. “This is a clear deterioration from 10 years ago.”

Mauras and Whalen met with the chief, Elders an ...

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