Children Have the Right to be Heard

Many of us take the time to celebrate the precious children in our lives, but how many of us consider their rights?  November 20th, annually celebrated as National Child Day, is a day to recognize the rights of children.  It commemorates two historic events:

  • The 1959 signing by Canada of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child, and
  • Canada’s adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.

This year, the theme is ‘It’s Our Right to be Heard.’  This theme is linked to Article 13 of the UN Convention, which states that children have the right to be consulted and included in decisions that affect them.  The members of the National Child Day Collaborative, which is comprised of 13 partners, are working to bring awareness to National Child Day and encourage more communities across Alberta to recognize and celebrate children on November 20th.  As one of the partners, United Way of the Alberta Capital Region is bringing focus to the rights of the 37,000 children living in poverty in the Alberta Capital Region.

There are many ways you can acknowledge this special day and spend time with the children in your life:

Plan a family activity

  • Prepare a meal together
  • Create a craft or write a story
  • Donate clothing or toys to a children’s charity, and/or tell a friend, colleague or neighbour about this significant day.  

Attend an event in Edmonton

  • Wednesday, November 20, 2013, from 8:30 to 11:30 AM, United Way is hosting a Poverty Simulation at the Telus World of Science. Registration is required.  Contact:
  • From 12:15- 1 PM, the Mayor’s Proclamation Event will be held at the Stanley Milner Library.  Also, check out the launch of the video ‘We have a Voice’ by the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate.
  • Saturday, November 23, 2013, the Edmonton Public Libraries are incorporating the National Child Day theme into children’s programs offered at all 18 branches.
  • Sunday, November 24, 2013, from noon to 6:00 PM, YMCA pools in Edmonton are offering a FREE SWIM!

Please join us at one or more of these events.  For more information on National Child Day events taking place throughout Edmonton and for ways to get involved at home, in your school or community please visit the Success by 6 website and click on National Child Day.  

Tell us how you celebrated on Twitter @NatlChildDay #NCDAlberta2013.  Ask a child how they would like to celebrate National Child Day. Take time to be with them. Above all, show your respect and love by honouring their right to be heard.