Symposium tomorrow looks at Canada’s progress on the rights of children

A symposium at York on the rights of children will look at how Canada is faring in its promise to make this country a good place for children by the year 2012.

The symposium, part of UNICEF Canada’s pan-Canadian lectures series A Canada Fit for Children in a World Fit for Children, will take place tomorrow from 3 to 5pm at The Renaissance, Vanier 001, on the Keele campus.

UNICEF Canada is collaborating with universities across the country to look at the progress made and the continued barriers to full implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in Canada. Countries around the world are taking stock of how far they have come and how much is still left to do.

It began in 2002 when world leaders in government, business and civil society met with young people at the UN’s Special Session on Children. The outcome was the goal to develop a world fit for children with measurable progress by 2012. This year marks the half-way point.

Professor Cheryl van Daalen-Smith in York’s School of Nursing of the Faculty of Health will speak on the issue, along with a panel of youth. Van Daalen-Smith is on the board of the Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children and is the founder of the Ontario and Canadian Pediatric Nursing Associations.

She is also the co-founder of York’s Sexualities Studies program and is cross-appointed to York’s School of Women’s Studies.

A World Fit for Children is designed to keep the issue of children’s rights in the forefront of people’s minds and focuses on the freedoms and capabilities needed to create an environment where those rights can be realized. Promoting healthy lives, providing quality education, protecting against abuse, exploitation and violence and combating HIV/AIDS are all necessary in steps in fostering children’s rights.

The event will also celebrate York’s new Children’s Studies Program with program coordinator Carole Carpenter.

The symposium is open to all educators, lawyers, doctors, nurses, social workers, advocates and anyone else who works with or for Canada’s children. Refreshments will be available.

For more information on the symposium, e-mail or for more information on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, A World Fit for Children visit