Statement for Universal Children’s Day 2017

November 20, 2017
(OTTAWA) – The Green Party of Canada released the following statement recognizing Universal Children’s Day:

“I am deeply concerned about the wellbeing of millions of children across the globe, from Indigenous children in Canada living under unacceptable conditions, to Rohingya children facing life-threatening malnutrition in refugee camps. It is incumbent upon the Canadian government, and governments around the world, to do everything in their power to protect the rights of children,” said Elizabeth May (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands).

“As a proud Canadian and human rights advocate, I am especially compelled to speak up in cases where our government can have a real impact towards correcting injustices. I am appalled by the discriminatory underfunding of services for First Nations children on reserves across Canada. I am equally disturbed by the highly disproportionate number of Indigenous children taken from their families and brought into foster care.

“As human rights reports have shown, Palestinian children living under military occupation, who are also being taken from their families — often violently at gun-point and in the middle of the night — deserve the immediate attention of our government. Given Canada’s close friendship and trade relationship with Israel, the Liberal government has a responsibility to defend Palestinian children. The widely documented abuses experienced by these children represent an affront to our most cherished values.

“Tragically, Rohingya children are living through a humanitarian nightmare, with tens of thousands suffering from severe acute malnutrition. The ethnic cleansing in Rakhine state has traumatized, displaced and threatened the survival of Rohingya children and their families. The international community must take seriously its obligation to uphold human rights around the world, as children are often the greatest victims of military violence.

“Canada has a central role to play both at home and abroad in protecting the rights of children. We can certainly be global leaders in the area of children’s rights, but words must always be backed by concrete actions,” said Ms. May.