“The one thing all children have in common is their rights. Every child has the right to survive and thrive, to be educated, to be free from violence and abuse, to participate and to be heard.” — Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon
Ottawa (20 Nov. 2015) — November 20 marks the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is celebrated in Canada as National Child Day. It is also the day that we take time to recognize the commitment of those who work with children and families each and every day to protect first and foremost the safety and well-being of children across the country.
"On this National Child Day, we want to express our appreciation to those people who make the protection of children their first priority," said James Clancy, National President of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE). "These workers provide stability through periods of chaos ensuring the children receive the care, support and attention they need and deserve."
Keeping children safe is a life-long commitment
While many families are currently engaged with the processes and supports that keep children safe, the work has no foreseeable conclusion.
Once safety has been assured, child protection workers continue to work with families in a culturally sensitive way to engage caregivers in solution focused planning to keep children home, within their natural families, whenever possible. Where that is not possible, to find a new place of permanency, where children can find stability, acceptance, love and can develop the familial and cultural ties that last a lifetime.
Across the country, vulnerable children and young people will continue to rely on caring, reliable professionals to advocate for their best interests.
Convention on the Rights of the Child speaks directly to mandate of child protection workers
Twenty-five years ago the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention is a “promise to children that we would do everything in our power to protect and promote their rights to survive and thrive, to learn and grow, to make their voices heard and to reach their full potential.”
That promise made by the General Assembly mirrors the day-to-day working mandate of child protection workers. Workers care for children who, by accident of birth, become marginalized by poverty or ongoing mental health break-down, who are displaced due to substance addiction or neglect or who are are victimized by physical or sexual abuse in their own families or communities.
"Society as a whole needs to gives thanks to child protection workers for their compassion and commitment to our young people," Clancy said.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE