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Wrong Rights

April 14, 2007 permalink

The Citizen has published a proposed Children's Charter of Rights. It requires an understanding of the difference between positive and negative rights. The proposed rights are all positive, requiring for their implementation intervention by someone outside the family. For example, protection from exposure to family violence requires cops to look inside the family to control it. Families are reduced to one of a set of alternative role models. For more on this issue, refer to the book What's Wrong with Children's Rights by Martin Guggenheim. What children desperately need is a charter of negative rights, granting them the right to remain with mom and dad, unless mom and dad have failed in their responsibilities.

The group producing the proposal is described only as a number of child-centred committees and organizations, a working group of the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Report Card Coalition on the Wellbeing of Children. No members are mentioned, but it sounds like a coalition of social services agencies such as Family Transition Place and Dufferin Children's Aid.



Orangeville, Ont

Orangeville Citizen

Local News — April 12, 2007

Working group produces Children's Charter

With input from a number of child-centred committees and organizations, a working group of the Wellington- Dufferin-Guelph Report Card Coalition on the Wellbeing of Children has developed a Children's Charter of Rights.

Based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, it is a document that outlines a vision to make Wellington- Dufferin-Guelph a better place for children and families. The Charter includes a series of statements that outline what our communities need to do in order to ensure healthy development and bright futures for all of our children.

In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations has proclaimed that childhood is entitled to special care and assistance. The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history. It sets forth a wide range of provisions that encompass civil rights and freedoms, family environment, basic health and welfare, education, leisure and cultural activities, and special protection measures.

The group's goal is to have the Children's Charter adopted and endorsed by political councils, community organizations and local businesses in an effort to make a compelling statement about our collective intent to support, and advocate for, the rights of children.

The Children's Charter will be launched in the spring with an official signing.

Following is the Charter's text:

All children deserve basic rights and freedoms. A fair share of society's resources must be devoted to ensuring this. While families are responsible for raising their children, all levels of government, in partnership with communities, have a duty to support families by putting the health and well-being of children first.

All children in Wellington Dufferin-Guelph have a right to:

  • A quality of life that meets their physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual and social needs.
  • Have basic needs met including nutritious food, a healthy environment and a safe and comfortable place to live.
  • Access quality and affordable child care, early education programs and/or parenting support.
  • Safe places and time to play, and access to affordable recreational activities.
  • Quality education to enable them to reach their full potential.
  • Quality time with their families and/or other nurturing and positive role models throughout their childhood.
  • Protection from neglect, abuse and exposure to family violence.
  • Be accepted for who they are, and believe what they want without being discriminated against.

Source: Orangeville Citizen