National Child Day is important

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

On Nov. 20, I had the pleasure of joining over 200 young children in a march from Iqaluit City Hall to the cadet hall to mark National Child Day.  

The daycares did a great job of bundling up gaggles of kids under five to walk on a very cold day, which is no easy task.  

Thank you to the excellent and undervalued staff who work at daycares and in early childhood education programs across Nunavut: when children are valued more so to will you be.  

It was a disapointment to see no media, no MLAs and nobody from city council attend this annual event that acknowledges our children and their rights.  I do hope the child advocate position being created by the GN soon becomes a reality and that this is a position with teeth.

As the Public Health Agency of Canada website states: “Celebrating National Child Day is about celebrating children as active participants in their own lives.” 

This day commemorates the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) which was adopted 20 years ago. Canada made a commitment that children should be given the opportunity to have a voice, be protected from harm, be provided with their basic needs as well as with opportunities to reach their full potential.   

I think a measure of the success of any society is reflected in how it looks out for its most vulnerable, and if we look at the plight of many children in Nunavut, we are doing a dismal job.  

Canada and Nunavut have a long way to go to meet the CRC.  Until all our kids live lives free from abuse and don’t go to school hungry, we should walk in solidarity with our children.

Madeleine Cole 
Iqaluit


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