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Youth activists take over the future at largest National Child Day event in Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, actor Finn Wolfhard send special messages to UNICEF Canada's Youth Activism Summit

TORONTO, Nov. 19, 2019 /CNW/ - Canada's leading youth activists are celebrating National Child Day and World Children's Day by raising their voices at UNICEF Canada's first ever Youth Activism Summit on November 20 at the Toronto Reference Library. 

"Young people are fed up with adults waffling on pressing issues such as climate change, education, LGBTQ2S+ rights and the failures of decision makers to enact the kinds of policies that would improve children's lives," said Alli Truesdell, UNICEF Canada's One Youth Participation Lead. "Frustrated youth are taking to the streets and demanding their right to help shape their own futures, in Canada and around the world."

More than a hundred young people will start the day with encouraging messages from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finn Wolfhard, the 16-year-old Canadian actor who plays Mike Wheeler on Netflix's Stranger Things.

Influential youth activists Rayne Fisher-Quann, organizer of March for our Education, and Olivier Adkin-Kaya, an organizer with Climate Strike Canada and a litigant challenging the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, will deliver keynote speeches.

An intergenerational panel, moderated by Saara Chaudry, 14, of CBC Kids News, will feature young activists as well as leaders from government, business and media, followed by workshop sessions delivered by prominent child-serving organizations.

The Youth Activism Summit will inspire, engage and mobilize young people to take over the future and stand up for their rights.

Nov. 20, 2019, marks the 30th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC), the landmark treaty that lays out the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights that all children everywhere are entitled to.

"When world leaders ratified the CRC, their promises to young people include the right to have their opinions considered in decisions that affect their lives," said Rowena Pinto, UNICEF Canada's Chief Program Officer. "Even adults who want to steward childhood in the best way often overlook a young person's right to participate in decision-making. But it is a right that influences every aspect of a young person's well-being."

Canada played a key global role in the adoption of the CRC. Despite some progress, children's rights are far from fulfilled, such as the right to be protected from physical or emotional harm, the right to safe drinking water, the right to a clean and safe environment, the right to a safe place to live and the right to have their views heard and taken seriously.

About UNICEF Canada's One Youth

From 25th to 1st place, UNICEF Canada's One Youth is working to make Canada the best place in the world to grow up in. As the global UN agency for kids, UNICEF has worked to improve conditions for every child around the world for more than 70 years, and has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. UNICEF Canada's One Youth brings that work to Canada, by building the new gold standard for measuring child well-being, and developing and testing innovative solutions to the challenges they face. We are calling on Canadians to take action and do better for children and youth.

UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations. For more information about UNICEF Canada's One Youth, please visit http://www.oneyouthcanada.ca. For updates, follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.


UNICEF is the world's leading humanitarian organization focused on children. We defend the right to childhood so children everywhere grow up safe, happy and healthy and able to reach their potential. UNICEF works in the most challenging areas to provide protection, healthcare and immunizations, education, safe water and sanitation and nutrition. As part of the United Nations, our unrivaled reach spans more than 190 countries and territories, ensuring we are on the ground to help the most disadvantaged children. While part of the UN system, UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations to finance our live-saving work. Please visit unicef.ca and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


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