Statement made on 07 March 2012 by Senator Mobina Jaffer
Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer:
Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. On February 22, a ceremony to sign the Third Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child took place in Geneva. The third optional protocol introduces a complaints procedure that will allow children and their representatives to bring rights violations directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child when they have exhausted all domestic remedies, just as adults can do for other core human rights treaties. Twenty states demonstrated their commitment to children's rights by signing the protocol at the ceremony, including Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Finland and Germany.
For a very long time, Canada has been a leader in the advancement and protection of children's rights. The Senate Human Rights Committee held a very long study on children's rights, which we have been very proud of.
My question to the leader is: Why was the Canadian government not among the first countries to sign the new protocol?
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