The CBA Child Rights Toolkit

Child Rights

The CBA Child Rights Toolkit was inspired by the need to improve children’s access to justice in Canada.  It is for professionals working in legal and administrative decision-making who want to better understand and implement a child rights based approach in practice and strengthen their advocacy for children. 

The topics covered here are not exhaustive and are intended for a national audience. You will need to further customize your work according to your case and jurisdiction. Basic information is provided in the following four interrelated sections to help you better support children, their rights and lived realities.

Fundamentals – provides the fundamental framework of child rights including where they come from, what they are, who is responsible and the status of child rights in Canada.

The System: Cross-Cutting Themes – outlines available systemic child rights supports and tools and in particular independent human rights institutions and child rights impact assessments.

The Child: Cross-Cutting Themes – highlights subjects that may be applicable to the child or a group of children you work with that transcend all areas of the law, such as Charter rights, best interests of the child, child participation, legal representation and freedom from all forms of violence.

Legal Areas – provides four steps to implement a child rights based approach in practice as well as child rights information and law in specific legal domains such as child protection, family law, youth criminal justice, and immigration.

You should take time to read the Fundamentals of section one, then determine what cross-cutting systemic or child themes in sections two and three arise in your case, and apply them as you implement the four steps in the relevant legal areas in section four.