Welcome from the new executive

  • October 07, 2022

Sarah Dennene

I am Sarah Dennene and I am honoured to begin serving as Chair of the Section in 2022-2023. Our Section was founded in 2018, after many years of advocating through a Children’s Law Committee.

I am excited and humbled when considering the work of the previous Chairs and members. The Section coordinates activities, provides advice and responds to law and policy developments on matters affecting children in our country. I have the honour of volunteering alongside remarkable professionals dedicated to furthering a culture of children’s rights, doing their part, as professionals, to achieve respect for children’s rights.

Our Section is special because our work involves all areas of law: immigration, family, health, education, and many others. Our Section aims to make links between the different areas of law. Children can come in contact with law as witnesses, as parties, as victims, or they may be impacted by a decision made without regard to their rights. Defending the rights of children and young people requires a holistic approach.

It is this call of “going beyond silos” that I wish to highlight in this message, in homage to the hope which animated all the founders of the Section and still echoes in our current members commitment. It is by pooling our efforts outside our respective fields that we can make a difference.

Interested or intrigued? Check out our initiatives and get in touch if you have a concern to raise regarding child rights issues.

Engage with us, challenge us to better serve children and youth when you see an opportunity for advocacy!

Meet the Executive

We look forward to an incredible year! Meet our Executive, including the Officers, Branch Chairs, Members-at-Large and Honourable Members-at-Large who are dedicated to fulfilling our Section’s mandate and to realizing new initiatives. A warm welcome to our new members and renewed thanks to those who have been volunteering with us so far. The level of their commitment to our young Section and what they have accomplished in such a short period of time is outstanding.

CBA Child and Youth Law Online Symposium – November 15, 2022

Join us November 15 for a national symposium on Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) practice across Canadian jurisdictions. Whether you are a crown prosecutor, a defence lawyer, or a generalist, the Symposium will be a great opportunity to exchange on the issues, challenges, and best practices in recent years.


Recent Advocacy efforts

The Section’s United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child Committee updated the Alternative report (April 2022) that was submitted to the UN Committee on the rights of the Child. This was an opportunity to report directly to the UN Committee on Canada’s compliance and non-compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Meetings were held virtually in May 2022 during which Canada’s reports and alternative reports from the civil society were considered.

In June, the UN Committee adopted and released its concluding observations. It called for urgent measures to be taken by the State in the following areas:

  • Independent monitoring
  • Non-discrimination
  • Right to life, survival and development
  • Abuse and neglect
  • Children deprived of a family environment
  • Standard of living

Stay tuned for further development on this important roadmap for Canada.

Our Section takes positions on various issues and has contributed to several submissions. The Section is part of the intersex rights working group, which will comment on the upcoming consultation on criminalizing cosmetic surgeries on intersex youth.

Stay informed and get involved

Hoping to see you at our events and to connect with you,

Sarah Dennene
Chair, 2022-2023, CBA Child & Youth Law Section