Last week Canada was reviewed in front of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child for their commitment to implement and uphold the Convention on the Rights of the Child – an international treaty ensuring all children have their rights protected everywhere.
Participating in Canada’s review under this process is exciting and inspiring as it is just one more way we can hold governments to account and advocate for the sexual and reproductive rights of adolescents.
While the question of comprehensive sexuality education did not come up during the review, the Committee did address the rising rates of sexually transmitted blood-borne illnesses (STBBIs) and questioned what Canada was doing to address the issue.
Comprehensive sexuality education plays a key role in preventing STBBIs and helping people access testing and treatment services. The federal government has a responsibility to standardize sex-ed across provinces and territories.
The Committee also expressed concern over Canada’s ability to ensure that the Convention is implemented across the country given the federal governing system – the Federal government has repeatedly shirked responsibility for standardizing access to comprehensive sexuality education stating the division of power between federal and provincial jurisdictions.
Action Canada has documented discrepancies in the quality and delivery of CSE curriculums across Canada. All adolescents have a right to comprehensive, quality, evidence-based sexuality education and the federal government has a responsibility to make this right a reality. The Committee, having reviewed Canada’s record, will provide concluding observations and recommendations on how Canada can improve its implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child closer to the end of the summer. Stay tuned to find out our reaction to the Committees recommendations!