Children’s Rights / Child and Youth Participation in Decision-Making Processes
The Mary Ward Centre is committed to realizing the fundamental dignity and rights of all children, as outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The CRC enshrines the basic human rights of every child (persons under the age of 18 years), and recognizes children as distinct cultural, social, economic, political, and civil actors. The CRC was ratified by the Canadian government in 1991, and by the Roman Catholic Church, through the Holy See, as a Permanent Observer Member to the UN, in 1990. A main focus of our work to accompany children and create spaces for them to have their voices heard in decision-making spaces, as per CRC Article 12.
As a faith-based organization, we advocate alongside children for their rights in public spaces, at local and global levels, including at the United Nations, where the Loretto Sisters operate the IBVM-Loreto Generalate NGO. Through this NGO, we help to ensure that children, with a priority on girls, are afforded opportunities to reflect on important policy issues, share their views, advocate for their rights, and have their voices heard by those in decision-making positions at the UN, including Member States.
The Mary Ward Centre is also exploring opportunities to strengthen the capacity of children to exercise their agency and have their voices heard in ecclesial spaces.
Program Lead: Sr. Sarah Rudolph, ibvm
Mary Ward Centre Resources on Children’s Rights
A Prayer Service for National Child Day 2021
Through its affiliation with the IBVM-Loreto NGO, the Mary Ward Centre works with NGO coalitions such as the Working Group on Girls (WGG) to help ensure girls are afforded opportunities to reflect on important policy issues, share their views, advocate for their rights, and have their voices heard by those in decision-making positions at the UN, including Member States. We work with the WGG on campaigns for International Day of the Girl (October 11), International Women's Day (March 8) and the UN Commission on the Status of Women to foster the participation of girls at the UN.