CHILDREN'S RIGHTS

By William Markiewicz

Craig Kielburger, who founded Free the Children at the age of twelve, was interviewed on CFRB radio last Saturday. As he founded the organization twelve years ago he must be 24 or 25 now. He mentioned that the Senate Human Rights Commission has found that Canada is not living up to its international obligations toward children, not hearing children's voices, and proposes a Children's Commissioner like the ombudsmen that many countries already have. This interview refreshes the issue and reminds me of what I wrote in August 1995 in the first article of the first issue of Vagabond Pages, “Alchemy of Voting”

"…..voting rights for children, mental patients and prisoners are beginning to be debated."
"Mental patients, including the retarded, are not necessarily stupid, and among the children some precocious speakers might tell us things we should know about children's conditions and desires."
"Sweden accorded rights to animals. So why not give rights to humans who can express themselves, and shed some light on their often secret universe for the benefit of us all?"

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