SUMMARY OF AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL’S SUMISSIONS TO THE UN COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
Canada underwent its third and fourth reviews of its compliance to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in September 2012. Amnesty International provided written submissions to assist the Committee on the Rights of the Child in reviewing Canada’s human rights record. Our submissions highlighted Amnesty International’s concerns about the rights of Indigenous children and in particular the widespread removal of First Nations children from their families, communities, and cultures. Amnesty International also participated in a court challenge to the government of Canada’s underfunding of child welfare services for Indigenous children, which resulted in frequent removal of children from their families. To learn more about our intervention in the First Nations Child and Family Care Society case, click here.
In our Submissions to the Committee, we also emphasized the case of Omar Khadr, who was 15 years old when he was apprehended by US forces in Afghanistan in 2002 and sent to Guantanamo Bay. In our submissions, Amnesty International urged Canada to promptly transfer Omar Khadr to Canada, and to provide him with an adequate remedy for the human rights violations that the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled he experienced.
Amnesty International also intervened in Omar Khadr’s case on two occasions at the Supreme Court of Canada. To view our legal work in those cases, see:
- Amnesty International’s intervention in Canada v. Khadr, regarding Mr. Khadr’s request to be repatriated to Canada.
- Amnesty International’s intervention in Bowden Institution v. Omar Khadr regarding Mr. Khadr’s treatment as an adult (as opposed to youth) offender by Corrctional Services Canada.
OUTCOMES OF THE REVIEW
In its Concluding Observations the Committee on the Rights of the Child took up Amnesty International’s concerns regarding Indigenous children and Omar Khadr. The Committee urged Canada to “adopt legislative and administrative measures to account for the rights, such as name, culture and language, of children belonging to minority and indigenous populations and ensure that the large number of children in the child welfare system receive and education on their cultural background and do not lose their identity.” The Committee also stressed that Canada should “promptly provide a rehabilitation programme for Omar Khadr that is consistent with the Paris Principles and Guidelines on Children Associated with Armed Forces or Armed Groups and ensure that Omar Khadr is provided with an adequate remedy for the human rights violations that the Supreme Court of Canada ruled he experienced.
Convention on the Rights of the Child
Canada’s Third and Fourth Periodic Report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC/C/CAN/3-4)
List of Issues relating to Canada’s third and fourth periodic review by the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC/C/CAN/Q/3-4)
Amnesty International’s Briefing for the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (September 2012)
Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child of Canada’s third and fourth periodic review (CRC/C/CAN/CO/3-4)