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Advocates take complaints about aboriginal children to UN

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  • Advocates take complaints about aboriginal children to UN

    Advocates take complaints about aboriginal children to UN

    The Canadian Press
    Date: Monday Oct. 24, 2011 6:13 PM ET
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    OTTAWA<!-- /dateline --> ? Child rights advocates say they believe shaming Ottawa before the world will lead to concrete improvements for aboriginal children on reserves.

    The First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada and the ecumenical group KAIROS have submitted a report to the United Nations committee on the rights of the child, just as Canada's performance comes up for review.

    The report argues that government funding for aboriginal health, education, housing and child welfare is not only inadequate, but is also lower than for non-aboriginal children.

    "I think the more Canadians who understand how unacceptable this is, the more pressure the government will be under," said retired Liberal senator Landon Pearson, a veteran child-rights advocate who now sits on the board of the Caring Society.

    "These children are getting less for health, education and child welfare, just because they're aboriginal,": she said. "And that just doesn't seem right.

    "Fairness is a core Canadian value. This is not fair and these kids want to be successful."

    Canada signed the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991. The convention requires states to act in the best interests of children and subjects countries to periodic reviews.

    Canada is up for review next year and the federal government has already submitted a lengthy report about its adherence to the treaty.

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    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela