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Archived - National Child Day

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November 20, 2014

Today is National Child Day, a day for us to reflect on the fundamental human rights of Canada’s youngest citizens.

Twenty-five years ago, countries around the world, including Canada, adopted the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. In doing so, they made a commitment to ensure that all children under the age of 18 years are treated with dignity and respect, to give children the opportunity to have a voice in matters that affect them and to be protected from harm.

The health and well-being of children and youth is of vital importance to the Government of Canada. In addition to our global efforts to end the preventable deaths of mothers, newborns and children, we invest in a wide range of programs to help Canada's children reach their full potential. These include community-based programs like the Community Action Program for Children, the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program and Aboriginal Head Start. These programs help vulnerable children get the best possible start in life. They are also helping to improve parenting skills, nutrition, language and social skills, and increase healthy behaviours for the children and their families.

We are also investing in violence prevention efforts. Last year we invested an additional $3 million in community-based children’s programs administered through the Public Health Agency of Canada. These programs aim to reduce the risk of family violence by promoting positive parenting, parental involvement, attachment, resilience and healthy relationships.

The Government also invests nearly $20 million each year in innovative multisectoral partnerships to address the risk factors such as physical inactivity that underlie chronic diseases and childhood obesity. Federal investments are matched by partners for greater impact and reach. Our government recently increased the children’s fitness tax credit to encourage young Canadians to be more active.

Since 2006, our government has invested over $842 million through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to support Canadian researchers working on child and youth health challenges.

As we celebrate National Child Day across our country, I encourage all Canadians to visit our National Child Day website. There you will find an events calendar listing activities taking place in your community, and you can download our National Child Day activity kit, including an activity guide and a colouring poster.

The Honourable Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health

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