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OTTAWA, ONTARIO, November 20, 2008 - On November 20th of each year, Canadians celebrate National Child Day - a day which recognizes the basic human rights to which children everywhere are entitled. This commitment ensures that children are treated with dignity, respect, and protected from harm.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and our Government believe that families are the building blocks of our society and we have provided support for families since 2006 through programs such as the Universal Child Care Benefit and child-related tax credits.
The theme for this year's National Child Day is "The Right to Protection from Sexual Exploitation." We will continue to support initiatives that promote effective prevention and intervention, recognizing the underlying factors that can contribute to situations of abuse, violence, exploitation or neglect.
Our government takes these initiatives seriously. Youth in Canada now have better protection from adult sexual predators thanks to a section of the Tackling Violent Crime Act (May 1, 2008) which increased the age of consent to sexual activity from 14 to 16 years. The safety of our communities, our families and our children will continue to be a top priority for this government.
Canadians are invited to take time today to acknowledge National Child Day. For additional information, visit the National Child Day Web site at www.childday.gc.ca.
Diane Finley, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development
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For further information (media only):
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Human Resources and Skills Development Canada