OTTAWA, Sept. 08, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — 8 million Canadians – children and youth under age 18 – do not have a vote in the federal election and cannot hold the government accountable for the post-pandemic recovery. Children around the world will also be affected by the outcome of the Canadian federal election. They need bold Canadian leadership to champion the rights of the most marginalized children to be healthy, educated, protected and empowered.
Canada must build back better by ensuring that children and youth are at the heart of the recovery given the significant impact COVID-19 has had on the lives of children and families in Canada and around the world.
UNICEF Canada has spokespeople on standby to provide comment on a variety of issues throughout the remainder of the federal election campaign, including:
- Proposed policies (or lack thereof) focused on children, youth and families with a particular focus on:
- Child poverty
- Family-friendly policies such as parental leave and childcare
- Child mental health
- Increased support for children in crises including education, health and protection services
- Lowering the voting age
- Vaccination programs
- Afghanistan’s current humanitarian crisis and UNICEF’s commitment to stay and deliver
- Haiti earthquake and the current humanitarian crisis
The two youngest generations in the country, Generation Z (aged 18-24) and Millennials (aged 25-40) now make up 40 per cent of the population. UNICEF maintains a network of engaged youth, who are eager to have their voices heard on the main issues in the election.
With inequalities deepening and children’s futures at risk, this moment calls for nothing less than a dedicated focus by the next Government of Canada to re-imagine a better world as we move past the current pandemic.
We need to be asking, how will we protect families at risk from a projected increase in child poverty? What is the plan for the millions of children and parents reporting new or worsening mental health? How can we give children everywhere the best possible start to life?
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