A Question of Commitment
Children’s Rights in Canada
Paper 456 pp.
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In 1991, the Government of Canada ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, requiring governments at all levels to ensure that Canadian laws and practices safeguard the rights of children. A Question of Commitment: Children’s Rights in Canada is the first book to assess the extent to which Canada has fulfilled this commitment.
The editors, R. Brian Howe and Katherine Covell, contend that Canada has wavered in its commitment to the rights of children and is ambivalent in the political culture about the principle of children’s rights. A Question of Commitment expands the scope of the editors’ earlier book, The Challenge of Children’s Rights for Canada, by including the voices of specialists in particular fields of children’s rights and by incorporating recent developments.
R. Brian Howe is a professor of political science and Katherine Covell is a professor of psychology at Cape Breton University. They are co-directors of the university’s Children’s Rights Centre and the authors of numerous articles on children’s rights and human rights in Canada. Their books include The Challenge of Children’s Rights for Canada (WLUP, 2001) and Empowering Children: Children’s Rights Education as a Pathway to Citizenship (2005). Katherine Covell is the author of the UN report Violence against Children in North America (2005).
“This compilation is extremely well written, and covers many important areas in children’s rights. The information provided is detailed and delivered in a manner easy to comprehend. Obviously, this issue is close to the hearts of teh editors and contributors; their remarks were compelling and their evidence was strong. For a person who is not conversant in this area but wishes to improve their knowledge, A Question of Commitment: Children’s Rights in Canada will prove to be an excellent resource.”
— Catherine Cotter, University of Windsor Law Library, Canadian Law Library Review
“A Question of Commitment attempts to evaluate Canada’s progress via a series of essays in areas such as economics, social policy, education, health care, family and child care, child sex abuse prevention, and criminal justice. The breadth and depth of these essays is significant.”
— Joan Whitman Hoff, Lock Haven University of PA, American Review of Canadian Studies
“Each chapter provides not only an evaluation of Canada’s commitment but also an interpretation of how the standards articulated in the CRC [United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child] might be applied to particular areas of policy and practice.... It should be noted that the book contains a copy of the CRC, allowing for convenient consideration of the specific articles and wording referred to by chapter authors... [The book] demonstrates how rights-based policy and practice with children is complicated by issues of family privace, historical precedent, cultural differences, government organization, and economic conditions.”
— Megan Nordquest Schwallie, University of Chicago, Ethics and Social Welfare
“Each chapter is well written and integrated into the overall focus of the volume, with links to specific sections of the CRC [UN Convention on the Rights of the Child] and evaluations of governmental initiatives. The editors provide a strong introduction and conclusion, outlining the history and details of the CRC and concluding that Canada’s commitment to meeting its obligations has been wavering at best, in part due to a widespread lack of education about the CRC. This is a valuable source book on the current state of children’s rights in Canada.... Highly recommended. All levels/libraries.”
— R.C. Raby, Brock University, CHOICE
“A trenchant reminder of the need to ensure that all orders of government live up to their obligations for the provision of basic and essential social rights of citizenship.... All of the chapters are well written, adopt an advocacy standpoint, are based on extensive research set within a Canadian context, and provide a well-rounded bibliography.”
— Timothy Wild, Alberta College of Social Workers, Canadian Social Work/Travail social canadien