Federally, Bill C-78 passed second reading in Parliament in October and is currently under review by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. The bill proposes significant changes in the laws that affect children caught up in the separation and/or divorce of their parents and related family court processes. For the first time, federal legislation will make consideration of the views of the child mandatory, and encourage less adversarial processes.
The Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children (CCRC)’s submission recommends:
- Embed reference to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in the new law and base public and legal education on the best interests of the child on the Convention.
- Support for giving due weight to the views of children and supporting children with their own legal counsel as needed in family court proceedings.
- Requiring courts to prioritize protecting children from violence in family law.
- Strengthening enforcement of children’s right to receive child support payments.
First Call will echo CCRC’s recommendations to BC Members of Parliament and urge our coalition members to add their voices in support of recognizing child rights in this legislation.