Campaigns and Issues

Childhood and Children’s Rights in Federal Minister Mandate Letters


Last week, the Prime Minister of Canada released ministerial mandate letters to guide the work of federal cabinet ministers. UNICEF Canada analyzed the ministerial mandate letters and outlined key policy priorities that will improve child and youth well-being in Canada and around the world.

To mark the start of a new parliament, a new year and a new decade, UNICEF Canada offers recommendations for improving childhood in Canada and around the world:

  1. Reduce child poverty and income inequality

  2. Improve parental leave and child care

  3. Ensure fairness for Indigenous children

  4. Put children first in decision-making

  5. Be a leader for children internationally

In their most recent newsletter, Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children (CCRC) also released their analysis of the mandate letters. They found that while children’s policy received less attention than in the 2015 mandate letters, children will be impacted by proposed initiatives in many departments.

The CCRC recommends a few areas to watch, including: resolving the long-standing First Nations child welfare claims and implementation of the new framework for indigenous child welfare, improving parental leave policies and income support, and a number of specific initiatives, including regulating junk-food advertising to children, addressing violence against women and girls, and addressing climate change.