National Child Day is Monday, November 20, 2017

Our Kids Network joins national campaign focused on a child’s right to be safe

Every year, the United Nations promotes children’s rights and welfare by recognizing Universal Children’s Day on November 20th. Here in Halton, Our Kids Network and its partners use the occasion to encourage everyone to think about and discuss children’s rights in our community and around the world.

In 1993, the Canadian government proclaimed November 20th as National Child Day to commemorate the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child in 1959, and the UN adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989. It means that Canada is committed to ensuring young people are treated with respect, have a voice, are protected from harm, and have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

The Educational Partnership Foundation (TEPF), based in Alberta and the organization behind the website, identified “a child’s right to be safe” as the theme for 2017.

Elena DiBattista, director of Our Kids Network says everyone in the community has a role to play in protecting and nurturing “our kids.”

“Our Kids Network is based on the idea that no one person or organization can address all the needs of children and youth in the community. The same applies when we talk about children being safe, and feeling safe. Children are vulnerable and deserve everyone’s attention.”

DiBattista reminds us that safe environments, whether at home, at school, or in the neighbourhood, help children and youth develop self-confidence and strength.

“Children have the right to grow up free from violence and bullying,” she said. “They have the right to safe spaces, where they have positive relationships with people who respect and listen to them. This is how they build the assets they need to face whatever comes and develop to their full potential.”

One way Our Kids Network promotes safety for Halton’s young people is through iparent (, an online, searchable database of local programs and resources, designed to make it easy for families to find information about topics that help them provide the best care possible. Searching “safety” in the program listings or information hub brings up pages of options – everything from CPR training, to a video showing proper car seat installation, to a web link about internet safety for kids.

“There are plenty of resources in Halton to help parents and caregivers.” DiBattista said. “Even if you’re not a parent, you can nurture and support the children in your life by being approachable, a good listener, and advocating for their safety and wellbeing. Let’s all learn about children’s rights and recognize this important day.” 

Here are some statistics on the safety of children in Halton.

  • 29% of 12-year-olds have been seriously injured in the past 12 months. (OKN Data Portal, Halton Youth Survey 2009-2012)
  • 7.8% of 5-year-olds have been seriously injured in the past 12 months. (OKN Data Portal, Kindergarten Parent Survey 2003-2015)
  • 9% of 12-year-olds have been involved in some type of criminal activity. (OKN Data Portal, Halton Youth Survey 2009-2012)
  • 3% of 12-year-olds reporting at least one episode of heavy drinking in 2012. Down from 10% in 2006. (OKN Data Portal, Halton Youth Survey 2006-2012)
  • 28% of 12-year-olds have been bullied in the past 12 months. (OKN Data Portal, Halton Youth Survey 2006-2012)
  • 91% of 12-year-olds feel safe at school, at home and in their neighbourhood. (OKN Data Portal, Halton Youth Survey 2009-2012)

If you have concerns about a child call:


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Burlington Office 1445 Norjohn Court Burlington, ON L7L 0E6
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Toll Free: 866.607.KIDS (5437) Phone: 905.333.4441 Fax: 905.333.1844 TTY: 711 (TTY to Voice)
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