‘It's extremely important because people need to know what is going on with children ...'
Courtney Fraser, a Child and Youth Care student at the Nova Scotia Community College, was helping to raise awareness of National Child Day Tuesday at the campus. Members of the class were holding signs and passing out ribbons to promote the day and its purpose of helping to protect children and their rights. Matthew Veno - Truro Daily News
TRURO - Nobody was working harder than Erica Nolan and four of her classmates Tuesday to raise awareness on National Child Day.
The 23-year-old Upper Stewiacke resident and her Child and Youth Care classmates were in the lobby of Truro's Nova Scotia Community College campus armed with signs and information and passing out ribbons to everyone who passed.
"I think there's a lot of work that needs to be done to make people more aware because a lot of people have no idea about the day," Nolan said. "We're doing our part here, but there's only so much you can do."
The day has been celebrated since 1993 after Canada adopted the United Nations Convention on the rights of the child on November, 20, 1989, ratifying it two years later.
The Convention outlines the responsibilities governments have to ensure a child's right to survival, healthy development, protection and participation in all matters affecting them. It has four main principles: non-discrimination, the best interests of the child, the right to life, survival and development, and respect for the views of children.
All United Nations countries are currently signed onto the Convention, with the exception of the United States and Somalia.
"It's extremely important because people need to know what is going on with children and what their rights are," Nolan said.
The class was also passing out cake in the upper level of Forrester Hall, where the winning posters of a provincial competition were also displayed on the walls. There were eight winners, one from each grade from Primary to Grade 7 as chosen Tuesday by the provincial Office of the Ombudsman. An overall winner will also be chosen to be used on the Ombudsman's Christmas card this season.
The number of entries more than doubled the participation of a provincial calendar contest two years ago.
"We were pretty excited," Ombudsman representative Kay Rogers-Lidstone said of the participation rate.
"You could tell from the posters there was definitely discussion about the theme and our theme was children helping children based on article 19 of the UN Convention," added Jeannie MacGregor, also a representative of the Office.
Both women agreed one of the biggest reasons the Ombudsman's Office held the contest was to help create awareness.
"They are our future and they are vulnerable," MacGregor said. "They are vulnerable citizens so it's our responsibility as a society to make sure their rights are respected."