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U of T law students work with World Vision on children's rights

November 23, 2006

Source: University of Toronto

A team of seven students from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law have joined forces with World Vision to assist the international children’s organization with legal research on the implementation of a "children’s ombudsperson" in Canada.

A children’s ombudsman is an independent body that advances children’s rights and will step in where the rights of a child have been violated. The students’ research included examination of various international jurisdictions (including Norway, Sweden and New Zealand) where a children’s ombudsperson currently exists. Their findings were incorporated into World Vision’s second set of submissions to the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights and will be presented on Nov. 27 in Ottawa.

The World Vision submissions will highlight important omissions in the Senate Standing Committee’s interim report Who’s in Charge Here? Effective Implementation of Canada’s International Obligations with Respect to the Rights of Children. The final report is scheduled for release in Spring 2007.

U of T law students regularly contribute legal research and writing on a volunteer basis to non governmental organizations as part of their academic experience while at law school. The seven students who took part in the World Vision submissions are part of the faculty’s International Human Rights Program (IHRP) working group on children’s rights, which is one of nearly a dozen student work groups in the IHRP that engage students in critical international legal issues.

"Canada is seen throughout the world as a global leader in the realization of human rights," says Sarah Perkins, acting director of the International Human Rights Program at the Faculty of Law. "We are extremely proud that U of T law students are working hard to ensure that Canada continues to lead by example by taking concrete steps towards fulfilling its obligations to respect and protect the rights of children."



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