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The situation remains critical for children in Nunavik according to the Commission des droits

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by ahnationtalk on May 17, 202424 Views


Montréal, May 17, 2024 – Inuit children and families are still not receiving the social and youth protection services to which they are entitled, according to a report published today by the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse. Although programs and initiatives have been established in recent years, child protection is still not fully guaranteed. An immediate and concerted action by the government in collaboration with the Inuit authorities, respecting right to self-determination of the Inuit is required.

The Commission’s report reviews the recommendations made in its systemic investigation over 15 years ago. It identifies persistent and worsening issues and their devastating effects on children. It in particular highlights the urgent need to rethink services based on the needs of Inuit children and their families, to meet labour needs by eliminating current barriers to recruitment and retention of both Inuit and non-Inuit employees., and to increase the pace of residential construction by maximizing collaborative design approaches.

“Nearly one in five children is under the care of youth protection services in Nunavik. This is unacceptable. We note that several issues identified in the 2007 investigation persist. The effectiveness of the measures implemented is greatly impeded by numerous unresolved issues, including the adverse living conditions of children and families, and the chronic staff shortage in social services.” said Philippe-André Tessier, President of the Commission. “Everything must be done to prevent children from falling under the responsibility of the youth protection system, and when they do, children and families must have full access to the services to which they are entitled,” he added.

The Report seeks to highlight what has been done in response to its 2007 recommendations. It also aims to identify remaining barriers to implementing these recommendations and issues requiring coordinated efforts from the relevant authorities and organizations are a priority.

The Commission not only makes recommendations in its report, but it also sets out the commitments that it pledges to better contribute to protection of the rights of Nunavik’s children. These commitments include working more closely with Inuit authorities and organizations.

In addition, the Commission plans to seek authorization to intervene in the class action brought by two Inuit women, authorized by the Superior Court on April 30, 2024, concerning the chronic underfunding of childcare services for Indigenous youth, allegedly as a result of systemic discrimination.

The Commission’s mandate is to ensure that children’s rights are respected and that the interests of all Québec children, including Inuit children, are protected. It has played this role for several decades, and since 2010 has conducted more than 100 youth protection investigations in Nunavik. The Commission offers its collaboration to all organizations working to promote and protect the rights of children in Nunavik.

The Report on the Implementation of the Recommendations of the Report on Youth Protection Services in Nunavik is available online at : www.cdpdj.qc.ca/en/publications/report-nunavik-2024

The Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse promotes and upholds the principles of the Québec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. It also ensures that the interests of children are protected and that their rights under the Youth Protection Act are promoted and upheld. The Commission is also responsible for administration of the Act respecting equal access to employment in public bodies.

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Contact:
Halimatou Bah
438 867-4074
medias@cdpdj.qc.ca

NT6

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