A Canadian Press article yesterday noted that the United Nations committee on the rights of the child has spoken out about Canada’s treatment of children and youth in the justice system.
Canada’s new ‘tough on crime’ approach – encapsulated in Bill C-10, the Omnibus Crime Bill – makes it easier for children to be tried as adults. It also includes restrictions on conditional sentences and the additional mandatory minimum sentences, making it more likely that more children will spend more time in jail.
In March 2012, the CCPA-mb released a report entitled The Truth About Consequences, which outlined many of these issues. It also estimated the high cost of a punitive justice system, and suggested alternatives for how the $90 million that implementing Bill C-10 is expected to cost in Manitoba.
There are many voices in Canada calling for children’s rights to be protected. Now the international community is taking notice. Hopefully Canada will listen.