The federal government’s tough-on-crime agenda is “excessively punitive” for youth and is a step backwards for Canada’s child rights record, says a United Nations group.
The UN committee on the
rights of the child has finished a 10-year review of how Canada treats
its children and how well governments are implementing the Convention on
the Rights of the Child.
In particular, the committee says Canada’s Youth Criminal Justice Act
complied with international standards until changes were introduced
earlier this year.
The Harper government’s Bill C-10
– an omnibus crime bill that includes stiffer penalties for youth and
makes it easier to try them as adults – no longer conforms to the child
rights convention or other international standards.
Bill C-10 “is
excessively punitive for children and not sufficiently restorative in
nature,” the committee wrote in a report published over the weekend.