Wednesday, October 10, 2012

UN rights group says federal justice reforms ‘excessively punitive’ on youth

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.

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