CHILDREN'S CHARTER: New list of rights unveiled by Rachel's Kids

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Showing off some imagery from the Rachel's Kids Charter of Children's Rights are, in front from left, Maximilian Rose, 8, and Jenna MacDonald, 9. In back, from left, are Gillian Oxley-Harper and Rachel Navaneelan of Rachel's Kids.

CORNWALL, Ontario - A local children's advocacy group has unveiled a list of rights it says all young people should be afforded.

Rachel's Kids has unveiled a Children's Charter of Rights that city council is expected to ratify at an upcoming meeting.

The charter includes a series of rights Rachel's Kids officials say every child should enjoy, including the right to play, be safe, be heard and an education.

"There are larger municipalities in Ontario that have done this," said Gillian Oxley-Harper, a member of the Rachel's Kids board. "When you look at this community and the agencies who help children...we thought that children should have a list of rights."

City council will hear from Rachel's Kids representatives at its Sept. 8 meeting during a presentation.

Oxley-Harper said the ultimate goal is to have the charter ratified by council and displayed at city hall.

Rachel's Kids has reached out to local agencies like Big Brothers/Sisters and the Children's Aid Society, as well as area schools, to encourage young people to create illustrations that represent each of the rights on the charter.

Oxley-Harper said the illustrations are expected to be incorporated with the charter in its city hall display.

RACHEL'S KIDS CHARTER OF CHILDREN'S RIGHTS:

- The right to basic needs: Every child has the right to love and be loved, healthy food, clothes for all seasons, a safe home, clean air, water and earth.

- The right to be heard: Every child has the right to his/her emotions and to share these feelings respectfully. To be heard and to listen to others.

- The right to a nurturing home: Every child has the right to feel safe and loved in his/her home and to spend time with family and friends.

- The right to an education: Every child has a right to learning and training - to be the best that he or she can be.

- The right to justice and protection: Every child has the right to be safe and respected at all times and in all places, at home, school, on the internet and in public.

- The right to make friends: Every child has a right to love, peace, and happiness.

- The right to culture, faith and beliefs: Every child has the right to be treated equally. To learn and practice his/her faith and culture without fear.

- The right to peace: Every child has a right to love, peace and happiness.

- The right to be different: Every child has the right to be himself or herself and to treat others as he or she would like to be treated.

- The right to privacy: Every child has the right to privacy when thinking, changing clothes and learning.

- The right to play: Every child has the right to play, explore, express and dream.

The right to equal access: Every child has the right to access health care, public places and opportunities to a good life.

Geographic location: Ontario

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