MIRAMICHI (CNB) – Bernard Richard, ombudsman and child and youth advocate, delivered his third annual State of our Children and Youth address today at the James M. Hill Memorial High School in Miramichi.

At the same time, the Office of the Ombudsman and Child and Youth Advocate released an accompanying report, The Right to Identity, Culture and Language: A Child's Path to Development (A Statistical Background Report to the Child and Youth Advocate's 3rd Annual State of our Children and Youth Address).

The report provides insight into the well-being of the province's children and youth, particularly with regard to key indicators such as health, education and social conditions.

This year's edition is structured around some of the rights guaranteed under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, especially the right to be heard and the right to identity, culture and language.

The report pays particular attention to the well-being of First Nations children and youth who often face greater disadvantages than their peers.

"This year's report has been improved by the inclusion of data pertaining specifically to First Nations children and youth," said Richard. "While it is important to assess the overall condition of New Brunswick children, I believe it is imperative that we continuously monitor how First Nations children are faring due to the deep-seated issues affecting their communities: poverty; drug addictions; domestic violence; and the erosion of their cultures and languages."   

The address was attended by provincial stakeholders who work with children and youth as well as by students from James M. Hill Memorial High School, École Carrefour Beausoleil and Miramichi Valley High School, who also participated in various workshops prior to the address.

Richard’s remarks were carried live by way of the Internet to students at Dalhousie Regional High School, Cité des Jeunes A.-M.-Sormany, Tobique Valley High School, Bonar Law Memorial High School and North and South Esk Regional High School.

The report is available online.

LINKS:

●    Office of the Ombudsman: www.gnb.ca/ombudsman
●    Office of the Child and Youth Advocate