Facebook Pixel Code
About Sickkids
About SickKids

November 19, 2009

Premier’s Early Learning Advisor, Dr. Charles Pascal, addresses SickKids

TORONTO –The right to health care (Article 24). The right to be protected from harm (Article 3). The right to freedom from discrimination (Article 2). The right to be heard (Article 12). The right to an education (Article 28).

Twenty years ago, the United Nations (UN) adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which includes 54 articles outlining basic human rights and those that protect children from harm. These are some of the basic rights that many of us take for granted; however, there are children all over the world who don’t have these privileges.

Friday, November 20 is National Child Day in Canada and represents the 20th anniversary of Canada signing the Convention. To highlight the occasion, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) will hold a panel discussion entitled Health Equity from the Start.

Dr. Charles Pascal, Executive Director of the Atkinson Charitable Foundation, will be one of the featured speakers. Pascal is widely recognized for his contributions to the advancement of early childhood education and care in Ontario as the Premier’s Early Learning Advisor. Pascal’s recent report, With Our Best Future in Mind, emphasizes the importance of early learning as a key factor in child development. He will discuss Ontario’s new Early Years Strategy.

Dr. Robin Williams, Medical Officer of Health for Niagara Region Public Health and a longtime advocate for early childhood development, will speak about how her community has successfully enhanced health by using an approach based on children’s rights.

The third member of the panel will be Dr. Denis Daneman, Paediatrician-in-Chief at SickKids. 

"National Child Day is an opportunity for SickKids to celebrate the progress that is being made towards the achievement of health equity,” he says. “Scientific evidence shows us that the early years of life, when experiences are literally shaping the child’s brain, are an important time to improve children’s opportunities and achieve health equity. Confronting the source of disparity in early physical and mental health may produce greater effect than attempting to modify behaviour or improving health care later in life.”

The event is a joint initiative of the SickKids departments of Paediatrics, Social Work and Child Life and is open to the SickKids community. The panel discussion takes place at noon in the Garden Terrace.

The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), affiliated with the University of Toronto, is one of Canada’s most research-intensive hospitals and one of the world’s leading centres dedicated to improving children’s health. As innovators in child health, SickKids improves the health of children by integrating care, research and teaching. Our mission is to provide the best in complex and specialized care by creating scientific and clinical advancements, sharing our knowledge and expertise and championing the development of an accessible, comprehensive and sustainable child health system. For more information, please visit www.sickkids.ca. SickKids is committed to healthier children for a better world.

For more information, please contact:

Matet Nebres
The Hospital for Sick Children
Phone: 416-813-6380
email: matet.nebres@sickkids.ca

Suzanne Gold
The Hospital for Sick Children
Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 2059
email: suzanne.gold@sickkids.ca