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About Sickkids
About SickKids

November 20, 2014

SickKids celebrates children’s rights

A quarter of a century ago, the world made a promise to protect and uphold the fundamental rights of every child. On November 20, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

Staff, patients and families gathered to recognize the progress the UNCRC has made in promoting children’s rights, as well as celebrate how SickKids is supporting the rights, opinions and voices of children across the hospital and in the community. SickKids was happy to host Stephen Lewis, who gave an insightful keynote address on the impact of the UNCRC.

Lewis stated the Convention opened the door to the advancement of children’s rights and paved the way for initiatives such as the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. However, he highlighted there is still more to be done and through its continued efforts, SickKids is poised to lead the charge to improve the lives of children in Canada and around the world.

“If the hospital could continue to follow the debates… and send an opinion, you can’t imagine the impact you would have. SickKids is a hospital that is revered and celebrated absolutely everywhere one goes,” said Lewis.

Dr. Elizabeth “Lee” Ford-Jones, Infectious Disease Specialist and Social Paediatrics Researcher at SickKids, was honoured by the Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children with the Children’s Rights Champion Award. Ford-Jones was recognized for her life-long commitment to promoting the equity and opportunity for children and youth in Canada.

Dr. Lee Ford-Jones receiving her award
Cheryl Milne, Chair of the Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children, presenting Dr. Lee Ford-Jones the Children's Rights Champion Award.


“I am humbled to have received this award. Measures like the Convention have been influential in supporting children’s rights, but there are still challenges we need to overcome to ensure equal rights and opportunity for all children in Canada,” said Ford-Jones.

Staff and members of the Children’s Council also talked about the application of the UNCRC at SickKids and in the community. Staff emphasized how children are at the core of the delivery of care at SickKids and that the voice of the child is significant in clinical decision-making at the hospital.

“At SickKids, our responsibility is to empower children and families. We are coaches, guides and partners in helping children thrive, cope and have resilience in every part of their lives,” said Pam Hubley, Chief of Nursing.

The UNCRC has changed the way we view and treat children across the world. It is the most rapidly and widely ratified international human rights treaty in history and demonstrates a distinct commitment to advancing children’s rights – a commitment wholeheartedly supported by SickKids.

See the image gallery or watch the video below to learn what SickKids kids think of children's rights and why they are important.