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Children's issues: Kids entitled to same human rights as adults

Adults aren't the only ones with rights. When Alberta residents are dealing with children's issues, they should keep in mind that children also have rights -- human rights as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Children have the right to be protected from abuse, discrimination and other things that could put them in vulnerable positions. Canada acknowledges the value of human rights for children and in 1991 ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The convention assures children have individual identities and as such are guaranteed human rights. They have the right to be seen and heard when it comes to decisions that impact their lives. The Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act also exists in Canada which outlines procedures when children's rights are infringed upon. Kids have the option of speaking to an advocate on their behalf is the need should arise.

When kids are in government care, they have a unique set of rights ensuring the guardians are acting in their best interests. Youth who come into contact with the authorities or the justice system also have rights under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. As well, Indigenous youth have the right to keep their cultural practices even if they don't live with parents or family members or are in custody.

A lawyer who has experience with children's issues in Alberta may be able to advocate for children and their rights. A child also has the right to legal counsel and can speak with a lawyer when appropriate. A lawyer will always act in what he or she believes to be in the best interest of a child. 

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