Recreation & Citizenship

Funded by the Laidlaw Foundation, the purpose of this project was to examine the relationship between recreation and citizenship, to make the case for recreation being a key factor in the development of personality and future citizenship. A number of key questions were addressed:

  1. Is there an evidence base for recreation contributing to the social development of the individual?
  2. Is there evidence that recreation contributes to the common good?
  3. Is citizenship a developmental outcome?
  4. Is recreation an integral part of education?

The above questions were addressed by a literature review focusing on recreation for youth and its relationship to citizenship making an attempt to be inclusive of research on recreation, sport, the arts, service, mental health and well-being, citizenship and spirituality. As well as, a "sociogram" will be developed in order to identify a list of experts in the field and review the research of these experts in consultation with them. In particular, the study focussed on identifying the "drivers" (i.e. what lines of research are seen as most promising, or are attracting the most interest), as well as specific research needed to move the policy agenda forward (including current gaps or new directions that research in this area is taking).

For more information, contact CICH at

UN Special Session on Children

The goal of the UN Special Session on Children (New York City - May 8-10, 2002) was to take stock of successes and failures since the World Summit on Children held in 1990, and for governments to negotiate new commitments in the form of the Outcome Document "A World Fit for Children".

This particular Special Session was touted as a landmark event in the history of United Nations General Assemblies. This was the first Special Session to be convened on the topic of children and youth. Furthermore, it was the first time that children and youth were given the opportunity to be active participants at a conference of this magnitude. CICH supported the attendance of two youth delegates, Krista Riley (Canada) and Gencer Oswaldo Ceron (Colombia).

The Special Session Outcome Document was a disappointment for many youth delegates and child rights advocates alike. In particular, it fails to spell out the rights of adolescents to sexual and reproductive health education, information and services, and does not emphasize the Convention on the Rights of the Child as a global tool for evaluating how a country treats its children. Despite its disappointment in the Outcome Document, CICH will continue to work to ensure that the health, well-being and rights of all children and youth are protected and promoted through national plans of action.

For more information on the UN Special Session on Children, please consult the UNICEF website at

Environmental Youth Health Audit

Funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Environmental Youth Health Audit is a collaborative effort of CICH and its partners Save the Children Canada and Pollution Probe. Youth in five communities in Ontario (Wikwemikong, West Scarborough, Walpole Island, Sudbury and Walkerton) have been asked to research and identify environmental priorities in their communities. The youth then built consensus, planned community-based action and are evaluating the outcomes. The goal of the project was to strengthen critical thinking and leadership skills, and to ensure that children and youth speak up about their own environmental concerns, which often differ from those of adults.

The youth-to-youth process involves six steps: identifying feelings, brainstorming, consensus building to determine a priority environmental issue, identifying and researching the chosen issue, and taking community action to raise awareness or develop a solution. The final step is to review and reflect on the learning, and to identify what parts of the program worked, as well as what should be done differently next time. Each community reported the outcomes in fall 2002.

For more information on the Environmental Youth Health Audit or the Youth-to-Youth process, contact CICH at

Rights of the Child in the Health Care System

In 1980, the Canadian Institute of Child Health (CICH) published the Rights of the Hospitalized Child (a poster). This document raised awareness of some issues facing children in the hospital setting. In 1989, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations. Canada signed and ratified the Convention. The Rights of the Child in the Health Care System pamphlet presents a revised set of children's rights in relation to the health care system and describes the relevant Article(s) from the UNCRC. The title of the document was changed to reflect recent changes in the health care delivery system. Instead of specifying "hospital", it now makes reference to the "health care system".

For more information or to obtain a copy of The Rights of the Child in the Health Care System pamphlet or poster , click here.

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