What about the Children of Greater Montréal? Response to Unicef’s Disturbing Report
This past June 15th, Unicef’s Report Card 14 revealed the disturbing reality that Canada ranks in the bottom half of industrial nations with respect to child well-being. More specifically, Canada is presently 25th among the world’s 41 wealthy countries, as compared to holding 7th place in 2007. Of course, this report comes as quite a surprise to many, particularly the findings that Canada is in 33rd place in terms of child homicide, 31st for rate of suicide, and it also suffers from a high rate of child intimidation. What is worse: our country ranks 37th in the fight to eliminate hunger and to improve the well-being of children.
“The publication of these results confirmed the observations, which several citizen and organizations of the Greater Montréal have already expressed, in regard to the state of children, ” says Yvan Gauhtier, President and CEO of the Foundation of Greater Montréal. In 2016, the Foundation of Greater Montréal (FGM) decided to make child well-being the major issue of focus in the upcoming Greater Montréal’s Vital Signs report to be released this coming October 3.
The FGM has assembled some 30 organizations, institutions and experts all of whom are concerned with children up to the age of 17 so as to establish a statistical portrait on the state of children. As part of the several meetings, these professionals and interveners in the area of childhood have exchanged studies and inquiries, and they have actively engaged in discussions about a host of issues related to such subjects as mental health, academic success, the environment, culture, social inequality and inclusion.
Aside from the updated data by the strategic committee, the initiative has included children in the process of the Vital Signs project. In partnership with The University of Montréal and Concordia University, seven groups of young people originally from different districts and realities (Syrian refugee families, handicapped, etc.) were assembled to express themselves on issues, values, contraints and their dreams related to Montréal city.
The question of the children: a major stake for all Canada and for the FGM.