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Child and Youth Advocate Office Host 4th Annual Child Rights Impact Assessment Training

FOR RELEASE – September 20, 2023


This year over 25 participants from various levels of government and youth organizations joined youth from the Porter Creek Secondary School Rainbow Room in Child Rights Impact Assessment (CRIA) training.

“CRIA is a tool to assess the impacts of policy decisions on children and youth. It’s a process for verifying that governments are meeting their obligations to uphold children’s rights” said Yukon Child and Youth Advocate, Annette King. “We are happy to see diverse representation from across government. If we focus on proactively applying a child rights lens to the policy behind government services and programs, there would be less of a need to advocate for children’s rights and views to be upheld after the fact.”

“We are talking about our future. We are talking about leaving something for our children. [Government] needs to keep the next generation in mind when they do policy,” said Elder Margaret MacKay. “We are putting our trust in our government to protect [our children] and their well-being.”

The CRIA training takes a hands-on approach to learning. Participants worked through scenarios relevant to the Yukon, using a CRIA tool developed by the Yukon CRIA working group – a group chaired by the Child and Youth Advocate Office (YCAO) with support from UNICEF, and comprised of representatives from Yukon government and First Nation governments. The scenarios focussed on issues including homelessness, mental health, community safety and access to education. “I hadn’t really thought about it that way before, but there really are no child neutral policies. Everyone thinks of the big Departments like Education or Children and Family Services [Health and Social Services], but child rights can be impacted by decisions made across government – even at Departments like Energy, Mines and Resources” said one of the participants. The policymakers had the opportunity to engage with youth throughout the training and get their perspectives: “Everyone talked to me like I was an adult. It made me feel like what I said mattered” said one of the youth participants. “Really, anything is possible if you are willing to put the time and work in,” said another.

“This year we are really trying to promote article 42 – everyone must know children’s rights,” said King.

In March 2022, YCAO completed the first formal CRIA on a legislative process for Bill No.11, Act to Amend the Child and Family Services Act (2022). YCAO is recommending CRIA be implemented as a standard in the Yukon government policy process so that youth participation is prioritized, and children’s rights are paramount in decision-making.

You can learn more about Child Rights Impact Assessments at

The Child & Youth Advocate Office is an independent office of the Legislative Assembly. The operations of the office are guided by the Child and Youth Advocate Act. Children, youth or others concerned about a child or youth receiving services within Yukon Government can contact the Child and Youth Advocate Office at (867) 456-5575.


Rachel Veinott-McKeough

Systemic Analyst

Yukon Child and Youth Advocate Office

(867) 456-5575


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