Your cart is empty.

A Question of Commitment

The Status of Children in Canada, second edition

Edited by Thomas Waldock
Foreword by Katherine Covell & R. Brian Howe
Subjects Social Science, Child Studies, Social Work, Law, Child Advocacy
Series Studies in Childhood and Family in Canada Hide Details
Paperback : 9781771124058, 378 pages, April 2020
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781771124065, 378 pages, April 2020
Ebook (PDF) : 9781771124072, 378 pages, April 2020
Ebook (PDF) : 9781554581009, 456 pages, June 2007

Table of contents

1. Introduction Children’s Rights: A Question of Status and Recognition / Thomas Waldock
Policy and Practice Areas
2. Do Canadian Education Practices Respect the Rights of the Child? / Katherine Covell
3. Parenting Education and Support: A Children’s Rights Perspective / R. Brian Howe
4. Promising Policies, Ambiguous Practices: An Exploration of the Status of Children in Canadian Health Care Settings / Cheryl van Daalen-Smith, Brenda LeFrançois, and Devon MacPherson-Mayor
5. Young People, Justice, and Children's Rights in Canada: Critical Reflections at the Edge of Abeyant Action / Shannon A. Moore
6. Child Welfare and the Status of Children Requiring Support and Care / Thomas Waldock
7. Assessing the Rights and Realities of War-affected Refugee Children in Canada / Myriam Denov and Maya Fennig
Children and the Law
8. The Supreme Court of Canada and the Convention / J.C. Blokhuis
9. More Than a Symbol: Canada’s Legal Justification of Corporal Punishment of Children / Joan Durrant
10. A Children’s Rights Perspective on “Wrongful Life” Disability Medical Negligence Cases / Sonja C. Grover
11. The Extraordinary Cases of J.J. and Makayla Sault / J.C. Blokhuis and Amy Smoke
Participation Rights, Status, and Recognition
12. Participation Rights of the Child: At the Crossroads of Citizenship / Jan Hancock
13. Canadian Child and Youth Advocates’ Roles in Supporting Children’s Rights / M. Theresa Hunter
14. Shaking the Movers: A Decade Later – Does Our Voice Stick? / Judy Finlay and Landon Pearson
15. Conclusion: A Children’s Rights Pathway to Status and Recognition / Thomas Waldock
Dr. Thomas Waldock, Nipissing University, North Bay, ON
Dr. Katherine Covell, Cape Breton University, Cape Breton, NS
Dr. R. Brian Howe, Cape Breton University, Cape Breton, NS
Dr. Cheryl Van Daalen-Smith, York University, Toronto, ON
Dr. Brenda LeFrancois, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. Johns, NL
Devon MacPherson-Mayor, York Univerity, Toronto, ON
Dr. Shannon Moore, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON
Dr. Myriam Denov, McGill University, Montreal, QC
Maya Fennig, McGill University, Montreal, QC
Dr. J.C. Blokhuis, Renison University College, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON
Dr. Joan Durrant, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB
Dr. Sonja Grover, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, ON
Amy Smoke, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON
Dr. Jan Hancock, Cape Breton University, Cape Breton, NS
Dr. M. Theresa Hunter, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC
Dr. Judy Finlay, Ryerson University, Toronto, ON
Landon Pearson, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON


With the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), commentators began to situate the evolution of the status of children within the context of the “property to persons” trajectory that other human rights stories had followed. In the first edition of A Question of Commitment, editors R. Brian Howe and Katherine Covell provided a template of analysis for understanding this evolution. They identified three overlapping stages of development as children transitioned from being regarded as objects to subjects in their own right: social laissez-faire, paternalistic protection, and children’s rights. In the social laissez-faire stage, children are regarded as objects, and largely as the property of parents. In the paternalistic protection stage, children are seen as vulnerable and in need of protection. The children’s rights stage lays emphasis on children as rights-bearers, as individuals in their own right with entitlements.
In this second edition, new essays assess the extent to which children’s rights have been incorporated into their respective areas of policy and law. The authors draw conclusions about what the situation reveals about the status of children in Canada. Overall, many challenges remain on the pathway to full recognition and citizenship.