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Three policies to promote the dignity and rights of children

April 19, 2012

On April 19th 2012 I made a presentation called “Promoting the dignity and rights of children” to the Dignity for All campaign summit held in Ottawa Canada. The presentation offered three policy recommendations to the Federal government that if undertaken would improve the well-being of children and respect their rights as citizens.

My first recommendation is intended to make work pay:

Institute a Guaranteed Income for working poor families by significantly increasing the Working Income Tax Benefit and integrating the Employment Insurance earnings disregard with it.

in particular the EI earnings disregard should acknowledge the presence of children and allow considerably more of any earned income to be kept without penalty

My second recommendation is intended to reduce time stress:

Broaden the scope and nature of family/care-giving leave permitted under the Employment Insurance program by creating a “family leave”.

in particular expand the capacity of existing programs like maternity/parental to a “family” leave that can be taken at the discretion of the parents regardless of the age of their children

My third recommendation is intended to give children political voice:

Introduce electoral reforms allowing parents to exercise the vote of every child under their guardianship.

in particular, mothers—or if appropriate the custodial parent—should be given a proxy vote for each child as a way of increasing the incentive for families to vote and for politicians to reflect their concerns in the design of public policy

In the coming days I will post a more detailed explanation of this last proposal.

You can download a copy of my presentation—Promoting the dignity and rights of children—as a pdf.

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