The United Nations has censured the Canadian government for its gross violations of the rights of children and has accused the country of "serious and widespread discrimination” against First Nations children.
On Monday, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) issued its formal report on Canada’s treatment of children and the country’s commitment to the world body’s Convention on the Rights of the Child, Canada's CTV News reported on Tuesday.
The CRC accused Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government of violating the convention by introducing Bill C-10 to the country’s Youth Criminal Justice Act earlier this year.
Bill C-10, which the CRC says does not comply with international standards, allows for harsher penalties for youth offenders and makes it easier for courts to judge them as adults.
The bill "is excessively punitive for children and not sufficiently restorative in nature," said the CRC.
"There is simply no excuse for a government to discriminate against children," the CRC noted.
The report also expressed concern over the Canadian government’s discrimination against its indigenous and black children, who are more likely to be incarcerated than other children.
Many political analysts say that under Stephen Harper’s government, human rights abuses in Canada have increased dramatically.