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Vancouver Coastal

The Society for Children and Youth of BC is a unique provincial non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to improving the well-being of children and youth.

For over 35 years, the Society has focused on providing a strong voice representing children and youth and advocating for their well-being in British Columbia. Using the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) as a foundation, SCY has a track record of creating and delivering programs that have motivated change in legislation, policy, and practice in Canada.

Youth with disabilities are overrepresented among youth in conflict with the law, particularly youth with certain types of disabilities, some of which are ‘hidden’; including learning, mental health, and developmental disabilities.  Youth with disabilities are often marginalized and, as such, risk having their rights violated and their needs unmet. As a group, these youth are often overlooked by policies and programs, and the issues are relatively new to policy makers, justice personnel, educators and other service deliverers.

The initiative was designed to achieve the following:

  • Raise awareness of rights and needs of youth with disabilities in conflict with the law.

  • Encourage social supports that enhance prevention as well as intervention.

  • Support inclusion and accessibility of services and a better understanding of diversity, including cultural diversity.  

  • Encourage ongoing dialogue and efforts to build on good practices that meet the needs of youth with disabilities in conflict with the law, including opportunities present in the Youth Criminal Justice Act for restorative justice and extra judicial measures.

These goals are to be achieved through the following: 

  • Development and dissemination of a literature review and discussion paper on key issues.

  • Holding roundtables throughout the province involving youth, parents/caregivers, and youth justice personnel, and identify service gaps and recommendations.

  • Development of a resource to help address the needs of these youth.

These films were made in partnership with Reel Youth as part of a SCY's Youth Film making workshop, exploring rights awareness. It provided a forum for empowered young artists to share their stories, perspective, and voice.

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 Child rights in BC's regions