If in Doubt, Let Them Out - A Child's Right to Play

Posted On Wednesday November 20, 2019

A statement from Outdoor Play Canada

November 20th marks the 30th anniversary of The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This document enshrines a child’s right to play - Article 31(1) states that “States Parties recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child… 31(2) … and shall encourage the provision of appropriate and equal opportunities for cultural, artistic, recreational and leisure activity.” Article 24(2f) also commits states to “To develop preventive health care, guidance for parents…” which can include the health benefits of active play.

Canada is failing to honour these commitments. The 2018 ParticipACTION Report Card on the Physical Activity of Children and Youth gives Canada a “D” grade for “Active Play and Leisure Activities”, while the 2019 UNICEF Canada Baseline Report for the Canadian Index of Child and Youth Well-being shows that only 21% of children ages 5 to 11 engage in at least 1.5 hours a day of active play and unstructured activities. The recent Statistics Canada research reaffirms these findings.

Read the full statement as written by the Outdoor Play Canada.