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January 21, 2013

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Dr. Katherine Covell launches Not Just Kidding lecture series

Dr. Katherine Covell, Executive Director of the Children’s Rights Centre at Cape Breton University, will visit the Mount on January 24 to speak about the current state of children’s rights in Canada. Dr. Covell’s presentation is the first in the Mount’s new interdisciplinary lecture series on childhood issues called “Not Just Kidding.”

“At the Mount, we want to encourage cross-campus conversations to deepen and enhance knowledge. Childhood is an area that is widely studied here from a variety of perspectives,” says Dr. Ardra Cole, Associate Vice-president (Academic and Research).

Children’s rights, according to Dr. Covell, were first articulated in the non-binding Declaration on the Rights of the Child in 1959. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) builds on the earlier document, she says, and has now been ratified by all but three states worldwide.

Despite this near consensus, however, many states have been slow to fulfill their obligations under the Convention.

“All parties to the Convention are obligated to implement the rights of the child progressively over time. Canada has been slow to do so,” says Dr. Covell. “There is little knowledge among politicians, policy-makers, or civil society that the Convention – or children’s rights – exist.”

Over the duration of the Not Just Kidding series, childhood issues will be discussed and explored from multiple perspectives. Featured presentations and conversations will be of interest to researchers, professionals, and community members engaged in work with and about children and childhood.

The interdisciplinary planning committee is excited to launch the new series.

“We’re really hoping, through the series, to create spaces for people to come together to think and learn about childhood in ways that might be new for them,” Cole says.

Dr. Covell’s presentation will take place at 7:00 p.m. on January 24 in the Rosaria Multipurpose Room. All members of the public are invited to attend.