Canada is Not the Best Place to Grow Up, But it Could Be.

We are stuck in the middle, says David Morley, CEO & President of UNICEF Canada.

And that is not where we should be or where we hope to stay.

Most Canadians believe Canada is among the top places in the world for children. We think we had it pretty good and that must be the same experience for children all across the country. How could it be otherwise?

However, the numbers tell a different story.

Morley, speaking at the 2018 Annual General Meeting of the Oakville Community Foundation, pulled out some incredibly sobering statistics.

One in five Canadian children lives in poverty. One in four is obese. One in seven is regularly bullied. We’re ranked 24th in food insecurity and 33rd in the rate of child homicide. Overall, Canada currently ranks 25th out of 41 rich nations in child and youth well-being.

What might be more troubling is that between 2013 and 2017, not much has changed. We’re not getting worse, but we are definitely not getting any better

But there is hope.

UNICEF Canada’s ‘One Youth’ initiative has set a singular audacious goal, to try and get us unstuck. Make Canada number one by 2030. Twelve years to move up 24 spaces.

And while they started by engaging a large group of celebrities to lead the charge, the hope is to have everyday Canadians sign up and get to work moving the needle. UNICEF Canada wants all of us to help spark conversations and get to work designing innovative solutions.

If you want to get involved, click here to learn more and commit to the One Youth challenge.

To read the UNICEF Canada, ‘Oh Canada! Our Kids Deserve Better’ report, click here.


YOUTH COMPANION TO UNICEF REPORT CARD 14 Oh Canada! Our kids deserve better Visit for UNICEF Report Card 14, Building our Future: Children and Sustainable Development Goals in Rich Countries, infographics and background papers. Data sources and full references are cited in the Report Card.