Feeling safe in the community is essential for all children and youth. It allows them the freedom to walk or ride a bike in the neighbourhood, to enjoy local parks, playgrounds, and open space. When community security and policing are not meeting the needs of the community, streets, parks and public places are accessed and used in different ways. For example, children are driven places by their parents rather than walking or cycling, and parks become vacant spaces and are used less often by children, youth and families.
There are many local initiatives to increase community safety for children and youth. The police and local community policing play key roles in ensuring the safety of children and youth and their treatment and attitudes toward young people can make a positive contribution to community security.
COMMUNITY SECURITY & POLICING
RCMP officers in Squamish, BC. Photo by Cabbit/cc/flickr
UNCRC and Community Security & Policing
Article 19 is about protection from harm
Children and youth have the right to be protected from being hurt or badly treated.
Article 33 is about protection from illicit drugs
Children have the right to be protected from the use of narcotics and psychotropic substances and to prevent children in the illicit production and trafficking of such substances.
Article 34 is about protection from sexual exploitation and abuse
Children have the right to be protected from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.
Article 35 is about protection from being kidnapped
Children have the right to be safe from being kidnapped and to be safe from being sold or trafficked. Children should be taught to be aware of their surroundings and what to do when interacting with a stranger.
Article 40 is about the right to defend oneself
Children have the right to defend themselves if they are accused of breaking the law.
"Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes."
~ Mahatma Gandhi, Leader of the Indian Independence Movement