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Participation of children & youth

Children and youth play an important role in building an inclusive society based on respect, equality and full participation of all its members, regardless of ethnic and cultural background, language, religion, sex or other distinction. Through human rights education, Equitas engages children and youth to participate in community life.

At Equitas, we know that by exposing children and youth to human rights ideas they might not come across in regular textbooks or within their families, we help them become aware of their rights and empower them to stand-up and take leadership in promoting values of inclusion, non-discrimination and peaceful conflict resolution.

We have been developing innovative human rights education games and activities, tools and unique programs that increase awareness and encourage the participation of children and youth since 2004.


Through our work in Canada, we have:

  • reached more than 700,000 children and youth in 45 communities.
  • implemented programs in more than 550 summer camps, classrooms and after-school programs
  • used our unique approach in more than 170 schools and across 8 school boards.



There has been great interest in our Play it Fair! program for children aged 6-12. Developed in Montreal, Canada, Play it Fair! offers concrete opportunities for children to meaningfully participate and show leadership in promoting safe, inclusive, and equitable communities.

The program has been piloted with organizations in Haiti, in the Middle East and North Africa (Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Morocco), in Indonesia and in Sri Lanka to address ethnic, religious and class-based exclusion, discrimination and violence with over 10,500 children.

What they say


“Our theatre play presented important issues in a humorous way. The mothers who attended commended us on helping them become more aware of the negative consequences of early marriage on the health of their daughters.”
Maha, youth participant in Morocco (February 2016)

Winnipeg, Canada

“We are still showing the video and sharing it with the community. A lot of the time the youth in the video are recognized and are the go-to youth for others when they need help or resources [on mental health] … Our video was shown to our leaders and our Executive Director who then took it to show in Switzerland at a conference about violence against Aboriginal women.”
Coordinator of the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, Equitas partner working with Indigenous youth in Winnipeg, Canada (May 2016)

Learn more

Explore our work that focuses on children and youth participation in Canada, Senegal, Tanzania, Colombia, the Middle-East and North Africa and Sri Lanka.

Equitas – a leader in programs for children and youth

  • British Columbia Multicultural Award (2016) in recognition of our work building welcoming and inclusive communities in B.C. and across Canada.
  • Tri-Cities award (2015) for Play it Fair! B.C.
  • Equitas was awarded the Quebec Human Rights Commission Rights and Freedoms prize (2014) for its work with children and youth.
  • Trailblazer award (2014) from the Canadian Coalition for the Rights of the Child
  • Received Canadian Race Relations Foundation’s Award of Excellence (2012) for engaging youth in the fight against inequality, exclusion and racism through its Speaking Rights program in Montreal, Vancouver and Winnipeg.
  • Awarded the Prix de la citoyenneté Ann Greenup (2009) recognizing exceptional efforts in the struggle against racism in Québec
  • Awarded Honorable mention, Award of Excellence in Anti-Racism in Canada (2008) by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation
  • Recognized as a best practice in “A Compendium of Good Practice: Human Rights Education in the School Systems of Europe, Central Asia and North America” by the Council of Europe, OSCE ODIHR, UN OHCHR and UNESCO and the Good Ideas in Integration on the Cities in Migration website.

SUPPORT our human rights education efforts for children and youth participation in Canada and worldwide.

Give girls and boys like Pamithi and Shehaha in Sri Lanka the tools they need to approach a changing world with open minds.

Support our projects for children like Veronica, Jaden and their classmates in Canada to learn about human rights values like inclusion and respect for diversity, and become positive changemakers in their communities.

We can do it together. Donate now.

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