Government of Canada

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

www.international.gc.ca

Harper Government partners with Ryerson University to help protect children and youth in the Dominican Republic

March 12, 2013

Toronto, Ontario—Vulnerable children and youth in the Dominican Republic will see the safety and quality of their lives improved thanks to a partnership between the Harper Government and Ryerson University. Today, Member of Parliament Lois Brown, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation, the Honourable Julian Fantino, announced Canada's support for an initiative that will empower and support the human rights of children and youth in the Dominican Republic.

"The Harper Government is committed to increasing the quality of life of children and youth in vulnerable communities as an international assistance priority," said MP Brown. "Through this partnership with Ryerson University, Canada will help ensure that vulnerable children and youth have a safe environment to grow up to become healthy and productive members of society."

This investment will help Ryerson University, in line with the intentions of the Government of the Dominican Republic, to improve the skills of government agencies and civil society organizations responsible for protecting these vulnerable groups from abuse and sexual or labour exploitation. Working together, they will build a robust child protection system that will include youth in the design and implementation of child protection programs.

"Ryerson University is committed to effecting evidence-based social change through its research activities," said Wendy Cukier, Vice-President Research and Innovation, Ryerson University. "Ryerson is grateful for the support of the Government of Canada for this innovative project which will contribute to improving the safety and quality of life for the most vulnerable children and youth in the Dominican Republic."

The Dominican Republic benefits from various programs supported by the Harper Government, including the Inter-American Regional Program, International Humanitarian Assistance Program and La Francophonie program. Canada also supports programs such as the Pan American Health Organization's Improved Health and Increased Protection from Communicable Diseases program, of which the Dominican Republic is a beneficiary.

The Ryerson University project will be funded through CIDA's Partners for Development Program for $1.5 million.

For more information, please visit CIDA's University Partners page.

— 30 —

For more information, media should contact:

Daniel Bezalel Richardsen
Press Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation
Telephone: 819-953-6238
Email: danielbezalel.richardsen@acdi-cida.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Telephone: 819-953-6534
Email: media@acdi-cida.gc.ca
Follow us on Twitter: @CIDA_CA


Backgrounder

CIDA's Partners for Development Program aims to leverage the development expertise and initiative of Canadians by funding the most meritorious proposals put forward by Canadian organizations to deliver development results on the ground. Following a 2011 call for proposals, CIDA is partnering with Canadian universities to implement targeted development projects around the world for up to five years.

These selected Canadian universities will work with institutions and organizations in developing countries to ensure that the results will directly benefit people in need. Their projects will stimulate sustainable economic growth, secure the future of children and youth, increase food security, and improve the health of mothers, newborns and children.

Below are the successful projects that have been announced as a result of this call for proposals.

Ryerson University

Empowering and supporting the human rights of children and youth in the Dominican Republic

Local Partners: Pontifical Catholic University Mother and Teacher, Dominican Republic Federation of Municipalities, Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, and the National Council for Children and Adolescents

This project will improve the safety and quality of life for 10,000 boys and girls, often of Haitian origin, in the poorest and most vulnerable communities of the Dominican Republic. It will:

  • Improve the skills of government agencies and civil society organizations responsible for protecting these boys and girls from abuse and sexual or labour exploitation;
  • Enhance the ability of these agencies and organizations to include youth in the design and implementation of child protection programs;
  • Support the implementation of Dominican child protection laws; and
  • Help create a robust child protection system