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Public Statement: Supporting Gender Diverse Children and Youth

February 1, 2024

Yesterday, Premier Smith announced new policies affecting gender diverse young people and their families. We are gathering more information to understand the full impact of these changes on the children and youth we serve.

Our support for gender diverse young people remains unwavering. In 2017 we released Speaking Out, a special report on the challenges faced by 2SLGBTQ+ young people in the child intervention and youth justice systems. Sadly, many of the issues highlighted then persist today: these young people are particularly vulnerable, and are more likely to be unhoused, struggle with their mental health, and lack the supports they need. When young people are not accepted for who they are, it can lead to tragic outcomes.

Young people have the right to gender identity and gender expression, and these rights are protected under the Alberta Human Rights Act and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Children and youth need to feel safe in their homes, schools, and communities, without the fear of experiencing harm simply for being who they are. When children and youth feel secure, accepted, and loved, they are more likely to reach out to their parents and other significant adults in their lives for support and guidance.

It is crucial to remember that what is at stake in this conversation is the lives of vulnerable young people. We must centre their voices and ensure that we are prioritizing their safety and well-being in decisions that affect them. In doing so, we can help ensure their rights are upheld and their futures are bright.

Media Inquiries

Stephanie Shantz
Communications Manager

Date published: 01-Feb-2024 View All News