Section 17 provides for protection of families and children.

  • In international human rights law, ‘family’ is given a broad interpretation and includes a range of types of family.
  • The scope of what is meant by ‘protection’ is unclear. It will require any removal of a child from a family unit to be carried out only where it is lawful and where it is not arbitrary. You will need to carefully consider ss. 7 and 13 in addition to s. 17 if you are reviewing legislation, a policy or a program that may provide for removal.
  • The Charter recognises that children are entitled to special protection because of their vulnerability as minors. As human beings, they are also entitled to the enjoyment of all of the other human rights in the Charter unless they
    do not meet an eligibility criterion.
  • Under s. 17(2), public authorities should seek to ensure that all of the human rights in the Charter are protected for children. This should be done without discrimination.
  • Section 17 is subject to general limitations imposed under s. 7.