October 22, 1998

The Permanent Mission of Canada to the Organization of American States (OAS) has organized an exhibition of drawings spotlighting human rights seen through the eyes of Canadian children. The art works, part of Canada Week at the OAS, will be on display until October 30.

The 50 drawings include the winners and runners-up of a contest sponsored by Canada’s National Arts Centre entitled Image You’re An Artist ... Human Rights Through the Eyes of Our Youth. Washington is the first stop of a two-year tour of the exhibition to children's museums and libraries in Central and South America and the Caribbean.

"These drawings represent the hope that our youth has for a world where all human rights are respected," said Peter M. Boehm, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the OAS in Washington, D.C. "The drawings represent children talking to children about the importance of human rights, and that every child has the right to food, shelter, education and fun.

"Canada has made the rights of children a priority for the hemispheric agenda," added Ambassador Boehm. "Since playing a leading role in negotiating the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Canada has passed legislation preventing the sexual exploitation of children and has actively supported international efforts to end child labor and the participation of children in armed conflict."

From the OAS, the exhibition will move to the Capital Children's Museum, where it will be on display until Dec. 6. It then travels to more than 18 countries in the Americas, including El Salvador, Venezuela, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Mexico, Guatemala, Barbados and Haiti.

On each stop of the tour, local children will be invited to draw their own pictures of what human rights means to them. These drawings will then become part of the tour throughout the region. The exhibition also will be accompanied by Rights from the Heart, a National Film Board collection of animated short films without words that introduce children to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The exhibition at the OAS is running concurrently with the 73rd Annual Meeting of the Directing Council of the Inter-American Children's Institute (IACI). The Uruguay based IACI, founded in 1927, is a specialized, technical agency of the OAS dedicated to promoting the study of problems regarding motherhood, childhood, adolescence and the family in the Americas, in addition to the adoption and promotion of measures conducive to the solution of such problems.

As part of Canada Week, the mission is sponsoring a performance by Barnacle, a dynamic Celtic rock band from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Barnacle will make its United States debut Thursday night at the OAS. On Friday, Oct. 23, the band will appear at Ireland’s Four Provinces Club in Washington, D.C.