Landon Pearson – Canada

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

Landon Carter (Lucy) Pearson, OC BA, MEd, LLD, DU (born November 16, 1930) is a former Canadian senator and a children’s rights advocate. She was appointed to the Senate in 1994 by Jean Chrétien and sat with the Liberal caucus. She retired from the Senate on November 16, 2005 upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75 … // … In 1974 she cofounded Children Learning for Living, a prevention program in children’s mental health. It operated for 23 years through the Ottawa Board of Education until 1998. She was a school trustee in both Canada and India; and has been involved in community-based programs such as Mobile Creches for Working Mothers’ Children, a child care service for the children of nomadic construction workers in New Delhi and Bombay. In 1979, she was Vice-Chairperson of the Canadian Commission for the International Year of the Child and edited the Commission’s report, For Canada’s Children: National Agenda for Action … (full text).

She is named as Better World Heroe. Her Bio there.

Her website about her life and work.

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Landon Pearson – Canada

She works for the Canadian Council on Children and Youth, for the Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children, and for the Landon Pearson Resource Centre for the Study of Childhood and Children’s Rights LPRC (read: its official opening on on June 1 2006).

She says: “There can be no global security without respect for children. We have to be more than just observers of children’s suffering, we have to be partners with them in their struggles” … and: “We must pay attention to the millions of children of this generation who are caught up in armed conflicts. How can we protect them from the worst consequences of war? And when hostilities cease, how can we take the war out of them? By eliminating landmines, controlling the sale of small arms, raising the age of recruitment … are all essential measures. By reuniting children with their families and providing programs of physical and psychological rehabilitation” … and: “I’ve never ceased to be amazed at the survival skills of poor children. I’ve learned how much children can actually do for themselves if only we provide the necessary means. That part is up to us”. (Quotes on Better World Heroes).

… Now, at the start of a new century, Senator Landon Mackenzie Pearson sees a glimmer of hope-a dawning recognition that children too have human rights, including the right to be heard. Senator Pearson can trace the growth of this awareness in her own life. Born in Toronto in 1930, she grew up in a small Ontario town. There the sufferings of children registered in her awareness only in her grandmother’s exhortations to “remember the starving Armenians” when she wouldn’t finish her dinner … (full text).

She says also: … “I’ve never ceased to be amazed at the survival skills of poor children” … (full text).

… She has also made a substantial contribution to our understanding of child development through her writing, in particular her book, Children of Glasnost (1990), which gives an in-depth understanding of what it is like to grow up in the Soviet Union, and how that is changing as Russian society becomes more open. A second book, Letters from Moscow, was published in 2003 … (full text).

Find her and her publications; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search … and her bio on Foreign Affairs.

… although it is not the University’s mandate to develop social policy, it is the organization’s role to learn what is needed to inform policy.
The Landon Pearson Resource Centre will provide just this opportunity.Located in A735 Loeb, the resource centre will make Pearson’s documents available to students and faculty, and will promote and host activities that address issues relating to children, childhood and communities.  As Carleton’s newest adjunct professor, Pearson will also be available to meet with students and share her knowledge with members of the University community. She said the centre would provide an opportunity to engage the whole community and create the synergy needed to bring respect for children … (full text).
And: Campus news, Online exclusive: Senator Landon Pearson leaves legacy at Carleton, Creates resource centre for the study of children’s rights, Dec. 05, 2005. (full text).

The Google download-book: The Impact of the United Nations Human Rights Treaties on the Domestic Level, By Christof H. Heyns, Frans Viljoen, 2002, 648 pages.

(1000peacewomen): Landon Pearson (born 1930) has been actively involved with children and issues associated with young people for more than 40 years. A Canadian parliamentarian, Landon works for the protection and promotion of children’s rights, primarily in national and international contexts. She was instrumental in driving Canada’s foreign policy on child labor, war-affected children, and the commercial sexual exploitation of children. In addition to numerous articles on child development and policy questions, she wrote “Children of Glasnost: Growing up Soviet”.

The Honorable Landon Pearson has lived by her conviction that investing in the care and education of children is an investment in our collective well-being, an investment in our future. In her private life, as the wife and partner of a former Canadian diplomat, she met the challenge of raising their five children in five very different countries: Canada, France, Mexico, India and the Soviet Union.

Her public life – entirely in a volunteer capacity until her recent appointment to the Senate – brims with activities that show her commitment to improving the well-being of children. Her roles in these activities are many: parliamentarian, legislator, advisor, advocate, agitator and international persona. She has also previously worked for children as a researcher, writer, mother, and grandmother and from positions with non-governmental organizations and boards of directors.

In 1974, Landon co-founded a prevention program in children’s mental health, Children Learning for Living, which operated for 23 years through the Ottawa Board of Education. She was a school trustee in both Canada and India, and has been involved in community-based programs such as Mobile Crèches for Working Mothers’ Children, a child care service for the children of nomadic construction workers in New Delhi and Bombay.

She has also made a substantial contribution to our understanding of child development through her writing, in particular her book, Children of Glasnost (1990), which gives an in-depth understanding of what it is like to grow up in the Soviet Union, and how that is changing as Russian society becomes more open. A second book, Letters from Moscow, was published in 2003.

Perhaps most noteworthy amongst her accomplishments is her work in 1979 as editor of the Commission’s report, For Canada’s Children: National Agenda for Action and as Vice-Chairperson of the Canadian Commission for the International Year of the Child. In the latter capacity, she persuaded the Commission of the importance of consulting the opinions of children and young people as well, long before children’s right to participate was entrenched in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Since then, many of the report’s recommendations have been accomplished, such as: increased financial support for shelters for battered women and their children; programs that allow unmarried mothers to continue their education; legislation to return Indian rights to Native women who married non-Indian men; amendments to the Income Tax act to allow parents to deduct a greater part of their child care costs; and legislation requiring infant car seat restraints.

From 1984 to 1990, she was President, then Chairperson, of the Canadian Council on Children and Youth. She was a founding member and Chairperson of the Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children from 1989 until she was appointed to the Senate in September 1994. She was a director of the Centre for the Study of Children at Risk at McMaster University; a delegate to the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, September 1995; a delegate to the First World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Stockholm, August 1996; the alternate head of the Canadian delegation to the International Child Labour Conference in Oslo, October 1997; the co-chair of Out From the Shadows: International Summit of Sexually Exploited Youth in Victoria, British Columbia, March 1998; and the co-chair of the Special Joint Committee on Child Custody and Access that drafted the report entitled For the Sake of the Children, 1998.

In May 1996, Landon was named Advisor on Children’s Rights to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. She provides advice to the Minister, on a regular basis, concerning children’s issues in the foreign policy context and on the impact of domestic policies for children on our international commitments, notably the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In June 1999, she was named Personal Representative of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien to the 2002 Special Session on Children of the United Nations General Assembly.

She is passionate about alleviating deteriorating conditions for children in third-world countries, especially those plagued by war. “We must pay attention to the millions of children of this generation who are caught up in armed conflicts. How can we protect them from the worst consequences of war? And when hostilities cease, how can we take the war out of them?” she asks.

“By eliminating landmines, controlling the sale of small arms, raising the age of recruitment … are all essential measures. By reuniting children with their families and providing programs of physical and psychological rehabilitation.” These measures, she insists, will help prevent future outbreaks of violence.

To anyone tempted to despair at the scale of the atrocities against children and the extent of their vulnerability, Landon counsels resolve and hope. “I’ve never ceased to be amazed at the survival skills of poor children,” she says. “I’ve learned how much children can actually do for themselves if only we provide the necessary means. That part is up to us.”

Landon is the Chair of several tri-partite committees that deal with children’s issues – Committee on War-Affected Children, Committee Against the Sexual Exploitation of Children, Committee on the National Plan of Action for Children – that bring together federal officials, provincial officials, non-governmental organizations, and public sector officials dealing directly with children. Several of the committees even have young people themselves – sometimes as representatives, sometimes as presenters and participants, sometimes even as co-chairs. Landon is careful to make the committees accessible to young people and will take the time to meet with young people on their own terms, even on weekends, evenings and in unusual settings.

She has earned the respect of everyone who meets her, from working children in Latin America, to the executive directors of international organizations and UN agencies. Children who meet her often comment on her openness and understanding and appreciate the opportunity for genuine dialogue with a parliamentarian.

With the help of child-friendly civil servants at the lower ranks of the federal government, and the Ministers that sit in Cabinet, Landon drives the development of public policy on children with an earnestness, conviction, and strategic focus that belie her gentle nature. The bureaucracy that sits in the middle of the these two sets of Pearson allies rarely understand what has happened, only that Landon has once again managed to drive an issue forward (she is the Canadian government’s best kept secret). She persuades, cajoles, embarrasses, appeals and drives everyone to take the issues that affect children seriously.

Despite her pivotal and critical role on children’s rights in Canada and internationally, Landon has had a very limited public profile outside of the circle of people working on children’s issues. Unlike most politicians, she does not seek the limelight, nor trumpet her achievements. While this permits her to maneuver with some flexibility, it also means that the overall impact of her work is often under-appreciated.

She has been honored for her work on behalf of children from the United Way of Ottawa-Carleton, and through receipt of the Canadian Volunteer Award and the Norma V. Bowen Humanitarian Award of the Ontario Psychological Foundation.

Landon graduated from the University of Toronto in 1951 with a B.A. in Philosophy and English and from the University of Ottawa in 1978 with a M.Ed. in Psycho-pedagogy. She received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Wilfrid Laurier University in May 1995, an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Victoria in November 2001, a Doctor of University (D.U.) from the University of Ottawa in June 2002, and an honorary Doctors of Law from Carleton University in June 2003, all for her work on children’s rights. (on 1000peacewomen).

links:

Lifeskills – Learning for Living;

Google Book-results for Children Learning for Living;

Canadian Children’s Rights Council – Conseil canadien des droits des enfants;

Canadian Council on Children & Youth, Connexions Associations Directory: Homepage, Children, Youth;

The Childrens Rights Information Network CRIN.

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