The rights of children and youth

In Québec, the rights of your children are protected under:

As parents, you are responsible for the protection of your child and for ensuring his or her wellbeing, security, education and development.


When parents do not act in the best interest of their children, the Youth Protection Act This link will redirect you to an external website in a new window. comes into play. According to this law, any situation that endangers or may endanger the security or development of any child or youth under age 18 must be reported to the Director of Youth Protection (DYP).


The responsability of professionals

Several professionals who work with children, such as childcare workers, teachers and health care workers, are legally obligated to file a report with the DYP when:

  • There is reason to believe that a child or youth is abandoned or neglected or victim of physical, psychological or sexual abuse
  • A child or youth does not attend school or is often absent without reason

The Director of Youth Protection’s role

The DYP receives the report and evaluates it. He or she may conclude that the security or development of the child is not endangered but that the parents and the child need help. In such a case, the DYP must inform the parents of the available resources in their community in order for them to obtain help.

If the security or development of a child is endangered, the DYP takes charge and determines the measures to be implemented to ensure his or her protection and to help the parents to correct the situation.

Examples of cases where a professional must file a report with the DYP

  • A teacher has reason to believe that a child is being abused physically or psychologically
  • A childcare worker in a daycare, early childhood centre or a day camp has reason to believe that a child is neglected either physically or health wise
  • A doctor or a health care worker has reason to believe that a child is sexually abused

When should you contact the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse?

The Commission promotes youth rights and also has an oversight role.

It can investigate when it has reason to believe that the rights of a child or a youth, who has been the subject of a report or has been taken in charge by the DYP, are not respected.

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