Montreal

Northern youth protection under investigation

Quebec's human rights commission has launched an investigation into the child protection service in Nunavik, in Quebec's far north.

Quebec's human rights commission has launched an investigation into the child protection service in Nunavik, in Quebec's far north.

The commission says the number of complaints it receives about the agency has escalated in recent months.

"Recently we had a certain amount of complaints that implied also that some of the kids that were ordered to receive some services by the court did not receive them," says Robert Sylvestre from the Quebec Human Rights Commission.

Sylvestre says recent allegations claim the agency has not been enforcing laws designed to protect and educate children.

Youth protection workers are required to intervene if a child is being abused or is not going to school.

"When a child is taken into protection, the child and parents have rights," says Sylvestre. "The commission intervenes when there is a possibility that these rights have been violated."

This is the first time an investigation of this kind has occurred in the province's far north. Sylvestre says such inquiries are rare.

"I would say in the last few years, we made one or two inquiries, investigations, systemic investigations we call of that kind somewhere in the province," says Sylvestre.

Officials with Nunavik's child protection service could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Nunavik is part of Quebec's arctic region. Its inhabitants are mostly the Inuit, the Naskapi and the Cree.

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