The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize that:
1. The widest possible protection and assistance should be accorded to the family, which is the natural and fundamental group unit of society, particularly for its establishment and while it is responsible for the care and education of dependent children
. From Article 10, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

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Social policy that protects of the right of women to enter freely into marriage, freedom of choice in establishing a family, and legislation to protect children from exploitation is reinforced by strong public consensus in Canada. Many of the measures employed to maintain and strengthen families are discussed under Articles in the the Covenant (CESCR) that pertain to Social Security, Standard of Living, Physical and Mental Health, and Education. However, many progressive social policy analysts believe that more needs to be done to support parents and children, so that all families may enjoy equal access to a high quality of life. Family violence, poverty, and child care are particular issues of concern to many Canadians.

A general overview of the legislation and social policy pertaining to child development and protection in Canada, at both the federal and provincial levels, is provided in Canada's Second Report on the International Convention on the Rights of the Child.

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