The Honourable Landon Pearson O.C. is a long-time advocate for the rights and well-being of children. From 1994 to 2005, Landon Pearson served in The Senate of Canada where she became known as the Children’s Senator as well as the Senator for Children. (Link to Parliament of Canada biography, including full details of political experience and selected publications). In May 1996, Senator Pearson was named Advisor on Children’s Rights to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. In 1998, she became the Personal Representative of the Prime Minister to the 2002 United Nations Special Session on Children. She then coordinated Canada’s response to the Special Session entitled A Canada Fit for Children (link to report in pdf format and on the publications website of the Government of Canada).As the wife of a Canadian diplomat, she brought up their five children in five countries and learned first-hand about the challenges confronting the world’s children. She also learned to listen to her own children.
Prior to her appointment to the Senate of Canada in 1994, she had extensive experience as a volunteer with a number of local, national and international organizations concerned with children. As Vice-Chairperson of the Canadian Commission for the International Year of the Child (1979), she edited the Commission’s report, For Canada’s Children: National Agenda for Action. From 1984 to 1990, she served as President and then Chair of the Canadian Council on Children and Youth. She was a founding member and Chair of the Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children from 1989 until she was summoned to the Senate.Upon her retirement from the Senate in 2005, Landon Pearson moved with all her documents and papers to Carleton University where she leads a Resource Centre for the Study of Childhood and Children’s Rights that has been established in her name. Curriculum vitae available here.
The Landon Pearson Resource Centre is devoted to promoting the rights of children and youth through disseminating knowledge about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, mentoring students, sponsoring youth participation in a variety of settings, organizing lectures and seminars and coordinating a growing network of child rights scholars across Canada. Landon Pearson’s accomplishments in the field of childhood and children’s rights are numerous and include the following:
- Landon Pearson has published a book about childhood in the former Soviet Union based on her years with her husband, Geoffrey, who was the Canadian Ambassador. The book is titled Children of Glasnost (1990)
- She co-authored a publication,Tibacimowin (memories of the near past) with Judy Finlay, PhD, containing interviews with First Nations Elders about their childhood and the responses of their grandchildren.
- In 2003, she published the book Letters from Moscow.
- She has authored articles on child-related issues and continues to write about and to lecture on children’s rights, especially the rights of children in difficult circumstances.
- She has received many awards, including the Canada Volunteer Award in 1990 and several honorary doctorates (most recently – June 2011 – from York University – watch video on YouTube).
- In 2005, she was one among 1000 women world wide nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work on behalf of children (link to Peace Women Across the Globe, the global network of the 1000 women nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005).
- In July 2008 Landon Pearson was appointed to the Order of Canada as an Officer for her work supporting the rights of children and youth throughout Canada.