All children and youth have the right to be free from discrimination because of sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. This right is founded in Article 2 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, and provincial and territorial human rights legislation. Legislative protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation has been in place for some time. As of 2017, gender identity or gender expression has been explicitly codified in all human rights legislation at the provincial, territorial, and federal level.
The rights of children and youth with respect to sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression (SOGIE) apply to Canadian children and youth in a wide range of areas including (but not limited to) privacy, health care, sexual health education, identification documents, use of facilities, access to services, education (including gay-straight alliances, choice of companions at school events, and SOGIE inclusive curricula), employment, child protection, age of consent laws, youth justice and detention, and parental recognition. While relatively nascent, the application of SOGIE rights to children and youth is evolving rapidly and supplements other human rights protections to which they are entitled.