Upcoming Events 


6th Children's Rights Research Symposium - Children's Rights: theories and methodologies

We are delighted to host the 6th Children’s Rights Research Symposium (CRRS) for doctoral researchers and their supervisors on 4-5 October 2018. The symposium will be held at Queen's University Belfast and this year’s theme is Children’s Rights: theories and methodologies.

Despite the progress made in the field of children’s rights, there are those who believe that children’s rights have failed to secure a comprehensive intellectual base, and who criticise the apparent under-theorisation and conceptual foundations for such rights; there is need for a fuller theoretical justification. This reflects calls – particularly in Childhood studies – for more innovative methodologies to correspond with the messiness of children’s lived experiences.

Through a combination of paper presentations, poster presentations and plenary sessions, this year’s symposium wishes to focus attention on the theories which underpin children’s rights studies. We are thrilled to welcome Professor David Archard as guest speaker to explore and draw out these underlying theories, and look forward to examining how these theories relate to methodologies in the children’s rights literature across disciplines. We wish to examine how researchers traverse both theoretical frameworks and methodologies in the broad range of disciplines to which children’s rights pertain.

Call for Papers

We invite doctoral researchers from the children’s rights field to present on their research by submitting an abstract of no more than 250 words. Proposals should address the theoretical and conceptual framework utilised in the study, and how this has influenced chosen methodologies to make space for conversations between both theoretical and methodological frameworks and open up opportunities for reflexive consideration of the future of children’s rights studies. Deadline for submission is 31 May 2018.

Successful applicants will be contacted for an elaborated abstract of 1000 words following the review process.

Abstracts should be emailed to Amy Brown at

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Centre for Children's Rights Seminar

Children’s Voices in Childhood Research
Wednesday 20 June, 10.00am-1.00pm
Room 01/037 in 6 College Park*, School of SSESW

*in building marked V on map

(Registration is NOT required)

Levels of truth: reaching ontological depth through young researcher use of fiction and critical realism to voice the unsaid – Dr Cath Larkins

Drawing on three studies this presentation explores the hierarchies of voice, analysis, fiction and knowledge that interweave in participatory research with children and young people. Two of these research studies were initiated by young researchers. Two concern children’s rights. All three involved children or young people in data analysis, supported or directed by adults. This paper presents the tools used in these data analysis processes and demonstrates how child and adult researchers contribute layers of voice and silence when they comment on, interpret and prioritise findings.

Exploring the Fullness of Children’s Voices: From Uttered Speech to Silence – Professor Spyros Spyrou

In this presentation, I will offer a critical perspective on children’s voices, not to dismiss them or downplay their significance in research, but rather to suggest critical ways for engaging with them. Given the preoccupation with children’s voices in childhood studies and the unexamined assumptions about the authenticity and truth that children’s voices represent, I will try to illustrate the importance of considering children’s voices in relation to the institutional contexts in which they are embedded and the discursive contexts which inform them. I will use silence as an illustrative example of children’s voices to show how attending to such features of voice may provide for more sensitive and ethical accounts of children’s subjectivities.


Cath Larkins is Reader in Children’s Citizenship at the School of Social Work Care and Community, University of Central Lancashire where she co-directs the Centre for Children and Young People’s Participation.  

Spyros Spyrou is Professor of Anthropology at European University Cyprus and Director of the Center for the Study of Childhood and Adolescence. He is the president of the International Childhood and Youth Research Network and the Deputy Chair of the Commission on Children, Youth and Childhood of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences.   


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This page will be updated throughout the year.