08/04/2013 - Prof. Laura Lundy delivers keynote speech at the SIS Catalyst Conference in Tartu, Estonia
11/04/2013 - Minister welcomes ‘Education Reform in Northern Ireland – A Human Rights Review’
10/04/2013 - Children’s Law Centre's launch of “Opening Doors”
21/03/2013 - Prof Charles Russo joining the Centre as a visiting scholar
15/03/2013 - Centre Presentation at Research Showcase Event
07/03/2013 - Playboard NI seminar to launch process of dissemination for NI children
06/03/2013 - Child-rights based research presented at NCB seminar
31/01/2013 - UNICEF-UK research launched at the Scottish Parliament
25/01/2013 - Children's Rights hosted Frances Bestley and Naomi Danquah from UNICEF
25/01/2013 - Centre for Children's Rights at international research symposium
20/01/2013 - Research Impact: Assessment for Learning - where are we now? with Prof John Gardner
On Monday 8th April the Minister for Education, John O’Dowd, launched a report by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission ‘Education Reform in Northern Ireland, A Human Rights Review’ at Queen’s University Belfast.
The report was a result of research undertaken by a team from the Centre of Children’s Rights at QUB. The team, led by Professor Laura Lundy, Director of the Centre, also included Lesley Emerson and Katrina Lloyd from the School of Education and Bronagh Byrne from the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work. The report provides a comprehensive review of the human rights considerations relevant to all areas of policy and practice in the formal education sector and attends to issues relating to: equality of access to schooling; access to effective education; the aims of education; human rights education; tolerance and respect for diversity; protection of individual rights in schools; human rights-based approaches in education policy. As Professor Laura Lundy stated: ‘Northern Ireland's education system is undergoing significant changes. It is important that these reforms meet international human rights standards and ensure that every child has access to an effective education in an environment which respects their rights.’
Speaking of the report, Minister O’Dowd said: ‘It is vitally important that from a young age we teach children about the importance of human rights. I therefore welcome the Commission’s report.’
On Tuesday 19th of March, Prof. Laura Lundy contributed to a panel discussion at the Children’s Law Centre's launch of “Opening Doors”, a drama production created from children’s perspectives on mental health provision at the MAC theatre in Belfast. The drama production was created to disseminate findings from research comducted by young people on their experience and perceptions of counselling services in their schools. In the second evening of the production at the MAC, the Minister for Education, John O Dowd attended and answered questions from the children and young people. For more information, please visit www.childrenslawcentre.org/
Prof Charles Russo is the Panzer Chair in Education & Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Dayton Ohio and will be visiting the School of Education and the Centre for Children’s Rights this spring. Whilst in Belfast, Prof. Russo will be leading two workshops. One workshop will focus on how to get academic work published and how to write for publication. The second workshop will explore the relationship between religion, discipline and free speech in the context of schools within the United States. Offering a foundation on the legal and education systems within the United Sates, various cases will be used to illustrate this interesting relationship and the impact they have on students’ rights. See 'Events' on the Centre for Children's Rights Web-site for more information!
On Wednesday 6th March, Lesley Emerson, Deputy Director of the Centre for Children’s Rights, gave a presentation at the Children and Young People as Researchers (CYPAR) network seminar: ‘Engaging Marginalised Groups in Peer Research’ hosted at the National Children’s Bureau, NI. Drawing on a number examples of research projects within the Centre, Lesley’s presentation focused on children and young people’s right to be engaged actively in the research process, the importance of peer research, and on a child rights-based approach to research in general.
“Article 31” is the article of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child that assures to every child and young person the right to play, to rest and recreation, and to participate in cultural life and the arts. Although it is a generally accepted principle that there can be no hierarchy of human rights and all are of equal importance, Article 31 has gained an unfortunate reputation as one of the most comprehensively ignored, infringed and misunderstood of all children’s rights.
Fortunately for Northern Ireland’s children, this situation may be about to change. On 1st February 2013 a global campaign led by the International Play Association: Promoting the child’s right to play (IPA) achieved a goal it had worked towards for five years, when the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in session in Geneva formally adopted a General Comment on Article 31. General Comments are the mechanism the UN Committee uses to provide authoritative guidance and instructions, not to individual governments (which it does through its review of periodic reports) but to all the governments of the world. The issuing of a General Comment is thus a sign that the world’s highest authority on children’s rights considers the violation of the right to play to be one of the most significant concerns to be addressed at a global level, and that this message must go directly to all the world’s governments.
One of the critical sources of evidence that convinced the UN Committee to prioritise the long-neglected Article 31 was the “Report of the IPA Global Consultation on Children’s Right to Play”. This document, which identifies hundreds of significant violations of the right to play and categorises them under fourteen major headings, was compiled and edited by QUB Centre for Children’s Rights researcher Harry Shier, who had earlier done pioneering work supporting child coffee workers in Nicaragua in a campaign to defend their right to play.
The Centre for Children’s Rights, along with the Northern Ireland Children’s Commissioner, OFMDFM and the International Play Association, will be supporting a seminar organised by Playboard Northern Ireland in Belfast on 17th April, thus launching a process to determine how the global message of the UN General Comment can be made a reality for Northern Irish Children.
More information from Harry Shier: firstname.lastname@example.org
For Flyer for event on 17th April click here.
To RSVP for event email@example.com or phone 02890 803380
The 2013 International PhD Symposium on Children's Rights was hosted by the European Children's Rights Unit at the University of Liverpool on 10-11 January. PhD researchers from nine universities in seven countries presented work in progress on aspects of children's rights in an interdiscipinary context spanning legal, educational, sociological and historical perspectives, while leading international academics provided feedback and provoked debate. The QUB Centre for Children's Rights was represented by Lucy Royal-Dawson, exploring the power vacuum that threatens higher education in occupied Palestine, Harry Shier, looking at conceptual frameworks for education rights, and the Centre's Director, Professor Laura Lundy, as discussant.
On January 22nd, the Centre for Children’s Rights recent research on the legal implementation of the UNCRC in twelve countries was launched in the Scottish Parliament in an event chaired by Neil Bibby MSP, shadow Minister for Children and Young People. Professor Laura Lundy outlined the key findings of the report and in response, Aileen Campbell MSP, Minister for Children and Young People welcomed the research and said that it would inform their next steps in relation to the Children and Young People Bill and ongoing efforts to implement the UNCRC. Anita Tiessen, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF-UK addressed the implications for the UK government and Professor Kay Tisdall of the University of Edinburgh reflected on the implications of the research for Scotland.
Click here for the report.
This January 2013 the Centre for Children's Rights hosted Frances Bestley and Naomi Danquah from Unicef UK for a two-day working meeting at Queen's University to develop a tool for measuring Children's Rights. Members from the Centre for Children's Rights and the Centre for Effective Education brought a broad range of expertise together to consider what a Child's Right measure looks like and how it can be applied to various Unicef Projects, including the Rights Respecting Schools programme and the Child's Rights Partners programme.
At this Research Impact Event Professor John Gardner from the University of Stirling will introduce discussion on the outcomes of the ESRC funded Consulting Pupils on the Assessment of their Learning (CPAL2) project.
Venue: Riddel Hall, Queen’s University Belfast
Date: Friday 1 February 2013
Time: 4pm - 6.15pm
Please RSVP: Jan Speer