19/02/2015 - Dr Bronagh Byrne invited speaker at ROCK event on UNCRC incorporation
12/01/2015 - Children’s Rights at Queen’s (CRAQ) meet with Deputy Director of ‘Street Law’
16/12/2014 - Centre for Children’s Rights Supporting Global Consultation with Children and Young People
02/12/2014 - Guest Lecture by UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education
25/11/2014 - Children’s Rights Reading Group welcomes Professor Michael Freeman
20/11/2014 - Legal needs’ research presented at Child Care Research Forum conference
20/11/2014 - Centre members present an international conference: ’25 Years CRC’
14/11/2014 - Centre for Children's Rights attend Research Showcase
13/11/2014 - Centre for Children’s Rights Hosts Advancing Children’s Rights Conference
13/11/2014 - Professor Laura Lundy Invited Speaker at International Expert Seminar in Belgium
03/10/2014 - Child researchers publish in Latin American children’s rights journal
03/10/2014 - Visit by Scholar From University of Vienna
02/10/2014 - Rights Here, Right Now in Swansea
17/09/2014 - Dr Lee Jerome presents on human rights education in Tunisia
10/09/2014 - Children’s rights and wellbeing paper presented at International conference

Dr Bronagh Byrne invited speaker at ROCK event on UNCRC incorporation

Dr Bronagh Byrne participated in an event organised by the Rights of the Child UK Coalition (ROCK) which was held in London on 3rd February. The aim of the event was to review the progress, set out challenges and learn lessons from across the UK in incorporating the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into law. Discussion took place on: incorporation progress across the UK, with perspectives from Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England; the challenges to incorporation; and models and arguments around incorporating economic, social and cultural rights. Dr Bronagh Byrne and Alex Tennant from the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People jointly presented on recent projects which identified barriers to effective government delivery for children and young people in NI as well as a recently completed ESRC project which sets out options for the legal implementation of the UNCRC in NI. Later in the day, Dr Byrne presented findings from research carried out on behalf of UNICEF with Professor Laura Lundy and Professor Urusla Kilkelly on what we can learn from other countries internationally about legal implementation of the UNCRC. Other speakers included Professor Van Bueren QC, University of London; Baroness Joan Walmsley, House of Lords; Professor Aoife Nolan, Nottingham University; Dr Simon Hoffman, Wales Observatory on the Human Rights of Children and Young People; Paula Uccellari   Child Rights Alliance for England; Jamie Burton, Doughty Street Chambers; Juliet Harris, Together (Scottish Alliance for Children's Rights) and Sanchita Hosali   British Institute for Human Rights.

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Children’s Rights at Queen’s (CRAQ) meet with Deputy Director of ‘Street Law’

Judy Zimmer, Deputy Director of Street Law, a non-profit organization based in Washington D.C., visited the Centre for Children’s Rights at the beginning of December. Judy has extensive experience of developing classroom and community programs to teach people about law, democracy, and human rights worldwide. While visiting the Centre, Judy met with doctoral students from CRAQ (Children’s Rights at Queen’s). CRAQ is a student -led initiative in the Centre which is developing a programme to train Queen’s University students to deliver school-based sessions in primary and secondary schools to raise children’s awareness and understanding of children's rights. Judy offered invaluable support and advice to CRAQ, and her visit was thoroughly enjoyed by all members.  

For more information on CRAQ e-mail  Rhian Barrance

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Centre for Children’s Rights Supporting Global Consultation with Children and Young People

The Centre for Children's Rights is supporting a group of international NGOs to conduct a global consultation with children and young people in advance of upcoming UN legal advice to governments on public expenditure for children's rights. Centre members summarised the results of initial consultations for a report submitted to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on 3 November 2014, and the full results of the consultation will be developed into a report for the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Human Rights Council in March 2015. Dr Chelsea Marshall, Dr Karen Orr and Professor Laura Lundy are working with a Children's Advisory Group and a Young People's Advisory Group to inform the development of the research methods for this consultation, which include an online survey and facilitated discussions with children in all regions of the world. Materials for this are available here


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Guest Lecture by UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education

The Centre for Children’s Rights and the Improving Children’s Lives initiative were honoured to jointly host a guest lecture by Dr. Kishore Singh, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education. The event, held on Tuesday 25th November, was attended by academics and representatives from the statutory sector and non-governmental organisations with an interested in education and children’s rights. Dr. Singh’s lecture focused on ‘State Responsibility for Provision of Quality Education to Every Child’, drawing attention to his recent report ‘Privatization and the Right to Education’. In his report, Dr. Singh argues that states are bypassing their moral imperative to provide free state education by outsourcing public schooling to profit-making companies and that privatization is negatively affecting the right to education. Dr. Singh also used the opportunity to remind the audience of the need for quality education that focused on processes and skills.

During his visit Dr. Singh also spent time with some of our doctoral students speaking of this meeting, Jen Banks said:

"Dr. Singh listened with interest as each of us outlined our research studies. He was extremely knowledgeable in every area of education, speaking of conferences, writers, and papers in relation to each study. His encyclopaedic knowledge was welcomed by all and made for a memorable meeting for the group, who appreciated his visit greatly."

To view video of introduction for the event please click here   
To view video of the main speaker please click here

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Children’s Rights Reading Group welcomes Professor Michael Freeman

To mark the 25th Anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) the Centre’s Children’s Rights Reading Group had the pleasure of discussing the Future of Children’s Rights with Professor Michael Freeman, a leading international expert on Children’s Rights.  Professor Freeman visited the Centre to share his thoughts on the progress and challenges associated with the UNCRC over the last twenty-five years and how the adoption and implementation of the UNCRC might develop in the future.  The Group had the opportunity to discuss their own research with Professor Freeman who took the time to give interesting feedback.  Later in the day Professor Freeman gave a lecture to the first cohort of Masters in Children's Rights students who also had the opportunity to benefit from his sometimes controversial and always thought provoking discussion. 

The Children’s Rights Reading Group is open to all staff and students within the university who have an interest in Children’s Rights.  For further information please contact L Henderson  


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Legal needs’ research presented at Child Care Research Forum conference

Lesley Emerson and Karen Orr were invited to present findings from research conducted for the Department of Justice on the legal needs of children and young people at the Child Care Research Forum conference, ‘Made in Northern Ireland’, on Wednesday 19th November 2014 in the Hilton Hotel in Templepatrick. The theme of this one day conference was on innovation and how it affects research, policy and practice.  Karen and Lesley outlined the main findings from the Centre’s ’Legal Needs’ research project focusing on the methods employed and the perspectives of children and young people in relation to their knowledge and understanding of their legal rights and their experience of the legal system. For more information on the research or a copy of the research report please contact Lesley Emerson 

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Centre members present an international conference: ’25 Years CRC’

Prof Laura Lundy and Dr Chelsea Marshall presented at the International Conference '25 Years CRC' at Leiden University 18-19 November. Chelsea's paper, entitled 'Face to Face: children's participation in public decision-making', was based on a chapter of the same title she has written with Bronagh Byrne and Laura Lundy to be published next year in International Perspectives and Empirical Findings on Child Participation: From Social Exclusion to Child-Inclusive Policies. This chapter explores the distinctive value of direct engagement between children and young people and duty bearers in the process of public decision-making and is based on findings from the Advancing Children's Rights research and the Barriers to Government Delivery (2011) study conducted for NICCY. 

Laura presented a paper entitled 'Advocating for Children's Rights' based on the Advancing Children's Rights research project with Prof Ursula Kilkelly, University College Cork. In addition to a general overview of the key research findings, Laura and Ursula discussed the diverse approaches Atlantic Philanthropies' grantees in Ireland and Northern Ireland have taken to using children's rights language within their strategic advocacy 



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Centre for Children's Rights attend Research Showcase

Professor Laura Lundy, Rhian Barrance and Jen Banks represented the Centre for Children's Rights  at a public event at Queen's on  November 10th  which was organised to showcase research across the university that has societal impact. They  spoke to attendees about the  Centre's work in relation to children's participation. This included the work of the student-led CRAQ (Children's Rights at Queen's) and a number of research projects that have used the rights-based methods developed in the Centre.   There was considerable interest  in the work from attendees who included civil servants, educators and   children and  young people  from local schools. 


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Centre for Children’s Rights Hosts Advancing Children’s Rights Conference

The final in the ‘Advancing Children’s Rights’ seminar series was hosted by the Centre for Children’s Rights on 23rd and 24th October 2014.  The two day conference was organised as part of the Advancing Children’s Rights project - a research programme which aims to capture experiences and learning of Atlantic Philanthropies grantees (from Ireland, north and south) in the area of children’s rights and to provide a space within which that learning can be shared. (further details on the project can be found here).  Grantees from all over Ireland participated in and contributed to lively workshop discussions around the two core themes of the conference: children's rights-based research and evaluation; children's rights training and education.  Invited speakers to the conference included Prof. John Tobin (University of Melbourne), Ilaria Paolazzi (Child Rights Connect), Marie Wernham (UNICEF), Dr Pamela Wridt (Children’s Environments Research Group at the City University of New York), and Gerison Lansdown (Independent Child Rights Consultant).

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Professor Laura Lundy Invited Speaker at International Expert Seminar in Belgium

Professor Laura Lundy participated in an International Expert Seminar at Ghent University on 5 November 2014, where she joined other children's rights and human rights academics to discuss 'Children’s rights law in the global human rights landscape: isolation, inspiration, integration?'   The  children's rights experts were invited to take opposing views and present the case for/against the use of general principles, the best interests of the child principle and the inclusion of 'third parties' in human rights law. A panel of human rights experts then reflected on the lessons that could be learned from or shared through these discussions. In the afternoon, the seminar included reflections on the lessons for children's rights from women's rights, disability rights and indigenous people's rights. The seminar brought international children's rights experts, Professor Laura Lundy, Professor Helen Stalford, University of Liverpool and Professor Karl Hanson, University of Geneva, together with international human rights experts Professor Paul De Hert, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Dr Ivana Isailovic, Université libre de Bruxelles, Professor Titia Loenen, Leiden University, and Professor Dirk Voorhoof, Ghent University and Copenhagen University. The seminar was co-hosted by Professor Eva Brems, Ghent University, Professor Wouter Vandenhole, University of Antwerp and Dr Ellen Desmet, Ghent University/University of Antwerp.

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Child researchers publish in Latin American children’s rights journal

A team of child researchers from Nicaragua’s coffee plantations, facilitated by QUB PhD researcher Harry Shier, has published a research article in one of Latin America’s top children’s rights journals, the Mexico-based Rayuela.

The children, aged between 9 and 16, interviewed 150 of their fellow-students in four rural primary schoolswhere a Save-the-Children-backed rights-based education project had been run in recent years, in order to explore children’s perceptions of how rights are respected, ignored or violated in school. Although the child researchers carried out their own research and analysis, and have published their final report under their own names, they also gave Harry permission to submit their data to further analysis as part of his PhD project.

The child researchers’ article (currently in Spanish only) can be downloaded here.  

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Visit by Scholar From University of Vienna

Alexandros Stylianidis , a Doctoral student at the University  of Vienna, spent eight months at the Centre. His work focuses on  the child's right to culture. Alexis engaged in all aspects of the life of the centre and gave an engaging and well attended presentation on his study. Click here for his account of his time at the centre.




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Rights Here, Right Now in Swansea

Professor Laura Lundy, Dr Chelsea Marshall and Dr Karen Orr attended and contributed to the ‘Rights Here, Right Now’ conference hosted by the Wales Observatory on Human Rights of Children and Young People at Swansea University, 11-12 September 2014. This conference attracted academics and practitioners from throughout the UK and Ireland and included keynote addresses from children’s rights academics in Europe, the US and Malaysia. The conference focused on the progress made in Wales towards implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, with critical reflections from other jurisdictions. Centre for Children’s Rights Director, Professor Laura Lundy, spoke about the progress made in Northern Ireland. Additionally, drawing on the Centre's experience of rights-based participation and learning from the Advancing Children’s Rights project, Laura, Chelsea and Karen facilitated a training workshop on children’s participation. This workshop shared lessons and facilitated discussions about how to engage children and young people meaningfully in campaign and advocacy work. 

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'Dr Lee Jerome presents on human rights education in Tunisia'

On 9th September Lee Jerome was invited to open a 10 day training event on Human Rights Education in the Middle East and North Africa. The programme was organised by the Danish Institute for Human Rights and brought together partner organisations from Libya, Egypt, Yemen and Tunisia. Twenty two participants representing human rights organisations and several government ministries came together in Nabeul to share experiences and to think about HRE in their contexts. Lee’s presentation discussed HRE as a ‘Challenge to Change’ and opened up some of the themes of the programme by considering the implications of HRE for policy, teachers and curriculum. Lee said, “It was inspirational to meet people who had undertaken significant risks just to attend the meeting, and inspiring to see education being discussed as a priority area in the context of such conflict. It really drove home the importance of understanding context in order to envisage a meaningful HRE programme in such complicated situations.”

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Children’s rights and wellbeing paper presented at International conference

Dr Katrina Lloyd from the Centre for Children’s Rights gave a presentation on 6th September at a conference organised by the European Educational Research Association (EERA) in Portugal. Her presentation explored the relationship between children’s subjective wellbeing and their perceptions that their participation rights are respected. The presentation took place in a session coordinated by the EERA Network ‘Research on Children's Rights in Education’. The aim of the network is to explore ethical, methodological, legal and pedagogical issues that emerge at the intersection of children’s rights and educational contexts. Katrina’s presentation contributed to a lively session that brought together practitioners and academics from across Europe to share their experiences of exploring children’s perceptions of their participation rights in school and in their communities.

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