Participation for Protection: Enhancing Child-Centred Approaches to Violence

The Centre for Children’s Rights has been awarded funding from the European Commission for a project, led by Siobhan McAlister, aimed at enhancing child-centred approaches to victims of violence, and raising children’s understanding of reporting mechanisms and support structures.  ‘Participation for Protection’ (P4P) involves partners from Austria (Ludwig Boltzmann Institut Fur Menschenrechte Forschungsverein), Belgium (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and Kenniscentrum Kinderrechten), Germany (Hochschule Rheinmain), the Republic of Ireland (NUI Galway), Romania (Universitatea Babes Bolyai) and the UK (Queen’s University, Include Youth, University of Nottingham).  It adopts a child-rights based approach to developing training and resources for children and young people, and those working with and for them.

Two children and young people’s advisory groups based in Belfast (St Ita’s Primary School and Include Youth’s Give and Take Programme) are informing key aspects of the project. This includes: the design of consultation tools for use with children across the partner countries; the information to be provided to children; training resources for professionals; a multi-media resource for children and young people.

Over two years the project will consult with around 1000 children and young people across the partner countries on the theme ‘what makes good support and service responses?’.  This consultation includes school children and specific groups at risk of or already experiencing violence, including: children in care, children in detention/in conflict with the law, Roma children, children living in high conflict communities, child migrants and refugees, and child victims of domestic violence.  The overall aim is to enhance rights-based supports, services and treatment for child victims, and for those who work with children to better understand their needs.

For more information contact 
Dr Siobhán McAlister at or tel +44 (0)28 9097 5918

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CCR Members present at CREAN conference

Katrina Lloyd, Michelle Templeton, Laura Lundy and Bronagh Byrne presented their work at the 2018 bi-annual conference of the Children's Rights European Academic Network (CREAN). CREAN aims to further enhance the academic field of children's rights as an interdisciplinary field of studies. This year, the conference was held at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. Katrina Lloyd presented on ‘Children’s subjective wellbeing: The role of self-esteem and respect’; Michelle Templeton on ‘What does it mean to be ‘Child-Friendly’?: Children’s Views’ and Bronagh Byrne on ‘From the Global to the Local: Implementing the UNCRC in Policy and Practice’. The closing comments on the conference were provided by Laura Lundy. 

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Measuring the Effectiveness of Children’s Rights

Laura Lundy gave an invited presentation at an international conference on ‘Measuring the Effectiveness of Children’s Rights’ in Belgium. The conference was co-hosted by the National Commission on the Rights of the Child (Belgium) and ChildONEurope. It was aimed at practitioners, policy makers, researchers, and child advocates in Brussels on best practice in measuring the effectiveness of children’s rights.

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Training Materials on UN Convention on Rights of the Child now available

The Centre for Children’s Rights has developed five short videos which provide an introductory overview of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). The videos, which are nine minutes in total, are targeted at professionals. They highlight: what the UNCRC is, and why it matters; where it came from; who rights-holders and duty-bearers are; what the UNCRC says; and how it is made ‘real’.  The videos have attracted significant attention on social media and have been incorporated into training for Unicef staff across the world. The videos can be found at

For more information please contact Laura Lundy or Bronagh Byrne

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PhD student Amy Brown presents at Children’s Rights Research Symposium

PhD student Amy Brown travelled to University of Geneva, Switzerland in August to present at the Children’s Rights Research Symposium which explored the theme of Conversations between Children’s Rights and Childhood Studies. The conference created a space for doctoral researchers to share and develop research relating to children’s rights from a variety of backgrounds. Researchers were encouraged to explore both theoretical concepts and methodologies in the field.

Amy presented her paper Epistemic Agency: Young People’s Voice in the Co-Production of Knowledge, exploring how student-teacher relationships are underpinned by theories about agency and knowledge, as well as the rights that young people have in expressing their ideas. Drawing on the student voice literature, Amy explained how her study will examine young people’s agency in knowledge creation, as well as how they may remain silent as both a right and an informed choice in relationships with their teachers.

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Research Grant awarded by Council of Europe

The Centre for Children’s Rights has been awarded a research grant by the Council of Europe.  The project team consists of Laura Lundy (Principal Investigator), Bronagh Byrne and Michelle Templeton, working with international children’s rights consultant Gerison Lansdown.  

The project will examine children with disabilities’ views and experiences of their rights in an online environment under the light of the three “P’s” of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (participation, protection and provision).  Working with children and adults in advisory groups, it will develop participatory activities that will capture the experiences of children with a range of disabilities across four European countries.  It will produce recommendations on best practices for governments, professionals working with children, parents and the corporate sector; as well as child friendly versions of the report accessible to all the groups of children taking part.

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New Visiting Research Fellow

The Centre for Children’s Rights is delighted to welcome Dr Zeynep Kiliç from Istanbul Bilgi University as Visiting Research Fellow. Dr Kiliç is a lecturer in child participation and children’s citizenship at Istanbul Bilgi University. From May-July 2017, Dr Kiliç will work with the Centre for Children’s Rights on research relating to rights-based approaches to participation for children in conflict societies. As visiting research fellow, she will engage with Centre members and key stakeholders in the area of children’s rights, allowing for an exchange of knowledge on respective practices. This will also support the Centre for Children’s Rights in strengthening connections to academic institutions and civic organisations who work on children’s rights issues in Turkey. 

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UNICEF - adolescent participation

Laura Lundy was invited to an expert meeting at UNICEF New York in January 2017.  She was asked to present her model of children’s rights-based participation and was involved in workshops discussing how participation might be defined and tracked in order that UNICEF can develop indicators of adolescent participation.  These indicators will be used in its forthcoming Adolescent Country Tracker, which aims to support and stimulate a rights-based and intersectoral approach to adolescent policies and programmes.  Professor Lundy is a member of the expert group that will be advising UNICEF on this project going forward. 

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PhD student Amy Brown awarded a Santander Mobility Scholarship

PhD student Amy Brown has been awarded a Santander Mobility Scholarship to travel to the United States to visit Boston College School of Law and the Robert F Kennedy National Resource Centre for Juvenile Justice. Amy's research interest lies in the education rights of young people who are placed in custody and, in particular, the participation of these young people in relaying their educational experiences through storytelling. During her time in Boston, Amy will explore Boston College School of Law's Juvenile Rights Advocacy Project which focuses on education law in order to illuminate the practical issues faced by young people in the criminal justice system and their access to meaningful educational experiences. Through engaging with the Robert F Kennedy National Resource Centre for Juvenile Justice, Amy will further explore the difficulty of partnerships between the disciplines of education and justice and how the philosophies of these fields may be aligned to form theoretical foundations which could be applied in alternative jurisdictions.

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The Centre for Children's Rights was delighted to welcome Professor Michael Freeman, Visiting Professor of the Centre, in March 2017. Professor Freeman is Emeritus Professor of English Law and Founding Editor of the International Journal of Children's Rights. During his visit Professor Freeman gave a seminar on Article 12 of the UNCRC and voting rights for children and young people.

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From Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to Votes at 12

The Centre for Children’s Rights is delighted to announce Professor Michael Freeman as Visiting Professor. Professor Freeman is Emeritus Professor of English Law and Founding Editor of the International Journal of Children’s Rights. He was editor of Current Legal Problems and has published in the areas of Family Law, Child Law and Policy, Children’s Rights, Medicine, Ethics and the Law and Medical Law, Jurisprudence and Legal Theory, and other areas of law and policy. Professor Freeman will be giving a seminar at the Centre on 8 March 2017. See here for more information

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