News Archive 2014
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
24/07/2014 - Advancing Children’s Rights Conference June 2014
11/07/2014 - Minister for Justice Announces Publication of Research by Centre for Children’s Rights
08/07/2014 - The Centre for Children's Rights is still accepting applications for the MSc in Children's Rights
03/06/2014 - Lee Jerome attends UNICEF event in Bratislava
27/05/2014 - Centre director conducts 'Children's Rights-Based Participation in Advocacy' training, Sofia
27/05/2014 - Dr. Simon Hoffman delivers lunchtime seminar, 'Implementing Children's Rights in Wales'
15/04/2014 - Centre for Children’s Rights responds to Delivering Social Change for Children and Young People consultation
15/04/2014 - Coffee morning on the challenges of child-led research with visiting Australian researcher Samia Michail
10/03/2014 - Centre's Director presents at international medical ethics symposium
07/03/2014 - Children and young people’s participation in advocacy conference
07/03/2014 - Child Rights Education International Survey
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
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 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
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
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
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Professor Laura Lundy, Dr Chelsea Marshall and Dr Karen Orr from the Centre for Children’s Rights attended the second and third conferences in the Advancing Children’s Rights conference series in University College Cork on the 19th and 20th of June. These conferences, entitled ‘Using the Law’ and ‘Internationalisation’, focused on advancing children’s rights through domestic and European frameworks. Keynote speakers included: Marsha Levick, Juvenile Law Centre in Philadelphia; Carolyn Hamilton, Coram Children’s Legal Centre; Anna Brown, Human Rights Law Centre in Melbourne; Ann Skelton, Centre for Child Law, University of Pertoria, South Africa; Margaret Tuite, EU Commission; Gordana Berjan, Council of Europe Children’s Rights Division; Benoit Van Keirsbilck, DCI International; and Veronica Yates, CRIN.
The events brought together leading practitioners, advocates and academics in the field of children’s rights globally to share learning and exchange expertise with Atlantic Philanthropies grantees in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The final two events in the Advancing Children’s Rights in Ireland, North and South, conference series will be held at Queen’s University in Belfast in October 2014.
Research by members of the Centre for Children’s, conducted on behalf of the Department of Justice, has just been published. The research explored issues surrounding the legal needs of children and young people and involved interviews with a total of 26 adult stakeholders, focus groups interviews with a total of 91 children and young people from diverse settings across Northern Ireland and an online survey of 426 young people, aged 15-16, across schools in Northern Ireland. Minister for Justice, David Ford said of the research: “This is a great day for the children and young people of Northern Ireland. I sought their help in identifying their legal needs and determining if they are being met. I have been impressed by their willingness to tell me about their experience of the justice system and their level or lack of knowledge, if any, of their legal rights.”
Members of the research team, Lesley Emerson and Karen Orr, also presented findings from the research at a knowledge exchange seminar in Stormont. Links to the video of this presentation and a policy briefing can be found here
For more information contact Lesley Emerson
The Centre for Children's Rights is still accepting applications for the MSc in Children's Rights starting in October 2014. We are pleased to announce that the School of Education (with the university's ICL initiative) is offering two scholarships of £1500 each to help towards the costs of studying on the Masters course. If you are a home / EU applicant and would like to apply for a scholarship, simply fill out the form and submit it by 29th August.
On 21st May Lee Jerome attended UNICEF Private Fundraising and Partnership Divsion's annual meeting of National Committee education officers in Bratislava. The event was focused on monitoring and quality enhancement strategies in Child Rights Education (CRE) and Lee Jerome updated participants on research the Centre for Children's Rights is undertaking for UNICEF to establish a baseline survey of CRE implementation. The event provided an opportunity to identify potential case study countries where we will be exploring specific aspects of CRE implementation, including teacher education, curriculum innovation, and building CRE networks to promote policy change. The final report of the Centre's research will be available in the autumn 2014.
Prof. Laura Lundy was invited to conduct a training workshop on Children's Rights-Based Participation in Advocacy at the 7th Regional Meeting of NGOs, Children's Rights Coalitions in Europe in Sofia, 28-30th April 2014. This meeting brought together representatives from national, regional and European coalitions working to advocate for children's rights throughout Europe. Based on the Centre's growing experience of rights-based research methods, and drawing on findings from the Advancing Children's Rights in Ireland research, Prof. Lundy and Dr. Chelsea Marshall shared lessons and facilitated discussions about how to engage children and young people meaningfully in campaign and advocacy work. Lundy also facilitated a workshop about children's participation in the Committee on the Rights of the Child monitoring and reporting cycle. The event was hosted by Child Rights Connect, Eurochild, the National Network for Children, Child Pact and UNICEF, and it built on previous meetings in Berlin (1998), Stockholm (1999), Vilnius (2002), Brussels (2005), Bucharest (2008) and Florence (2010).
On 14 May 2014, Simon Hoffman delivered an engaging lunchtime seminar at the Centre to an interdisciplinary group of academics, postgraduate students and members of the statutory and voluntary sectors working with and for children and young people. Wales has adopted a distinctive approach to children's rights, including creative use of devolved competence to incorporate the UNCRC into law and policy-making processes through the introduction of the Rights of Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measure 2011. Dr. Hoffman discussed the background context of the Measure, why Wales chose to adopt a particular legal mechanism to achieve incorporation having regard to the political, legal and judicial context, and reflected on some of the difficulties encountered in seeking to translate political will (i.e. to give effect to children's rights in Wales), into legal obligation. Significantly, he offered critical insights on the most significant issues for implementation that have arisen in the two years since the Measure was introduced. With Jane Williams, Dr. Hoffman is the co-director of the Wales Observatory on Human Rights of Children and Young People at University of Swansea.
The Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister initiated a consultation process in January 2014, seeking views on the draft Delivering Social Change for Children and Young People Strategy. The strategy seeks to integrate the Northern Ireland Executive’s commitments under the Child Poverty Strategy, the Ten Year Strategy for Children and Young People and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Centre for Children’s Rights response highlighted key concerns about the strategy from a rights-based perspective, including the need for: a comprehensive strategy to cover children and young people’s lives holistically, which should be developed with participation from all relevant stakeholders; a coordinated approach by all government departments with duties towards children and young people; monitoring and reporting on the basis of children’s rights-based indicators. The Centre’s response is available here. The Centre also contributed to the response submitted by Queen’s University Belfast.
On 3rd April 2014 the Centre for Children’s Rights hosted a coffee-morning with Samia Michail, senior researcher with Australian NGO UnitingCare. UnitingCare has been the leading organisation developing the Child-Led Research approach in the Australian context, with a special focus on involving the most marginalised and disadvantaged children; and is currently launching a major Children’s Citizenship project building on the learning from this experience, questioning assumptions about what it means to be a citizen. Participants in the Queen’s event were an equal mix of university research staff and students and practitioners involved in child-led research in the NGO sector. As well as hearing from Samia about her work in Australia, participants shared aspects of their own work, leading to an insightful discussion focusing on some of the challenges and complexities in working with children as researchers. As a general conclusion, this event reinforced our belief in the value of researchers inside and outside the academy meeting, sharing and learning together.
On March 6th, Professor Laura Lundy, Director of the Centre for Children’s Rights, was an invited speaker at the 6th Annual A. David Kline Symposium on Public Philosophy: Exploring the Synergy Between Pediatric Bioethics and Child Rights. The purpose of the international symposium, held at the Florida Blue Centre of Ethics in conjunction with the University of Florida College of Medicine, Jacksonville, USA, was to explore the relevance and potential rationale to support and advance the integration of the theory and practice of child rights and medical ethics. Laura presented on the influence of the principles and norms of human rights on public policy in Europe.
Delegates from across Ireland and Northern Ireland attended the ‘Children and Young People’s Participation in Advocacy’ conference, hosted by the Centre for Children’s Rights on 27th-28th January. Gerison Lansdown, international children’s rights expert, delivered the keynote address in the MAC Theatre, followed by a video presentation entitled ‘Participation: What Really Matters to Children and Young People’. Voluntary sector organisations from across the island brought staff, children and young people to present diverse and rich examples of children and young people’s participation in advocacy to workshops held at Riddel Hall the following day. Nearly half of the ninety delegates were children and young people (aged 10-23), who participated in all aspects of the conference. Thematic workshops were participant-led and created opportunities for delegates to reflect on themes emerging from the initial Advancing Children’s Rights research. The conference was formatted to be delegate-led and open to emerging themes. This was the first in a series of five conferences to be hosted by the Advancing Children’s Rights in Ireland, North and South, project led by Prof. Laura Lundy of the Centre for Children’s Rights at Queen’s University Belfast and Prof. Ursula Kilkelly from the Child Law Clinic at University College Cork. This research project is funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies.
The Centre for Children’s Rights has been awarded the contract to investigate the extent to which Child Rights Education (CRE) is being implemented in countries with a UNICEF National Committee presence.
The research project has three aims:
- To explore and analyse the extent to which CRE in formal education settings is being implemented in countries with a UNICEF National Committee presence.
- To identify the factors and processes that support or inhibit progress in CRE implementation in formal education settings, good practice, lessons learned and recurrent ‘bottlenecks’, across a range of country contexts.
- To provide baseline data and benchmarks which National Committees and PFP can use to advocate for, and measure progress in, CRE implementation in formal education settings.
The project will establish a baseline for each country in relation to the implementation of CRE and identify a series of countries for more in-depth case studies, to explore specific strengths and weaknesses. The final report will indicate potential CRE key performance indicators that could be used to track progress in these countries and inform further research within and across education systems.
For further information contact: email@example.com