The winners of the Vice-Chancellor's Research Prizes 2019 were announced at a special celebration at Queen’s earlier this week, marking the significant contribution made by Queen’s University researchers in national and international settings. We are delighted to report that the Research Impact Prize was awarded to School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work academic Professor Laura Lundy in recognition of the global impact of The Lundy Model of children’s participation in developing policies that affect their lives.
Laura is Director of our Centre for Children’s Rights and explained the background to the Lundy Model:
‘The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child gives children the right to express their views and have them taken seriously. Research undertaken for the NI Commissioner for Children and Young People indicated that children considered that they were not asked their views or not taken seriously in the matters affecting their lives yet many adult professionals considered that they were engaging with ‘the voice of the child’. Listening to children is important for keeping them safe from harm and abuse. It contributes to their wellbeing and can help ensure that the services they receive are effective. The right to ‘the voice of the child’ seemed to undermine the implementation of the human right so I suggested an alternative conceptualisation. The Lundy model of child participation, as it has become known, is based on four concepts (Space, Voice, Audience and Influence).’
The Lundy model has been adopted by national and international organisations and governments to inform their understanding of children’s right to have their views sought and given due weight in decision-making, generating a sea-change in global understanding of child participation for policy and practice. It is a prime example of local research that has had truly global impact. Its adoption and implementation have contributed directly to ensuring that governments and national and international organisations understand how to comply with the human rights obligation to involve children meaningfully, right across the world, in the decisions that affect their lives.
Laura Lundy has collaborated with international organisations (the United Nations, European Commission, Council of Europe), international NGOs (Child Rights Connect, UNICEF, World Vision, Save the Children, Terre des Hommes), national governments and agencies (in Ireland, Taiwan, Belgium, Scotland, Iceland, New Zealand) and scores of other individual agencies and NGOs across the globe to adapt and apply the Lundy model in social and geographical contexts, with the consequence that millions of children, right across the world, have been heard and taken seriously in the decisions that affect their lives.
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