Children’s Rights Convention in the 21st Century
Experts in the fields of Law, Human Rights and Childcare will be putting the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) under the spotlight at a major conference taking place at Swansea University this week.
Almost 20 years since the creation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and 10 years since the implementation of the original Human Rights Act in 1998, the panel of experts will gather to reflect on the original vision and ask on how well the Convention stands up to today’s challenges ranging from child poverty to migration and discrimination.
The Conference, on September 19, takes place just before a two-day public hearing on the UK’s periodic report on implementation of the Convention hosted by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on September 23-24 in Geneva.
Commenting on the event Jane Williams, a member of the Wales NGO (Non Governmental Organisation) Monitoring Group for the UNCRC and lecturer in child law and children’s rights at Swansea University’s School of Law said:
“This Conference is very timely as the UNCRC approaches the end of its second decade in operation. It is the right time to reflect on the practices and themes that have emerged since the start of the UNCRC and how these connect to the visions and aspirations at the time of the negotiation and conclusion of the text.”
Dr Antonella Invernizzi, a senior lecturer at the Centre for Child Research, School of Human Sciences at Swansea University added:
“This is a time when the UK Government is finalising its third and fourth national reports to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, incorporating the contributions from devolved governments within the UK, and when the non-governmental reports have recently been prepared, published and submitted to the UN Committee as part of the monitoring process.”
Plenary sessions will be presented by:
Per Mileteig, former Director of Childwatch International
Jane Hutt, Minister for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills, Welsh Assembly Government
Professor Jaap Doek, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
Nigel Cantwell, co-funder of Defence for Children International, Child Protection, Geneva
Professor Geraldine Van Bueren, Queen Mary College, University of London
Dr Judith Ennew, Head of Programme Development, Knowing Children, Bangkok
Richard Powell, Save the Children UK
Keith Towler, Children’s Commissioner for Wales
Funky Dragon, the Children and Young People’s Assembly for Wales, and
The Wales UNCRC Monitoring Group
During the afternoon, a special focus will be on developments in Wales, taking into account the Welsh Assembly Government’s commitment to the Convention as a framework for its policies on children and young people, the pioneering role of the Children’s Commissioner for Wales as the first of the UK’s four children’s commissioners, the experience of Funky Dragon - the Children and Young People’s Assembly for Wales – and the work of the Wales Monitoring Group for the UNCRC.
The Conference and its published proceedings is expected to contribute to further discussion in both academic and political spheres and is seen as a valuable resource for further action on implementation in the future and will add to a growing literature on the impact of the UNCRC and agree a way forward for its implementation .
For further information about the conference please contact Trish Rees, School of Law, Swansea University on tel 01792 513511 or via email E.P.Rees@swansea.ac.uk.