School of Law

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  • Better Late Than Never

    25th Anniversary of the UK Ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

    One-day symposium with speakers from government, judiciary, academia, NGOs and a child advocate

    Wednesday 21 January 2015, School of Law, Oxford Brookes University

    The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) remains the most widely ratified human rights treaty in the world. On 20 November 1989, following its adoption by the General Assembly a significant number of states acceded to the Convention.

    The United Kingdom signed the CRC on 19 April 1990 and ratified it on 16 December 1991 and it came into force on 15 January 1992, exactly 25 years ago. Whilst there are strong mechanisms in place in the United Kingdom to protect children, the Committee on the Rights of the Child made recommendation in 2007 regarding inadequacies in the areas addressing the rights of asylum-seeking children, child poverty, domestic violence and child – trafficking. The 25th anniversary of the UK Ratification of the CRC presents a unique opportunity to reflect and look at the impact it has had and explore the future of the children’s rights in the UK.

    This Symposium aims to bring together children’s rights academics, government officials, heads of NGOs, students and child rights advocates from the UK. The one day symposium will discuss and reflect on the past and future impact of the CRC specifically focussing on current and emerging issues in the UK.

    Aims

    • Current status of children’s rights in relation to the CRC in the UK
    • Level of harmonisation of the CRC in national laws
    • Concerns raised by the Committee on the Rights of the Child in relation to the UK
    • The level of awareness and understanding of the rights enshrined in the CRC among professionals who work with children
    • Planning for the future

    Keynote speakers

    • The Right Hon. Sir Andrew McFarlane, Lord Justice of Court of Appeal
    • Dr Maggie Atkinson, Children’s Commissioner for England
    • Professor Michael Freeman, University College London
    • Professor Jane Fortin, University of Sussex
    • Eshe Barzey, Child Advocate, Ashcroft Academy
    • Louise King, Child Rights Advisor, Save the Children
    • Cathy Ashley, Chief Executive Officer, Family Rights Group
    • Naomi Danquah, Programme Director of Child Rights Partner, UNICEF
    • Linda Jones, Coordinator of Siblings United Programme and Child separated from Sibling in care, Shaftesbury Young People
    • Anna Edmundson, Policy and Programmes Manager, Children's Rights Alliance for England

    Programme

    10:30–11:00 Coffee and Registration
    11:00–11:15 Welcome by Professor Janet Beer, Vice Chancellor of Oxford Brooke University
    11:15–12:15 Reflections on the Protection of Children’s Rights in the UK: Analysis of the past 25 years
    Chair: Dr Brigitte Clark, Senior Lecturer, Oxford Brookes University
    • The Right Hon. Sir Andrew McFarlane, Lord Justice of Court of Appeal
    • Dr Maggie Atkinson, Children’s Commissioner for England
    • Eshe Barzey, Child Advocate, Ashcroft Academy
    12:15–13:00 Lunch
    13:00–15:15 General Measures of Implementation and Responding to Concerns Raised by the UN Committee on the Rights of Children in relation to UK
    Chair: Professor Lucy Vickers, Oxford Brookes University
    • Professor Michael Freeman, University College London
    • Professor Jane Fortin, University of Sussex
    • Louise King, Child Rights Advisor, Save the Children
    • Anna Edmundson, Policy and Programmes Manager, Children's Rights Alliance for England
    15:15–15:30 Refreshments
    15:30–16:20 Efforts to bridge the knowledge gap among professionals working at grassroots level
    Chair: Cathy Ashley, Chief Executive Officer, Family Rights Group
    • Naomi Danquah, Programme Director of Child Rights Partners, UNICEF
    • Linda Jones, Coordinator of Siblings United Programme and Child Separated from Sibling in care, Shaftesbury Young People
    16:20–16:30 Concluding remarks and summing up: Professor Michael Freeman