Children and Law 2007
In 2006 a survey was conducted among all Key Institutions of the Childwatch International Research network on issues related to children's participation in family law proceedings. 16 institutions responded to the questionnaire. The data illustrates differences and similarities in how children are represented and involved in the systems that are to protect the rights of children in different parts of the world. A first thematic group meeting is to be organized in 2008. This meeting would effectively be a steering group with responsibility for driving this project forward and formulating policy, literature-based and empirical research components which all interested KIs could undertake in late 2007 and 2008.
The study group’s future activities contribute to all four Objectives in Childwatch’s 2007-2009 strategy. They are designed to strengthen the interdisciplinary research capacity between this diverse mix of 20 KIs interested in working together on this project. Children’s UNCRC rights (particularly Articles 3, 12 and 13) are a feature of each country’s family law statutes and court processes that it is particularly important to collect international data on and encourage countries to show greater respect for the implementation of these rights. More resources need to be allocated to research on children and the law, especially given the central role of the law in many children and young people’s daily lives. The study group would facilitate this within the Childwatch International network, while simultaneously enhancing its membership culture and offering opportunities for international dialogue and legal policy and practice reforms on this topic.
A report is available with the results of this first questionnaire. See the 2007 report Children's Participation in Family Law Proceedings Research Report for Childwatch International Children and the Law Study Group
The study is coordinated by:
Anne Graham, Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University, Australia e-mail: agraham [at] scu.edu.au
Nicola Taylor, Children's Issues Centre, University of Otago, New Zealand e-mail: nicola.taylor [at] otago.ac.nz