Institute of Education


Children address what more needs to be done to improve children’s rights

7 November 2019

A group of children are sharing their concerns about what changes are required to improve children’s rights in the UK and across the world in an event held today (7 November) at UCL Institute of Education (IOE).

Group of Nepalese children. Image: Rebecca Zaal via Pexels

The event celebrates 30 years of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which details the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights that all children are entitled to and how adults and governments should work together to ensure all children can enjoy these rights. 

The event, which is a partnership between UCL, Children’s Rights Alliance for England (CRAE), part of Just for Kids Law, and The Foundling Museum, brings together world-leading academics, school pupils, youth workers, young artists and policymakers to examine the work that has been taken to improve children’s rights and what still needs to happen.

It covers topics involving food poverty, child exploitation and the impact of climate change through a programme of key note speakers and 23 workshops, some of which will be run by young people.

Several IOE academics are delivering workshops, including Dr Rebecca O’Connell and Laura Hamilton from the Thomas Coram Research Unit who will examine the role food plays in the lives of young people in the UK, how it compares to eating in other countries and what children, families, schools and governments can do to help everyone eat well regardless of income.

Children will lead workshops as part of the event exploring conflicts in the history and implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and how child rights and democracy with participation of children have been implemented.

In addition to the workshops, the event features a keynote from Gerison Lansdown, International Child Rights Consultant, entitled ‘The Unfinished Journey: Where are we 30 years on from adoption of the UNCRC?’. There is also a panel discussion on children’s rights and the importance of young people’s activism and participation in society.

Event organiser Professor Claire Cameron said: “We are delighted to be working with CRAE and The Foundling Museum to bring this fabulous range of invigorating talks and workshops to UCL, demonstrating the often forgotten vitality of young people’s activism today. We are most grateful to the UCL Grand Challenges Justice and Equality and the UCL Access and Widening Participation Office who are financially supporting the event”.