Children’s Rights

CERG has an overarching commitment to the use of social science research in helping to achieve a more just world for children. It is for this reason that over the past two decades we have used United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child as a guiding document for our research priorities. Our research agenda is very much focused on trying to understand the experiences and perspectives of children themselves. Inevitably this brings us down to conducting research directly with children and with those who work closely with them. We do recognize of course the importance of understanding the larger social economic and political forces that influence children’s lives but we enter the problem from the level of children’s everyday lives and children’s eyes. CERG believes that improvements to the physical environment are central to the fulfillment of children’s rights and to the task of poverty reduction for families and so much of our work on children’s rights focuses on the environment. However, CERG team members increasingly find themselves being pulled into projects that are not particularly focused on the qualities of the physical environment. For example we have initiated a global project to document the organizational qualities of the new kinds of children’s membership groups that have emerged in recent years in many countries (crc15.org). We have supported numerous international child-focused NGO’s through consulting in the field: Save the Children, Fin Church Aid, World Vision and Plan International. Based in our conviction of the importance of finding ways to listen to children in order to effectively fulfill their rights we have been driven to develop numerous participatory research methods from our work with children.

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