Chair of the CRC Policy Center Programme

Protection of children rights is an interdisciplinary and cross-cutting issue therefore it requires a holistic approach focusing on the best interest of the child. The Chair of the CRC Policy Center Programme gathers professionals from the academic field who are committed to the promotion, protection and provision of children rights in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and provides a unique platform for exchange of knowledge, capacity-building and advocacy. The Programme is coordinated by the “Hope for Children” CRC Policy Center, an international humanitarian organization aiming the advancement of children rights with headquarter in Cyprus.

The Chair holder shall be the member of the academic staff surrounded by lecturers, researchers and students who demonstrate particular interest in children rights. The Chair shall teach courses (on undergraduate and/or postgraduate level) and pursue researches fully or partially dedicated to the promotion and protection of children rights in their field of studies. Besides, the Chair shall be motivated to promote the application of children rights-based approach in the work of his/her department or institute, e.g. by assisting faculty to integrate ‘children rights’ content into their courses.

The members of the Chair Programme constitute part of a professional network provided with opportunities for international, inter-university and inter-sectoral cooperation. The Programme fosters the development of joint researches, publications and academic programmes and facilitates the dialogue about the rights of the child with governments, non-governmental and international organizations. The Chair and his/her team provide background information, situation analysis and statistical data about the situation of children for thematic or country-specific reports submitted to international organizations (e.g. the United Nations, Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) or even take part in the preparation of such documents. Therefore, the Programme captures and develops all the knowledge available in the academic sector and share it with the relevant stakeholders through international advocacy.

As the Chair shall encourage undergraduate and advanced students to pursue career in the protection of the rights of the child, the “Hope for Children” CRC Policy Center will offer two internship places annually (within the Framework of the Erasmus + Programme) for students actively engaged in the work of the Chair. The interns will be chosen based on the recommendations of the Chair and placed either in Budapest, Hungary or in Nicosia, Cyprus for a minimum period of 3 months.

The Programme is coordinated by the “Hope for Children” CRC Policy Center, a humanitarian organization aiming the advancement of children rights.

The priority areas of the Programme (for 2016-2017) include:

* Council of Europe Strategy on the Rights of the Child 2016-2021,

* Violence against children, particularly in the Framework of the Lanzarote Convention,

* Children rights in digital environment,

* Children on the move.

 

Agenda of the Chair of the CRC Policy Center

 “Hope For Children” CRC Policy Center‘s work is guided by a strong will to achieve universal respect for the rights of the child. Among the organisation’s diverse axis of action, we implement research projects and advises policy-making to help shaping a better world for children and young people. Within this framework of research and policy-making, we bring forward the below recommendations to its Chair holders of the CRC Policy Center:

1. Development and Research:

1.1 Chairs should focus on the needs of children in their immediate surroundings, this is where their work can have the biggest impact. Chairs’ contextual experience will be of great importance in aiding HFC to identify the needs in its own operation grounds. Finding key issues and hot topics can show the areas where our work is needed, through research, policy-advising and conferences, organizations can improve the quality of life of children in need. The Chairs will act as independent institutions to monitor the proper implementation of the CRC in their countries by submitting shadow reports on the CRC to the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

1.2 Research focusing on the development, and awareness-raising, of ‘good practices’, guidelines and standards, is crucial to the role of Chairs. Cutting-edge scientific knowledge is essential for progress, and a great opportunity for post-graduate students to immerse themselves in a work that can have an actual effect on society. Through academic work, our organization can help partner non-governmental organizations develop as well.

Priority research subjects should include:

- juvenile justice in the light of international provisions (including the sanction system and   prevention methods of the country);

- child friendly justice system;

- new tendencies on policy making in Europe in the field of the rights of the child;

- general overview of the rights of the child in the state;

- preventing and eradicating sexual violence against children;

- combating all other forms of violence against children;

- situation of unaccompanied migrant children in the state;

- parental alienation;

- parental abduction;

- mediation;

- bullying;

- child-friendly educational system;

- situation of orphaned children in the country;

- intercultural and interfaith relations;

- gender issues.

1.3 For a successful co-operation, online meetings are encouraged. We invite the Chairs to develop and share their own suggestions on research topics, organizing and creating groups based on research interests. Researches could be done on entire groups, not only segments of a question, however, we welcome all contributions.

1.4 The Chair will be a member of the Editorial Board, and should contribute towards the establishment, of an open access, scientific, bi-annual journal under the auspices of the organization, which will address a broad range of issues related to the rights of the child.

2. Academic Forums and Professional Trainings:

2.1 In order to share and disseminate knowledge, the Chair should actively engage in the organisation of seminars, workshops, conference, as well as in the development of green papers and joint work with policy-makers, applying scientific knowledge in legislative processes.

2.2 The Chair should organise seminars and roundtable discussions on children’s rights, offering graduate students the opportunity to attend them. Similarly, the Chair holders should give research tasks to their students on relevant topics. Quality scientific outcomes could be published on the faculty’s webpage, and disseminated through social media feeds, thus raising awareness on the issue.

2.3 The Chair should provide short-term trainings, on issues affiliated with children’s rights, to the staff of relevant organisations such as care centers for orphans, disabled children, unaccompanied minors; detention centers and prisons confining unaccompanied minors.

2.4 The Chair must organize and deliver lectures open to the public, as well as scientific conferences on topics relevant to the fields covered by the Chair, with key-note speakers from different fields, countries and university departments.

3. Peer Cooperation:

3.1 Chair holders are encouraged to seek international cooperation with academics and professionals, facilitating their operation and offering training opportunities, particularly in countries where abuse, torture, exploitation, violence against children are pressing issues.

3.2 Similarly, Chair holders should engage with governmental and non-governmental organizations in countries where the rights of children are often violated. Chairs’ original research in such contexts, and peer shared scientific knowledge disseminated in such countries can help in tackling identified problems.

3.3 The Chair should take on visiting professorships in children’s rights to exchange lectures, expertise and practices.

4. Media Presence and Awareness-raising

4.1 The Chair needs to have a strong contact with media, guaranteeing that awareness is raised on the most important questions in the defence of the rights of the child. It is particularly important that, through the media, children are informed about available options and help in cases of violence or abuse, hence, the Chair needs to develop a child-friendly way of sharing this information on television, radio, and social media.

4.2 A Web page entitled ‘Chair of the CRC Policy Center’ should be developed within the website of the university to keep the public informed about the achievements of the Chair (news, research’s results, upcoming lectures, seminars etc.)

4.3 Promote tolerance and understanding in relation to culture, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, being committed to foster dialogue and discussions among and between communities.

Universities and/or research centers that are interested to establish a chair of the CRC Policy Center can download the information pack attached here.