Oxford Children’s Rights Network (OCRN)

The OCRN was set up in Michaelmas 2014 as an interdisciplinary group of researchers, students and practitioners primarily based at the University of Oxford, working on a broad range of issues related to children’s rights. The platform was created to share information on children’s rights in different regional and socio-economic contexts, exchange ideas for projects and activism, and collaborate on research.

In a little over a year, we have achieved many of our original aims and purposes, through film screenings, an academic symposium, and a lunchtime seminar series. These have brought together dozens of scholars, experts and students interested in the field to better understand the landscape of children’s rights across disciplines, as well as discovering further means for collaboration and scholarly pursuits.

We hope the Network will continue to achieve more visibility and continued engagement, presenting itself as a valuable resource for students, academics and professionals both within, and well beyond, Oxford.

Film Series: The first and most consistent of our events, our film screening began at Queen Elizabeth House, and have now shifted to take place at either St. Antony’s or St. Catherine’s College. Through Hilary 2016, we have screened a total of 12 films, which include:

Oxford Children's Rights Network image 1
  • Mercy, Mercy
  • Nowhere Home
  • Nameless Children
  • Born Into Brothels
  • Skateistan: to Live and Skate Kabul
  • In This World
  • Which Way Home
  • Sepideh
  • Wadjda
  • Prison Kids
  • Growing Up Behind Bars
  • ISIS in Afghanistan
  • Jesus Camp

Symposium: In Trinity Term 2015, we organised a research symposium entitled “Children’s Rights in Fragile Contexts: Exploring Theoretical and Methodological Challenges” which took place on 6 June 2015 in Pembroke College. The symposium was attended by over 30 young academics and students. The symposium’s keynote speaker was Dr. Jason Hart (University of Bath), who framed children’s rights conceptually. Thereafter, ten young academics/students presented their research, under the subheading of several broader topics related to children’s rights, such as the rights of migrant children, their experiences and the rights of children in several different conflict and post-conflict contexts. After each presentation, the research project was discussed by all participants. Responses to and feedback on the Symposium was extremely positive: the majority of participants expressed the wish to stay in touch as a group or to collaboratively work together on OCRN’s activities in the future. Thus, we launched a joint Facebook page, a Peer Review system, included a “Network of Experts” section our website, and initially setup email discussion list that members of the wider network can contribute to; the latter has now shifted to a LinkedIn Group.

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Seminar Series: In Hilary 2016, we organised a lunchtime seminar series entitled, “Safeguarding and Enforcing Childrens Rights”, which took place over the latter half of term in the Manor Road Building at Oxford.

Speakers included:

  • Jonathan Herring (Professor of Law, University of Oxford): Children’s Rights and the Vulnerability of the Child
  • Jason Pobjoy (Blackstone Chambers): The Best Interests of the Child Principle as an Independent Source of International Protection
  • Laura Lundy (Professor of Law, Queen’s University Belfast): Interrogating Children’s Right to Participate in Public Decision-Making
  • Kirsten Sandberg (Professor of Law, University of Oslo, and Rapporteur, Committee on the Rights of the Child): Enforcing Children’s Rights: The Committee on the Rights of the Child

Online Media: We maintain an active web presence, which includes: 

  1. A Facebook page (facebook.com/oxchildrensrights; 200+ likes)
  2. A mailing list (bit.ly/ocrnmailinglist; 80+ subscribers) 
  3. A website (http://oxfordchildrensrights.org)
  4. A LinkedIn group, to provide further opportunities for networking and collaboration (https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8440566)
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