Author: Anthony Charles, Gemma Morgan
Particularly in Wales, there is a dearth of legislation, policy and practice concerning children’s ‘rights’. Children’s rights remain deeply topical. Yet, as research suggests, there is a discordance between the rhetoric of rights and their influence and integration within practice with children. There are especial tensions concerning what is meant by ‘rights’ in youth justice: by this is meant rights which go beyond more traditional due process-style provisions. This tension is allied with a relative paucity of research and literature which focuses on defining and contextualising children’s rights in justice settings and the ways in which these can be woven and embedded into service planning and delivery.
In this workshop, research which has been undertaken to better understand children’s rights and their application, and work being progressed through the Swansea Service Evaluation Team will be synergised to explore how emerging understandings of children’s rights can be integrated into, and inform, developing approaches to promoting effective criminal justice practice. Further, the ways that this cross-pollination of research can be used to challenge barriers which block the voices of children, improve service provision and effect paradigm change will be explored.