We see the children and young people who attend our service as experts of their own experience. We provide our children and young people with the opportunity to be leaders and changemakers where they can contribute their ideas to help children and young people impacted by parental imprisonment around the UK, and even the globe. children and young people are able to contribute anonymously should they prefer.
Many children and young people have spoken in conferences, on the radio, the TV, been in documentaries, contributed to policy documents and human rights campaigns.
Some of the current work we are involved in include:
INCCIP (International Coalition for Children of Incarcerated Parents) holds a global conference every two years. In 2019 many of our young people from Merseyside enjoyed a residential trip to Huddersfield University where they spoke about the changes they want to see for all prisoners children, and joined other young people from the USA, Scotland, Durham and the Isle of Mann who were on the youth panel. You can read all about the wonderful time we had here.
In 2021 our youth ambassadors will take part in the next conference which will be held in Washington DC, USA. Please get in touch if you are interested in taking part.
Child Rights Connect’s mission is to ensure that all children can fully enjoy their rights, as defined by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. In 2020, we were absolutely thrilled that a young girl from our project, Savannah, was selected by Child Rights Connect to represent the UK as a part of a global team of 11 young people who look at current child rights matters. Their latest document considers how children have been affected by the Covid19 pandemic which can be read about here.
Savannah also recorded a speech for an international webinar ‘Wicked problems in children’s rights in Education’ for the European Educational Research Association, on how children should be supported with their education in the event of a future lockdown. Here are some of the things she discussed:
In 2018 a group of our young people came together to help re-write the Council of Europe Recommendations concerning children of imprisoned parents into child friendly language. This was called “It’s Time to Act” and can be read here.
Then in 2020, during national lockdown, a number of our young people submitted pictures they had drawn to build on this work and quotes, to stress which of the recommendations they saw as particularly pertinent to them. Their work has been highlighted in the report “Not my Crime, Still my Sentence” which can be read here.
The European Children’s Rights Unit (ECRU) is a research-intensive cluster located within the University of Liverpool’s School of Law and Social Justice. Their work covers a broad range of children’s rights areas, including immigration and asylum, children’s rights in the legal process, childhood obesity, special educational needs and exclusions, criminal justice, Brexit, online technologies, children’s sexual and gender identity, child labour, best interests decision-making and cross-border parental child abduction.
Young people who are 12 yrs old or more can attend groups which are currently online but when safe and practical to do, face-to-face. Children are invited to be part of interesting discussions and their contributions are often rewarded with shopping vouchers from the university to thank them for their views. Please let us know if you would like to be part of this interesting group.
In 2018 we hosted our very own child-led conference in Parliament where children and young people from across the country came together to tell government officials what should be done to help children impacted by parental imprisonment. You can read all about our brave young people here.
The Benefits of Getting Involved
In The Media
We are incredibly proud of the brave young people who attend our service who have been guest speakers on TV and on the radio. Some of our children and young people have represented us on shows including BBC North West Tonight, The Jeremy Vine show, BBC World News, Loose Women (ITV), Merseyside Radio and in many more productions. Some children want to be seen and heard, some like to use a pseudonym, and some like to have their voics heard, but their face not seen. Careful consideration is given each time to whether the child can fully consent / assent to contributing their views in the media, and children who are deemed particularly vulnerable do not participate in this manner for safeguarding purposes.