The UNCRC: roles and effectiveness

24th January 2022 : 17:00 - 18:30

Category: Public Seminar

Speaker: Chair: Dr Naomi Lott, Speaker 1: Mr. Benjamin Perks , Speaker 2: Professor David Archard, Speaker 3: Dr Conrad Nyamutata, Speaker 4: ​​Ermiza Tegal

Location: Zoom Webinar

Convener: Leon Feinstein

Audience: Public



Part of a seminar series interrogating the concept of rights of the child and implications for research, policy and practice

Today, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) represents a definition of childhood and children’s rights, broadly known by different institutions and actors who study child’s rights and development. As the most widely-ratified international human rights treaty, we are interested in investigating UNCRC’s roles and impacts on how children experience childhood nowadays. This panel presents views on the goals and prospects of this Convention, and it also brings diverse perspectives on the effectiveness of UNCRC and its sufficiency in policy and practice within different contexts.


About the speakers:

Chair: Dr Naomi Lott is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Faculty of Law, Oxford University, funded by the ESRC. Her primary research interests are in the field of children’s rights, with a particular focus on children’s economic, social and cultural rights, and particularly the right to play. Naomi completed a PhD at the University of Nottingham on the child’s right to play, examining the right from conception through to implementation. She holds a LLM in Human Rights Law and a Masters in Socio-Legal Research Methods from the University of Nottingham, and a degree in International Politics from Aberystwyth University.

Speaker 1: Benjamin Perks is the Head of Campaigns and Advocacy in the Division of Global Communications and Advocacy at the United Nations Children’s Fund. He leads on public and policy advocacy on issues related to the survival, development and protection of children. He is a member of the Policy Advisory Group on the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children. He previously served in human rights diplomacy roles as the UNICEF Representative and UN Resident Coordinator ad interim to both the Republic of North Macedonia and the Republic of Montenegro. In both capacities he advocated for reforms to fulfill international human rights commitments and realization of the Sustainable Development Goals. Benjamin has also served in Georgia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, India and Albania. He is Senior Fellow at the Jubilee Centre at the University of Birmingham in the UK, which researches education policy on character, social and emotional development of children. His TedX talk on Adverse Childhood Experiences can be found here.

Speaker 2: David Archard is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Queen’s University Belfast, Chair of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics and Honorary Vice-President of the Society for Applied Philosophy. He is an applied moral philosopher who has published widely on many topics, especially the moral and political status of children, the family, and sexual ethics, and who has played a prominent role in public policy through his work as a Member and Deputy Chair of the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority and now as the Chair of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.

Speaker 3: Dr Conrad Nyamutata is a senior lecturer in law and institute head of research students (Institute for Law, Justice and Society) at De Montfort University, Leicester, United Kingdom.  He is a former journalist in Zimbabwe. He has worked for the Leicester Racial Equality Council and the British Red Cross in the UK. Conrad’s teaching and research interests lie in the broader areas of international criminal law, international human rights, international humanitarian law and terrorism. His PhD focused on children and armed conflict and the philosophy of international law and has published widely on child soldiering and human rights.

Speaker 4: Ermiza Tegal is a lawyer with 15 years of experience in constitutional and family law, representing in particular survivors of torture, arbitrary arrest and domestic violence. As a Chevening scholar, she read for her Masters in Law specializing in Law, Development and Governance at the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London).  With 20 years of experience in human rights, her most recent work involves family law reform, counter terrorism, addressing FGM and promoting a people centered land policy in Sri Lanka. She is the co-founder of Muslim Personal Law Reform Action Group (MPLRAG) and currently is also serving as a legal expert on government appointed advisory committees on family law reform. Ermiza will be representing MPLRAG as its co-founder.