Caribbean Child Research Conference: Promoting Child Rights Through Research
Globally, children are increasingly under threat. The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) calls for the full protection of and provision for our children at all times. Article 3 of the Convention states that the best interests of the child must be the primary concern in making decisions that will affect them.
Governments need to ensure that the rights of children are always respected, protected and fulfilled. It is essential that the decisions and actions taken for children in the areas of policy development, planning, programming, legislation review and reform are informed by solid and reliable data.
The Caribbean Child Research Conference, held annually in Jamaica since its debut in 2006, contributes to this critical process by bringing research on child-related issues to a wide audience of stakeholders. The regional inter-disciplinary conference covers a range of child-related themes and aims to:
· Share research findings on issues related to children
· Strengthen the network of researchers on children’s issues
· Encourage research in both priority areas and in other important but neglected areas
The conference is supported technically and financially by UNICEF Jamaica, and is staged by the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) at the University of the West Indies, Mona in association with several child-focused agencies.
The conference is not simply about children - it facilitates the meaningful participation of children.
Since its inception, the Caribbean Child Research Conference has bestowed an award to a Distinguished Researcher who has researched child-related issues for at least ten years, and who has nurtured the work of younger researchers. In 2007, in recognition and support of the efforts by children themselves in the field of research, the conference introduced the Oustanding Child Researcher award.
The conference is not simply about children – it facilitates the meaningful participation of children. Each year, hundreds of high school students are invited to actively participate in the conference, among them several candidates for the Outstanding Child Researcher award who present their work in the children’s sessions.
An important pre-conference activity is a teacher’s workshop on child rights. During the workshops teachers from high schools across Jamaica learn about international and regional commitments to children and are guided through the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Child Care and Protection Act.
To ensure that the research findings presented in the conference are disseminated, selected papers from the conference are published. UNICEF Jamaica supported the publication of selected papers from the 2006 conference, and will also support the publication from the 2007 and 2008 conferences.
Caribbean Child Research Conference: Honouring Researchers Young and Old
Distinguished Researcher (joint winners): Elsie Le Franc, Professor Emeritus, Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies, University of the West Indies, Mona; and Professor Sally Grantham-McGregor, Institute of Child Health, University College, London.
Outstanding Child Researcher: Danielle Edwards, St. Hugh's high school, for her research on the psychological effects of crime and violence on teenagers from an inner-city community.
Distinguished Researcher: Elsa Leo-Rhynie, Professor Emerita, University of the West Indies, Mona.
Outstanding Child Researcher: Tsahai Thomas, Glenmuir high school, for her research on the relationship between media consumption and academic achievement of second form students at her high school.
Distinguished Researcher: Barbara Bailey, Director of the Centre for Gender and Development Studies, University of the West Indies, Mona.
Outstanding Child Researcher: Chantel Smith, Dunoon Technical high school, for her research on the effects of migration on the behaviour of students.
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Read more about the events, winners and presentations at the Caribbean Child Research Conference 2006-2009:
Caribbean Child Research Conference Focuses on Vulnerable Children
Caribbean Child Research Conference 2011
Children Speak Out On School Drop-Outs, Child Abuse at Child Research Conference
Over 200 Students Converge at 2008 Caribbean Child Research Conference
St. Hugh's High School student wins Outstanding Child Researcher 2007 prize at Caribbean Child Research Conference
Professors Elsie Le Franc and Sally Grantham-McGregor Win First UNICEF Award for Child Research in the Caribbean