Through a partnership with academics, practitioners and children, this study aims to contribute to help adults and agencies learn from, and engage with, children by monitoring their participation within the context of child protection. To do so, the International and Canadian Child Rights Partnership (ICCRP) was assembled to create a multisectoral partnership, with the commitment to engage children aged 10–18. The ICCRP is comprised of research team members from Ryerson University (Canada), International Institute for Child Rights and Development (Canada), University of Cape Town (South Africa), Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro/CIESPI/PUC-Rio (Brazil), the University of Edinburgh (UK), McGill University (Canada), and Lakehead University (Canada). Partners include the Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux (CIUSSS) du Centre-Ouest-de-l'Île-de-Montréal, Equitas-International Centre for Human Rights Education, New Brunswick Office of the Child and Youth Advocate (Canada), Plan International Canada, Right to Play International/Right to Play China, Save the Children Canada, and the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth – Ontario (Canada).

This research focuses on three main goals:
1. To identify current conceptualizations of monitoring child participation in international child protection via document analysis and key informant interviews;
2. To clarify context-specific of monitoring participation in child protection from case study research via fieldwork in Canada, Brazil, China, and South Africa with the participation of children and key actors in both the field work and data analysis;
3. To analyze the connections between children's participation and child protection outcomes.

Main activities accomplished by the international project team:
PHASE 1 of the research (December 2016 - current):
1. The creation of the Child and Youth Advisory Committee, which will include young people between 16 and 25 years of age, will be responsible for advising and guiding the research team for the three-year project; and
2. Interviews with key actors in the global context in order to identify current conceptions of monitoring child participation in international child protection.
3. A literature review in international scope, including a special focus on Latin American countries in order to further explore and contrast concepts and research data on the right to participation and processes of monitoring child participation.
4. Case studies in Canada, Brazil, South Africa and China with the aim to understand the realities, challenges, and successes of monitoring participation in child protection in specific contexts and develop recommendations for effective measurement.
Venues where project related data have been addressed
In 2017, the ICCRP published a special issue of the International Journal of Human Rights entitled “Facilitating Child Participation in International Child Protection” following an international conference we organized in Toronto (2015) to explore the tensions between children’s participation and their protection. A proposal for an article on child and youth participation in decision-making was recently accepted for a special issue of Children and Youth Services Review.
Conference presentations and workshops include: the 5th Conference of the International Society for Child Indicators, 2015, Cape Town; the 6th Conference of the International Society for Child Indicators, 2017, Montreal; 56th Congreso Internacional de Americanistas ICA, Salamanca, Spain 2018; Children as Actors Transforming Society Annual Conference, 2018, Caux, Switzerland; IV Simpósio Luso-Brasileiro de Estudos da Criança: Políticas Públicas e Participação, PUC-Goiás, Goiânia, 2018; the IPSCAN XXII International Congress on Child Abuse and Neglect, Prague, 2018; the Contemporary Childhood Conference, Glasgow, 2018; and a Briefing to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, 2018, Geneva.

Project team

International: Tara Collins – Ryerson University
Brazil: Irene Rizzini – DSS/PUC-Rio; CIESPI/PUC-Rio
Executive Coordination: Maria Cristina Bó – CIESPI/PUC-Rio

Kay Tisdall, Edinburgh University, Scotland
Tara Collins – Ryerson University, Canada
Phillip Cook, Royal Roads/ICCRD, Canada
Lucy Jamielson, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Mónica Ruiz-Casares, Mcgill University, Canada
Sonja Grover, Lakehead University, Canada
Laura Wright, Right to Play, Canada
Amanda Mayhew, Ryerson University, Canada
Irene Rizzini – PUC-Rio/CIESPI, Brazil
Jana Tabak – PUC-Rio/IRI, CIESPI, Brazil
Eduarda Sampaio – CIESPI/PUC-Rio, Brazil