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Publications

Collins, T. M., Jamieson, L., Wright L. H. V., Rizzini I., Mayhew, A., Tisdall, E. K. M., Ruiz-Casares, M. (2020). Involving child and youth advisors in academic research about child participation: The child and youth advisory committees of the international and Canadian child rights partnership. Children and Youth Services Review, 109, 104569. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2019.104569.

Abstract: Nearly thirty years ago, the world recognised the participation rights of children with the adoption by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Since then childhood researchers in the Global South and Global North have been at the forefront of promoting these rights. The increased involvement of children and youth in research has challenged ‘traditional’ adult research practices in numerous ways. This article explores the role and contributions of Child and Youth Advisory Committees (CYACs) in the research process. It discusses the establishment of CYACs and how they supported the International and Canadian Child Rights Partnership (ICCRP). The ICCRP began as a three-year multi-country research project addressing children’s rights to participation and protection and monitoring this connection internationally within several Global South and North countries: Brazil, Canada, China and South Africa. This article describes the creation and functioning of the ICCRP CYACs and the strengths, challenges, and creative processes in implementation. Findings presented relate to ethics regulation, differing expectations and assumptions about CYAC involvement, and virtual communication. These are discussed with the inclusion of adult researchers’ and the CYAC members’ perspectives. The article shares lessons learned about the role and significance of dialogue to support other child and youth advisory bodies in research at the local and global levels.

Rizzini, I., Tabak. J. & Collins, T. M. (2020). (Des)Proteção Social e Violação de Direitos – English: Social Protection at Risk and Rights Violations, external link. PUCRio Journal. 46(1).  

Abstract: This issue of the Journal celebrates the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The articles discuss the use of several concepts about the idea of the rights of the child and the adolescent and practical challenges to their implementation. The articles also invite us to further develop policies about child protection in the light of new paradigms of contemporary childhood. The Issue arose from an international seminar held at PUC-Rio in May 2019 which was organized by the Department of Social Work and the Institute of International Relations at the university together with the Children and Youth Advisory Committees of the International and Canadian Child Rights Partnership (ICCRP). 

Rizzini, I., Tabak. J. & Collins, T. M. (2020). PDF file(Des)Proteção Social e Violação de Direitos – English: Social Protection at Risk and Rights Violations. Editorial [in Portuguese]., external link PUCRio Journal. 46(1). 9-20. 


Ruiz-Casares, M. & Gonzalez, E. (2020). PDF fileChild participation in child protection research: The role of children and youth advisory committees. [in Spanish], external link O Social em Questão O Social em Questão. 46(1), 47-66. 

Abstract: The International Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) underlines participation and protection as fundamental rights. In the field of child protection research, the role of children and young people has often been reduced to sources of information through interviews, questionnaires, and participant observations. However, an increasing number of academics and practitioners advocate for greater participation of children and youth in research decision making. This article illustrates this position with the experience of the Children and Youth Advisory Committees of the International and Canadian Child Rights Partnership, highlighting successes and challenges of the project. 


Mayhew, A. (2020). PDF fileBook Review: Duncan, Mandy. Participation in Child Protection: Theorizing Children’s Perspectives (Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019).  [Translated into Portuguese.], external link O Social em Questão O Social em Questão. 46(1), 335-344.

Abstract: This book review discusses its contribution to understandings of children’s participation in child protection.

Moran-Ellis, J., & Tisdall, E. K. M. (2019). The relevance of ‘competence’ for enhancing or limiting children’s participation: Unpicking conceptual confusion, external link. Global Studies of Childhood. 9(3).

Abstract: This article was influenced but not centrally on the ICCRP project: abstract  Recent debates about children’s participation rights, formulated in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, primarily focus on ‘effectiveness’ of implementation. However, children’s participation remains problematic, its limited impact on adult power in decision-making or on the nature of decisions made persists, and implicated in both are reservations about children’s competence as participants. In respect of this, we analysed conceptualisations of competence in 67 articles, published between 2007 and 2017 in six childhood studies journals, in which ‘competence’ and its variations appear in the abstract. Although competence was rarely defined, conceptualisations were wide-ranging, covering competence as skills, as compliance with adult views, and as a trope signalling the field of childhood studies. As a result of our findings, we argue that epistemological clarity is vital for this concept to be useful regarding children’s participation and that attention must be paid to the different kinds of competences relevant for ‘effective’ participation.


Collins, T. (2019). PDF fileChildren’s Rights and the South African Child and Youth Care & Youth Conferences, external link. CYC-Online/CYC-Net. 247. 40-46

Abstract: This article outlines Dr. Tara Collins’s experience from the National Association of Child Care Workers (NACCW) 22nd Biennial & 4th CYC-NET World Conference 2019 in Durban from July 2-4, 2019.


Collins, T., Shiwcharran, R., McLean, M. M., Shin, R. & Lima, C. (2019). PDF fileInternational and Canadian Child Rights Partnership (ICCRP), external link. CYC-Online/CYC-Net. 245.

Abstract: This article outlines what the ICCRP is and what it does.


Jamieson, L., Shin, R., Mjilana, Z., Dywili, A. & Collins, T. (2019). The International and Canadian Child Rights Partnership (ICCRP). Journal of Child & Youth Care Work. 37(1).

Abstract: Four-page article for the NACCW’s professional journal for child and youth care workers about the ICCRP.


Cuevas-Parra, P., & Tisdall, E. K. M. (2019). Child-led research: Questioning knowledge, external link. Social Sciences, 8(2), 44. doi:10.3390/socsci8020044.

Abstract: This article was influenced by (but not centrally on) the ICCRP project: abstract Over the last twenty years, childhood studies has challenged the schooled and developmental models of childhood. The children’s rights agenda has combined with academic childhood studies, to emphasise that children are and can be social actors and to seek ways to recognise and support their participation rights. For those who promote the participation of children and young people, there is considerable enthusiasm to involve them in all research stages—from research planning, fieldwork, and analysis to dissemination, leading to growth in what is often called ‘child-led research’. This article draws upon an empirical study of ‘child-led research’ projects, undertaken in Bangladesh, Jordan and Lebanon, for a critical examination of the meanings and implications of ‘child-led research’. In particular, this paper explores what counts as knowledge in social science research within contexts of generational difference and power.


Grover, S. (2019) Collective Reparations as a Partial Remedy for State-Perpetrated Blanket Violations of the Rights of Targeted Child Asylum-Seeker Groups, external link. In Global Community Yearbook of International Law and Jurisprudence  (2018) pp 337-368.


Ruiz-Casares, M. (2018). YFE TIG Week: Establishing and Maintaining Child and Youth Advisory Committees [Blog post], external link. Retrieved from https://aea365.org/blog/yfe-tig-week-establishing-and-maintaining-child-and-youth-advisory-committees-by-monica-ruiz-casares/.

Abstract: A blog post of the process of establishing and maintaining Child and Youth Advisory Committee (CYAC) within ICCRP, and the lessons learned from the CYAC.


Le Borgne, C., & Tisdall, E. K. M. (2017). Children’s participation: Questioning competence and competencies? Social Inclusion, 5(3), 122-130. doi:10.17645/si.v5i3.986.

Abstract: While Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child has encouraged children’s  participation in collective decision-making, the literature is replete with the challenges as well as successes of such participation. One challenge is adults’ perceptions of children’s competence and competencies. These are frequently used as threshold criteria, so that children viewed as incompetent or lacking competencies are not allowed or supported to participate. Despite this casual elision between children’s participation and their (perceived) competence and competencies, the latter are rarely explicitly defined, theorised or evidenced. This article draws on research undertaken in Tamil Nadu (South India) and Scotland (UK), with two non-governmental organisations supporting children’s participation in their communities. The article examines how staff members can validate and enhance children’s competence and competencies, by scaffolding children to influence decision-making and recognising and adding to children’s knowledge. These empirical findings suggest the need for increased scrutiny of the concepts of competence and competencies, recognising their disempowering potential. The findings argue that competence is situationally and socially constructed rather than a set and individual characteristic.


Porto, C., & Rizzini I. (2017). La visión de los niños sobre sus ciudades: reflexiones sobre aportes metodológico, external links. (English: Learning the views of children about their cities: reflections about new methodologies). Sociedad e Infancias, 1, 299-320. https://doi.org/10.5209/SOCI.55929.

Abstract: The issue of child participation in decisions about their lives has become part of intense discussions and studies since the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN 1989) and, in Brazil, since the passage of the Statute of the Child and the Adolescent (1990). The right to participation developed along several lines such as the right to free expression and demanding respect for the opinions of children. But before children’s voices can be respected they must be heard and this article explores new ways for hearing those voices. This article is a reflection on two projects which explored new ways of eliciting children’s voices. In both cases photographs and video were used as key tools. It examines which methods enhance connections among researchers, researchers and children and make possible at the same time an opening for the unexpected to happen. We also examine how the results of this study fit in with the existing literature on listening to children.

*English version of the article was published in May 2019.


Collins, T. M. (2017). excel fileA child's right to participate: Implications for international child protection. The International Journal of Human Rights, 21(1), 14-46. doi:10.1080/13642987.2016.1248122.

Abstract: Child protection is an essential international policy and programming priority involving various efforts. While different actors attempt to redress child protection issues, it is unclear how they appreciate and respect child participation in their work. Consequently, the essential question for this article is how child participation is understood and implemented in international child protection efforts. The child’s rights to participate and to protection are included in several provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) and other international human rights instruments. Due to numerous benefits, much literature and various actors and organisations support the role and value of child participation. Nevertheless, child participation poses a significant challenge in practice for various reasons including age discrimination, denial of opportunities, as well as tokenistic and irrelevant participatory efforts. Accordingly, this article reviews the international human rights framework and the literature in order to obtain a thorough understanding of how participation and protection are defined and practiced in international child protection efforts and the implications for international human rights in order to generate some considerations for future work. It is submitted that the role and right of child participation reflects rhetoric rather than practice in relation to the historical priority of child protection in most development and humanitarian efforts concerning children.


Collins, T.M., Grover, S., Ruiz-Casares, M. & Tisdall, E.K.M.  (2017). Facilitating Child Participation in International Child Protection, external link. The International Journal of Human Rights, 21(1). 1-13. Doi:10.1080/13642987.2016.1262520.

Abstract: This introduction provides the rationale for the special issue of the International Journal of Human Rights on the topic of the children’s right to participation and protection in international development and humanitarian efforts. It summarises selected contributions relating to an international conference entitled ‘Facilitating Child Participation in International Child Protection’ that took place 5–6 October 2015 at Ryerson University in Toronto (Canada). The concepts of child participation and child protection are explored. Then, the challenges and opportunities are highlighted regarding the actual and potential participatory role of children and young people in effective child protection. Finally, an overview of the articles included in this collection is provided.


Collins, T.M., Grover, S., Ruiz-Casares, M., & Tisdall, E.K.M. (2017). Facilitating Child Participation in International Child Protection, external link. The International Journal of Human Rights, 21(1). Doi:10.1080/13642987.2016.1262520.

Abstract: In recent years, increasing international attention surrounding children and young people’s participation in international development and humanitarian interventions has grown. This special issue contributes perspectives from different continents and fields of study/disciplines. At the same time, the articles raise important questions regarding the import of children and young people’s participation in international child protection and readers will thereby be encouraged, it is hoped, to consider the implications for children’s rights in a broad range of practical settings as well as for child human rights theory. We hope that the arguments presented in this special journal issue will add enthusiasm to ongoing, critical research and mobilization towards effective child protection.


Ruiz-Casares, M., Collins, T.M., Tisdall, E.K.M., & Grover, S. (2017). “Children’s Rights to Participation and Protection in International Development and Humanitarian Interventions: Nurturing a Dialogue, external link” special issue of International Journal of Human Rights, 1-13, 21(1).  

Abstract: This editorial provides the rationale for the special issue of the International Journal of Human Rights on the topic of the children’s right to participation and protection in international development and humanitarian efforts. It summarises selected contributions relating to an international conference entitled ‘Facilitating Child Participation in International Child Protection’ that took place 5–6 October 2015 at Ryerson University in Toronto (Canada). The concepts of child participation and child protection are explored. Then, the challenges and opportunities are highlighted regarding the actual and potential participatory role of children and young people in effective child protection. Finally, an overview of the articles included in this collection is provided.


Brinco, C., & Collins, T.M. (2016). Exploring Tensions in Child Participation in International Child Protection: Briefing Note. Child Participation Working Group of the International Child Protection Network of Canada. 1-7. Retrieved from PDF fileExploring Tensions in Child Participation in International Child Protection Briefing Note.

Abstract: The Facilitating Child Participation in International Child Protection Conference convened at Ryerson University from October 5th and 6th, 2015. Participants heard voices of professionals in the field of children’s rights from various academic institutions, government affiliates and non-governmental agencies and from children and youth. These children and youth were involved in a preparatory meeting in advance of the conference in order to support their understanding of the tensions. During this meeting, many of their concerns were brought to light and added to the discourse at the conference that followed. The conference participants sought to address concerns in child participation and protection though the sharing of expertise in the field, and by addressing gaps in international frameworks. This briefing note disseminates the knowledge shared over the two conference days as they relate to current tensions.

McMellon, C. & Tisdall, E. K. M. (TBD). Children and Young People’s Participation Rights: Looking Backwards and Moving Forwards. International Journal of Children's Rights.

Abstract: This article was influenced but not centrally on the ICCRP project: abstract Children and young people’s participation is an ever-growing demand. Thirty years on from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child’s adoption, however, fundamental challenges continue for participation that are widely recognised cross-nationally but remain stubbornly consistent. As a way in to considering the children and young people’s participation literature more generally, all articles referring to participation in their titles were identified from The International Journal of Children’s Rights. These 56 articles were analysed to identify trends, challenges and opportunities. The analysis found: a remarkably consistent narrative on participation over the thirty years; limitations on domains considered, geography and conceptual clarity; and far more written about challenges than solutions. Drawing on these findings and considering the participation literature more generally, the article recommends that the field expands its geographic and intellectual boundaries, uses powerful concepts like agency, competency and autonomy with greater precision, and explores fresh ideas like child protoganism, activism and children as human rights defenders.  


Collins, T.M., Mayhew, A., & Rizzini, I. (TBD). Are the Conceptualizations and Practices of the Child Rights to Participate and Protection in Limbo? For submission shortly.

Abstract: A Systematic Literature Review & Research Project of the International and Canadian Child Rights Partnership.


Collins, T.M., Sinclair, L., Zufelt, V. (TBD). The Child’s Rights to Participation and Protection: Examining Child and Youth Care College Curriculum in Ontario.  For submission shortly.

Abstract: Qualitative data being presented from several ICCRP data sources.  


Laura L. H. V., Collins, T. & Yue, C. (TBD). Children’s Participation in Child Protection: Creaking the Door Open through Education in China