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Award to research children's rights in India

Researchers from the University of Essex have won funding from a government initiative to promote research collaboration with India.

The team from the Human Rights Centre and Children’s Legal Centre, based at Essex, will work with Indian organisations to improve the protection of children’s rights in India.

The Indian government recently banned child labour, but this is one of the areas the team will research as it develops ways of measuring whether the state is upholding and protecting children’s rights.

The two-year programme of research is being funded by the UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI).The winning proposal was among 23 out of 261 applicants selected, and one of only three social science/humanities bids funded by the programme. The award was announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon Gordon Brown, in Delhi last month.

The project, which will involve exchange links between senior academics and research students, is being led by Dr Todd Landman from the Human Rights Centre and Professor Peter Ronald De Souza of the Centre for Developing Societies in Delhi.

Project partners include the Children’s Legal Centre, Children’s Rights Goa, and the VM Salgoacar College of Law in Goa. The Children’s Legal Centre will draw on its extensive experience of developing juvenile justice legislation in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics of Central Asia.

Dr Landman said: ‘This is a great achievement for the Human Rights Centre, which has long sought to develop research links with the global south. We will be liaising with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) who work with street children, studying labour practices, access to schools and healthcare, and analysing official government statistics. Some of the data will be very difficult to collect.’

The aim is to achieve wider recognition of children’s rights and the obligation of the state to uphold them. The project team will seek further funding to develop a programme of conferences and seminars to disseminate their findings and expertise.

Jenny Grinter | alfa
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