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Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

- Children’s Rights and Education
- Children’s Participation in decision-making
- Implementation of the UNCRC

1994 …2023

Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research Interests

My expertise  is international children's rights with a particular focus on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in law and policy, education rights and children's right to participate in decision-making. I also have  written extensively on national education and social security law.



Research Statement

Laura Lundy is Co-Director of the Centre for Children’s Rights, Professor of Children's Rights at Queen’s University, Belfast and Professor of Law at University College Cork. She is  Joint Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Children’s Rights and a qualified barrister at law.  Her expertise is threefold.

Children’s right to participate in decision-making  Her 2007 paper, “’Voice’ is not enough” is one  of the most highly cited articles ever on children’s rights and the model of children’s participation it proposes (based on four key concepts - Space, Voice, Audience and Influence) is used extensively in scholarship and practice. The ‘Lundy model’ of child participation is core to the Irish National Children’s Participation Strategy (2015)  and National Framework on Child and Youth Participation and has been adopted by international organisations such as the European Commission  and  World Health Organisation and global NGOs such as World Vision. and UNICEF.

The Right to Education: she has written extensively on domestic education law (including the first text on that subject in Northern Ireland) and the international human right to education and human rights education.

The implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in law and policy.  She was the principal investigator in a  2012 study for UNICEF UK which examined incorporation of the UNCRC in law in 12 countries. This study won a Best of UNICEF research award in 2014 and was chosen as one of its most impactful research projects ever in 2019. In 2021, this was followed by an edited collection on Incorporating the UNCRC in National Law.

Drawing on the Lundy Model of Participation, the Centre for Children’s Rights has pioneered an innovative methodology for conducting rights-based participatory research with children and Professor Lundy has extensive practical experience of applying this with children of all ages in diverse social and geographical contexts.  These include a study of children’s views on public spending (involving 1693 children in 70 countries) which was commissioned to inform the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child’s 2016 General Comment No. 19 on the issue; a study of the experiences of children as human rights defenders which informed the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child’s Day of General Discussion in 2018.  Recently completed projects include: the experiences children with disabilities in the digital environment for the Council of Europe;  the Global Children’s Rights Dialogue  -a consultation with children in the five UN regions in a project to develop a set of indicators for monitoring the implementation of UN Convention on the Rights of the Child led by Global Child; and ‘Participation for Protection’ – a European Commission project developing training for professionals focused on what really matters to children who have experienced violence. Current projects include: Excluded Lives- a UK wide study on the political economies of school exclusion; Life on the Rock which employs a life history methodology to capture children's experiences on the island of Jersey for the Office of the Children’s Commissioner for Jersey; Covidunder19, a survey of 26 258 children aged 8-17 in 137 countries that captures their lives under Coronavirus; and a research study looking at the experiences of children and adults when children participate in global fora for World Vision.

She acts as expert advisor on child participation to Child Rights Connect and has provided advice and/or training on children’s rights to a wide range of other international organisations including the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, OSCE, the Council of Europe, European Commission, UNICEF, Terre des Hommes, Plan International and Save the Children.  She has also provided expert advice and training on children’s rights and participation to government departments and public bodies in the UK and Ireland and across the world, including Taiwan (where she was a member of its international expert panel reviewing its progress on children’s rights), Andorra, New Zealand, Iceland and Turkmenistan.

Professor Lundy has a particular interest in facilitating public understanding of the human rights of children through the co-production of user-friendly versions of legal texts.  She developed a set of video animations introducing the  UNCRC  to professionals (that have also been integrated into core training for UNICEF staff worldwide). She has also pioneered  the development of child-friendly versions of international human rights documents with children as co-authors, including:  a child-friendly version of the Council of Europe’s Lanzarote Convention on child abuse and exploitation; a child-friendly version of the EU Recommendation on Investing in children for Eurochild; a child-friendly version of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child’s General Comment No. 19 on public budgeting;  the first child-friendly version of a report of a UN Special Rapporteur on children’s rights and the environment. ;and a series of child-friendly versions of the 2021 EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child. She has written guidance on this process for UNICEF and the European Commission and has been asked to produce a short guide on the process  by Save the Children for its How to Child Rights series.

Research Interests

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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