Laura Lundy

Keynote Video

Laura Lundy is Co-Director of the Centre for Children’s Rights and a Professor of Education Law and Children’s Rights in the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work at Queen’s University, Belfast. She is joint Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Children’s Rights. Her expertise is in law and human rights with a particular focus on children’s right to participate in decision-making and education rights. Her 2007 paper in the British Educational Research Journal, “’Voice’ is not enough” is one of the most highly cited academic papers in BERJ and on children’s rights ever. 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” has been adopted by numerous national governments and public bodies as well as international organisations including the European Commission, World Health Organisation, UNICEF and World Vision.

Human Rights Law: a framework for reconciling the competing interests of state, society and students?

Human rights law defines the expectations placed on the states (duty-bearers) that ratify international treaties and the corollary expectations of children (rights-holders) within education. It establishes qualified prescriptions for action while offering a framework for enacting reconciliations between the sometimes competing demands of society, education systems and schools and the individual student. When disputes arise about the content of curricula, dress codes, disciplinary sanctions and/or the nature of educational provision itself, human rights law is invoked frequently by those involved as a way of resolving conflicting demands. Geneva, as the birthplace and primary home of the UN’s global human rights system, is a fitting place to reflect on its value and limitations within education. This paper will track the evolution of the right to education, drawing on a number of case studies from across Europe to consider whether and, if so, it has offered a useful approach for reconciling the oft competing interests of the state, the public, parents/ guardians and the children who are the primary rights-holders. The paper will conclude with a consideration of what an explicit children’s rights-based approach might offer educational practitioners and researchers, with an emphasis on the entitlement of children to be involved in shaping not just education systems but understanding of human rights to, in and through education.

Upcoming ECERs

ECER'24, Nicosia
ECER'25, Belgrade
ECER'26, Tampere
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Important Dates ECER 2021

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ERC 2021, online
ECER 2021, online
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