Policy Work
CLC’s policy work ensures that where proposed governmental policies or legislation will impact on children and young people, government is reminded of its obligations to deliver on children’s rights as it is set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Some of the policy work we do includes:
  • Making consultation responses
  • Providing policy briefings to decision makers, partner organisations, children and young people and the general public
  • Delivering policy training
  • Making written and oral submissions to NI Assembly Committees
  • Carrying out consultations with children and young people and representing the views of children and young people to government
All recent and past CLC policy responses can be found here.

UNCRC Reporting Process 2022/23

The 2022/23 examination of the UK government by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child concluded in June 2023 with the publication of the Committee's concluding observations and recommendations.
You can find the full concluding observations below, along with an extensive list of evidence submissions and other resources produced by CLC during the reporting process.
The timeline for reporting was as follows:
08-26 June 2023
UN Committee on the Rights of the Child examination of UK government and publication of Concluding Observations and Recommendations
06-10 February 2023
UN Committee on the Rights of the Child discussion with stakeholders
15 December 2022
Stakeholders’ contributions to constructive dialogue (When the UK government’s report is received, stakeholders may submit reports or comments on the UK government’s report as well as questions and proposed recommendations for the UK government)
June 2022
UK government reply to the List of Issues (also known as the State Party Report)
March 2021
UN Committee on the Rights of the Child pre-session for the adoption of List of Issues. The Committee sent the UK government a request for specific information, known as the List of Issues, prior to reporting, containing up to 30 questions which relate to their implementation of the UNCRC
December 2020
Stakeholders’ contribution to List of Issues Prior to Reporting (LOIPR) – (Stakeholders can include children and young people themselves and organisations that work on behalf of young people)

Brexit and Children’s Rights 2016 - 2020

In 2019, CLC supported the ‘No to No Deal’ Brexit campaign, which called on the UK government to accept that a No Deal Brexit is not a viable option and to do everything in its power to prevent this possibility.
CLC has also been involved in a UK wide project consulting directly with young people in developing child accessible information on the EU Settlement Scheme.

In 2018, CLC undertook further direct consultation with children and young people across NI to seek their views on Brexit. A report outlining the views of young people following this consultation entitled ‘Brexit: Greatest Impact, Least Heard’ can be accessed here.
Since then, CLC has continued to review the Brexit negotiations and raised issues relating children’s rights when relevant.

In 2017, CLC undertook a small scale piece of research to capture the opinions of young people in relation to Brexit. A report entitled ‘Children’s Voices on Brexit’ was written outlining the young people’s views and can be accessed here.

Since the EU referendum in June 2016, the Children’s Law Centre has been working to ensure the potential serious adverse impact of Brexit on children on the island of Ireland are fully addressed as part of the Brexit negotiations.
We have been calling for children’s voices to be heard to inform the negotiations, no roll-back on existing rights, a recognition of the need to future proof for children’s rights developments and the need to protect the integrity of the Good Friday Agreement.
As part of that work, CLC and the Children’s Rights Alliance (Dublin) through PILA (Public Law Interest Alliance) and The PILS (Public Interest Litigation) Project engaged A&L Goodbody to consider some of the legal aspects of the impact of Brexit on the rights of children and young people across the island of Ireland. A copy of the research paper prepared by A&L Goodbody on behalf of the Children’s Rights Alliance and the Children’s Law Centre can be found here.

UNCRC Reports 2015 – 2016

The Children's Law Centre, Save the Children (NI) and Youth@clc, supported by the Centre for Children's Rights, Queen's University Belfast submitted a NI Young People's Report and a NI NGO Alternative Report to inform the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child's examination of the UK’s compliance with its obligations under the UNCRC, which took place in 2016. The NI Young People's Report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child was developed in collaboration with youth@clc.

The NI NGO Alternative Report represents the views of a wide range of children and young people, NGOs and adult stakeholders. It was informed by a series of consultation workshops with stakeholders. 58 NGOs and individuals endorsed the NI NGO Alternative Report. Both reports were informed by an online survey of the views of a wide range of children in relation to their rights and a series of research workshops carried out with a wide range of children and young people.

The NI NGO Alternative Report and the NI Young People's Report should be read together. They both show where Government has failed to give effect to the UNCRC in Northern Ireland since 2008. See below for links to both Reports. Youth@clc, the Children's Law Centre and Save the Children (NI) commissioned Dr Karen Orr to write a research report based on data collated through youth@clc's survey of young people’s views and experiences on their enjoyment of their UNCRC rights. See below for link to this report 'The views and experiences of young people in NI: Exploring participation, knowledge and respect for rights, community life and leisure and mental health”; 2015.

The Concluding Observations from the last examination of the UK Government (2016) by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child can be accessed here.