Childrens Law Centre
Childrens Law Centre
The Children’s Law Centre (CLC) is an independent charitable organisation which works towards a society where all children can participate, are valued, have their rights respected and guaranteed without discrimination and where every child can achieve their full potential.
We offer training and research on children’s rights, we make submissions on law, policy and practice affecting children and young people and we run a legal advice, information and representation service. We have a dedicated free phone legal advice line for children and young people and their parents and carers called CHALKY and a youth advisory group called [email protected]. Within our policy, legal, advice and representation services we deal with a range of issues in relation to children and the law, including the law with regard to some of our most vulnerable children and young people, such as looked after children, children who come into conflict with the law, children with special educational needs, children living in poverty, children with disabilities, children with mental health problems and children and young people from ethnic minority backgrounds.
Our organisation is founded on the principles enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), in particular:
• Children shall not be discriminated against and shall have equal access to protection.
• All decisions taken which affect children’s lives should be taken in the child’s best interests.
• Children have the right to have their voices heard in all matters concerning them.
• Compliment existing services provided by voluntary, community, statutory and legal sectors.
• Work in partnership with children, parents, carers and other agencies.
• Provide accessible information, advice and representation.
• Promote children's participation.
• Provide education and training programmes to increase understanding of children's rights.
• Engage in legislation and policy commentary.
CLC provides a child focused and child friendly legal advice, information and representation service unique in Northern Ireland. The work of the legal team includes:
• CHALKY Freephone advice line for children/young people and their parents/carers.
• Free legal representation for children/young people at educational tribunals, mental health review tribunals, SENDIST appeals etc.
• Representation in a small number of strategic Judicial Reviews.
• 3rd Party Interventions on key children's rights issues.
The policy team at CLC works to ensure that all new legislation and policies are compliant with children's rights. This work involves:
• Making consultation responses.
• Briefing decision makers, partner organisations, children/young people and the general public.
• Making written and oral submissions to Northern Ireland Assembly committees.
• Attending Party Conferences.
• Consulting with children and young people and representing their views to decision makers.
CLC provides a range of training seminars for legal professionals, service providers, parents and carers on a wide range of topics related to children's rights. These include:
• Special Educational Needs
• Children's Human Rights in Practice
• Rights of Homeless Young People
• Mental Health
• Access to Justice
• Equality of Opportunity for Children and Young People
CLC also delivers children's rights workshops in schools and youth settings.
Youth Participation and Advocacy Work
The work of CLC is guided and directly informed by the views of [email protected], our youth advisory panel. [email protected] inform our work through:
• Participation in consultation responses
• Running children's rights based campaigns
9.00 am - 1.00 pm and 2.00 - 5.00 pm Monday to Friday