Children’s Law Centre Annual Lecture 2018

Published 9 January 2019. By Kym Horner

The Children’s Law Centre is one of the leading children’s charities in Northern Ireland, working to protect the rights of children and young people, and ensure they have access to all relevant services available to them. MKB Law Director and head of the Family Law department, Anne Marie Kelly, is Chair of the CLC Management Committee.

Every year the Children’s Law Centre invites a leading figure to deliver a lecture on the human rights arena with particular focus on children’s rights issues. The 2018 lecture was held on Monday 15th October at the Old Bar Library with special guest speaker, Mikiko Otani.

Mikiko is an international human rights lawyer based in Tokyo and is a Member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child – she is the first Japanese representative to be selected as a member of the committee.

This year’s lecture also coincided with the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). In her speech, Mikiko reflected on the impact of the Convention and drew attention to the social, economic and political conditions that children face today – areas which have changed significantly over three decades.

The main focus of Mikiko’s lecture lay in the right to an effective remedy for children within international human rights treaties including access to justice – ­the full transcript from the lecture can be viewed here.

Mikiko Otani: “I would like to end with the powerful quote of Pais, United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, in 2009:

‘The right to an effective remedy was proclaimed more than 60 years ago as a core dimension of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and remains an essential component of any system of accountability for the rights of the child. It provides the bridge between theoretical recognition and meaningful enforcement.’ “

The lecture was chaired by The Honourable Lord Justice Stephens, with additional commentary provided by Paddy Kelly, Director of the Children’s Law Centre, and Anne Marie Kelly.

The event was well attended by members of the legal profession, social workers, NGOs, and other bodies interested in advocating and promoting children’s rights. Photographs from the event can be found below, published with kind permission from the Children’s Law Centre.

For further information on any of the issues raised in this article please contact us or the Children’s Law Centre.

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