Beijing Children’s Legal Aid and Research Centre (BCLARC) is delighted to announce that it will be hosting a Global Youth Leadership Seminar on Child Protection (“the seminar”) in Beijing in July 2019. International travel expenses and local accommodations in Beijing will be covered by the project.
The seminar will focus on the international legal protection of children and aims to enhance the communication and collaboration within the global child protection community. Legal experts and advocates working on children’s rights and protection around the world are welcome to apply, and a total number of 20 applicants will be invited to participate in the seminar.
I. Project Background
Why is the seminar focused on children’s legal protection？
In the past decades, many children’s rights NGOs have played a wide variety of important roles in the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and in promoting the equal protection of children. However, there are still many challenges faced by professional legal practitioners in relation to the legal protection of children, such as the lack of professional exchange and networking, the difficulty of forming a joint force to successfully lobby, and the very limited number of international projects that can be promoted on a larger scale, etc. In many countries, especially developing countries, there is little or no access to legal aid services which are prompt, professional and also affordable, especially when the rights of children are infringed upon. In addition, due to the lack of active participation of legal experts who specialize in children’s rights, there is often a lack of voice on children’s rights and interests issues in legislation and policy making process. Many countries have still not yet effectively incorporated their responsibilities under the Convention on the Rights of the Child into their domestic legislations. When children’s rights are violated, there is a lack of leading voices to assist the children, their families and the society to have access to justice and legal protection.
BCLARC was established in 1999 and received the special consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council in 2011. As a children’s rights organization with legal background, BCLARC is now devoted to build the Global Partnership for Children, a dynamic platform for global collaboration and peer sharing. At present, the Global Partnership for Children is focusing on establishing a legal advocate community for child protection internationally.
In recent years, BCLARC also worked on bringing together legal advocates around the world for peer sharing, peer learning and networking. It has also established long-term cooperative relations with civil society organizations, governments, as well as private sector actors with the aim of motivating the public into respecting and protecting the rights of children. Currently, BCLARC has been actively engaged in UN human rights and children’s rights events and has established collaborative relationships with many children’s rights organizations worldwide, such as UNICEF, Save the Children Plan, etc. In 2018, BCLARC signed cooperative MOUs with ECPAT and Child Fund Australia on joint research, collaborative conducts, resource sharing, etc. In March 2018, BCLARC co-hosted the A20 Global Social Leadership Summit on Child Advocacy with Alibaba Group. The summit provided a platform for leaders of children’s rights NGOs from 20 countries to share their best practices, exchange information on child advocacy and encourage collaborations within the global child protection community.
Since the establishment of BCLARC, it has been committed to the legal protection of children and has been promoting and providing high quality legal services and successful advocacy for children for the past two decades in China. It provides free legal assistance to children whose rights have been infringed upon in various parts in China, conducts empirical research, promotes legislative and policy reforms in the area of child protection in China, and coordinates lawyers for the protection of minors nationwide working on a pro bono basis. There are many experiences that can be learned from BCLARC’s history of more than 20 years of best practice in China. Its strategies and models are proven to be both effective and cost-efficient in relation to promoting children’s rights and protection. BCLARC has formed China’s largest legal service network consisting of more than 8,000 lawyers working for the most vulnerable children and is the most influential child protection organization in China.
II. Application Criteria
1. Target group:
Professional child protection lawyers, senior management staff members in children’s rights organizations, heads of legal clinics in universities, and other professional individuals who have managed children’s legal protection projects in children’s rights organizations.
2. Capacity in network building:
Having experience in developing professional legal protection networks for children online or offline will be an advantage.
3. Good reputation in the child protection and children’s rights field:
At least one piece of media coverage must be provided.
4. Demonstrated proficiency in written and oral English.
5. Between the ages of 18–45.
Outstanding applicants who might not meet the above criteria could also be considered, but certain proof has to be provided. A limited number of seats for academicians from university-based child research institutes may be available.
III. Project Content
This seminar aims to strengthen and promote the international collaboration among legal experts and professionals in the field of children’s rights and child protection. It will also provide an opportunity for exchange and networking among the leading international child protection and children’s rights advocacy organizations. Some key sessions of the seminar include topics as follows:
1. Exchanging child protection best practices;
2. Exploring potential cooperation and supports among children’s rights NGOs;
3. Training session on strategies for the legal society to effectively contribute to and advocate for child protection and children’s rights;
4. Cultural visits.
In addition, we expect the applicants to join us in thinking about the following four questions and share their personal insights in the cover letter:
1. In your opinion, what personal qualities and professional skills should a legal expert on child protection have? Why?
2. In the context of your own country, how can a legal expert on child protection be selected and trained?
3.How can a legal professional’s network (e.g. an association or online platform) for child legal protection assist with and facilitate the effective and active contribution of the legal professionals to children’s right and child protection in a country? What kinds of participants need to be included? How to mobilize the participants? What roles do participants need to play? Do you have any first-hand experience in this regard?
4. Each country has its own information and resources related to child protection. How can we integrate this information to better facilitate international information exchange?
IV. How to apply
The applicants could either submit following application materials to firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out the application form and submit the materials through the following link http://lxi.me/82q-f before March 31, 2019:
1. The application form（click to download）;
2. Two recommendation letters;
3. Curriculum Vitae of the applicant;
4. Proof of their capacity in building child legal protection networks, and proof of good reputation in the child protection and children’s rights field (at least one piece of media coverage); and
5. Proof of their outstanding qualifications, if the applicant does not meet the above criteria.
Shortlisted candidates will be invited to have an interview with us and a total of 20 applicants will be finally invited to participate in the seminar.