Researching Reform is a project improving policy and law for children in the UK and beyond. Our Voice of the Child Podcasts feature experts, families and campaigners talking about how politics, law and current affairs affect children.
The Best Interests of the Child Review - Meet the Team
Welcome to the Best Interests of the Child Review, the first parent-led review of children's social care in England and Wales.
In our first podcast the team at BIC introduce themselves, and talk about why they decided to launch the review. They also explain what their first publication "Children and Their Families Have Rights" is about.
Should domestic abusers be allowed contact with their children?
What happens when a domestically abusive parent asks for contact with their child following a separation or divorce in the family courts?
And is the family court in its current form the best place to process child contact requests in cases where there are allegations of domestic abuse, or cases where one parent has already been convicted of at least one violent offence?
The Voice of the Child speaks with campaigners Sammy Woodhouse and Victoria Hudson about a new campaign they've launched, which proposes some radical changes to the family justice system in England and Wales, and why forcing children to have contact with domestically abusive or violent partners is often harmful to them.
The World's First Corporal Punishment Case At The United Nations
A young girl has lodged a case with the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) detailing the relentless corporal punishment and abuse she experienced at her school in Sri Lanka, when she was just 11 years old.
The case, believed to be the first of its kind, has been accepted by the top UN body, and asks the court to protect all children in Sri Lanka from corporal punishment, and to put an end to conflicting legislation inside the country which has created a loophole allowing child assaults.
Speaking to the Voice of the Child from London, Adriana Wickramanayaka Cutter, who is now 14, talked about the violence she experienced at an international school in Sri Lanka and how it led to a trauma diagnosis.
Like many children at school in Sri Lanka, Adriana was subjected to repeated blows to the head, painful bouts of ear pulling and demands to kneel before male teachers in front of the class, as forms of discipline.
Her brother Alex Wickramanayaka Cutter, 18, spoke about how his sister's treatment affected him, and what happened to him at school after his parents complained.
Adriana and Alex's mother Dr Thushara Wickramanayaka -- who is the daughter of former Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka, and the founder of the Stop Child Cruelty Trust -- joined the call from Sri Lanka to explain how the law suit came about, and why it is needed to put at end to a culture of child assault inside the country.
In 2014, Alison O'Reilly broke a story about a mother and children's home in Tuam, Ireland, which had stored the remains of 796 children, in a septic tank.
The home had been operational from 1925 to 1961, and was part of a wider policy to 're-home' children born to unmarried mothers, who were considered by the state to be unable to care for their children.
The story was reported on around the world.
Six years later, on July 27th, another report involving more than 1,000 children who had died, this time at Sean Ross Abbey, was published.
Alison talks to the Voice of the Child about the growing number of children who died in these homes, and how she came to break the story about the Tuam baby deaths.
We also discuss whether the mass deaths could be classified as genocide, as more information emerges about how the children died.
She also outlines what she thinks of the UK's care system today, why adoption and foster care policies need to change, and why she feels the voice of the child is still not at the forefront of social work.
Children with a Parent in Prison
What happens to a child when one or both of their parents go to prison, and what is life like for a child with a parent in jail?
Sarah Burrows, founder of award winning charity Children Heard and Seen, explains.
The transcript for this podcast can be found at: https://researchingreform.net/2020/07/16/children-with-parents-in-prison-diagnosed-with-ptsd-voice-of-the-child-podcast/
Children in Prison
There are currently over 800 children in prison in the UK, with at least half coming through the care system. While incidents of physical restraint and self harm in detention centres have risen dramatically, the number of black children and children from other ethnic minorities continue to be disproportionately represented inside prison settings.
Award winning charity Safe Ground, talks about life in prison for children, why the new lockdown rules in prison amount to child abuse for children on the inside, and how a brave group of boys are disrupting the sector to make things better.
The transcript for this podcast can be found at: https://researchingreform.net/2020/07/09/if-a-family-did-that-to-a-child-the-child-would-be-removed-from-them-voice-of-the-child-podcast/