Anglia Ruskin University's new Law Unit looks to protect children and the vulnerable

Published: 18 October 2005 at 15:41

Anglia Ruskin University has opened a new unit to undertake teaching, training and research in areas of child rights, child protection and the legal, political and economic issues surrounding social care. The Unit for the Law of Children and the Vulnerable, a part of the Anglia Law School, is engaging in its work in collaboration with other departments of the University and a network of professional external partners.

Graham Ritchie, the Director of the Unit, previously worked at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies at London University where he was engaged in work in South Africa, North America, Puerto Rico and Turkey. The international network of scholars associated with the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies is a source of academic expertise available to the new Anglia Ruskin University Unit. 

Said Graham:

"Although there are international conventions for the protection of children's rights in practice, there is no accepted standard between countries for the way in which children are actually looked after. The unit will work to increase awareness that children should be looked after to an acceptable standard wherever they live."

The new unit has been represented at a conference on the current Local Government reforms for the delivery of children's services; and at a conference of Local Authority Commissioning Officers to look at the costings and expected outcomes of the residential provision for children and young persons. 

Writing on international issues of child rights in association with other European and world academics is in its early stages as are a number of applications for research projects.

One of its first regionally staged events, a workshop on Trafficking in Children and Young Persons, held at Jesus College, Cambridge for the twenty-third International Symposium on Economic Crime attracted an international audience of academics, government and police representatives. At the workshop it was reported that the trafficking of women and children in the UK for the sex trade had become an 'endemic' problem which now involved thousands of people.

The unit will be hosting a conference in collaboration with Anglia Ruskin University's Institute of Health and Social Care (IHSC) on 29 November 2005 on the new Children's Trusts being established by Local Authorities for the provision of children's services for the future.

Anglia Ruskin University's Department of Law is ranked 6th in the league of new universities according to the Times Good University Guide 2005.