Children's Law Centre ‘Rights House’ 127-131 Ormeau Road, Belfast, BT7 1SH

Freephone Advice For Children and Young People
Call Chalky 0808 808 5678


What training do we provide?

The provision of training and information events is integral to the work of the Children’s Law Centre.  All training delivered by CLC is directly informed by legal, policy and legislative developments relevant to children and young people and is underpinned by the key principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by the UK Government in 1991:     Article 2 - Non discrimination     Article 3 - Best Interests of the Child     Article 12 - Voice of the Child CLC training aims to support all stakeholders in making children's rights a reality in this jurisdiction by:     Raising awareness and understanding of children's rights     Promoting the protection and mainstreaming of children's rights Training Calendar Courses - All Sectors Course fees (unless stated otherwise) CLC member rate  £45 plus VAT (£54) Non member rate  £65 plus VAT (£78) To book online for any of the courses below email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Children's Rights Legal Seminars; February - April 2019 All seminars will be held in the Training Room on the 1st Floor, Rights House, 127 - 131 Ormeau Road, Belfast.  Please note that lunch is not included before the following events. Protecting the Rights of Children with ASD 27 February 2019; 1.30pm—4.30pm Aim:   To provide an overview of the legal rights of children with ASD with a focus on education and access to support services and an update on case law and advocacy practice. Audience:    Guardian Ad Litems, Social Workers, Legal Advisors, Parents, Carers, Family Support and Advice Workers, Teachers, SENCOs. Special Educational Needs—New Legislative Framework 27 March 2019; 1.30pm-4.30pm Aim: To increase understanding of the rights of children with special educational needs within the new SEN legislative framework (SEND Act NI 2016) and explore implications for the assessment, statementing and appeals process. Audience: Parents, Carers, Family Support and Advice Workers, Teachers, SENCOs, Social Workers and Legal Advisors Protecting the Rights of Homeless Young People 10 April 2019; 1.30pm—3.30pm Aim: To provide an overview of the rights of homeless young people including an update on case law relating to service provision, accommodation types and bail. Audience: Legal Advisors, Housing Advice Workers, Social Workers and all relevant staff across the statutory/voluntary sectors Please note: Discretionary rates are available for small community groups, parents/carers of children with SEN,  the unwaged, pupil barristers, apprentice solicitors and students. Contact CLC for more information. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. OR Tel:  02890245704 Only one reduced place per course is available for organisations/individuals who are members. Course fees will include training packs and refreshments. In the event of non-attendance or cancellation, course fees will be charged in full (unless notification is received no less than 2 days in advance). Places on courses will be confirmed by email or letter, on receipt of a completed booking form. The Children's Law Centre reserves the right to cancel any training event, if it is undersubscribed. In these circumstances,a full refund will be provided. Tailored Training Bespoke training for both adults, children and young people is also available to individual organisations, agencies, schools and youth groups on a limited basis. For further information on any aspect of training offered by the Children’s Law Centre please contact: Emma Campbell Training Co-ordinator Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 02890245704

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Policy Work in the CLC

The CLC’s policy work aims to create and contribute to widespread societal change through influencing the development and implementation of legislation and policies to ensure that they uphold the rights of children and young people in Northern Ireland and are compliant with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and other International Children and Human Rights standards. Through successful policy work the work of the CLC has a positive impact on all children and young people in Northern Ireland in the increased children’s rights compliance of new and amended government policies and pieces of legislation. The CLC’s policy unit works closely with the CLC’s youth group, youth@clc to ensure that young people have their voices heard in the development of government policies and legislation in Northern Ireland. CLC’s policy work ensures that where proposed governmental policies or legislation will impact on children and young people government is reminded of its obligations to deliver on children’s rights.

Some of the policy work which the CLC does includes –

  • Making consultation responses
  • Providing policy briefings to decision makers, partner organisations, children and young people and the general public
  • Delivering policy training to a wide range of audiences
  • Making written and oral submissions and representations to Assembly Committees
  • Holding political representatives and decision makers to account, in line with their children’s rights obligations
  • Influencing and supporting politicians and decision makers through attendance at party conferences and developing good working relationships with politicians and officials
  • Working in partnership with other relevant organisations and actively contributing to membership bodies, seminars and events
  • Carrying out consultations with children and young people and representing the views of children and young people to government
  • Direct engagement and consultation with children and young people to inform CLC’s policy positions
  • Direct engagement with politicians at a local, regional, national and international level to cover work at Westminster, Dublin and Brussels. 

Log in now to CLC’s Members Page to access CLC’s Policy Responses and Policy Briefings

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Legal Services

The Children’s Law Centre - Legal Services

Using the Law to promote, protect and realise children’s rights

Our legal services are child focussed and the child is always our client. We ensure that public authorities, tribunals and courts recognise children as rights holders with the right to express their views and have those views taken into account. We ensure that the voice of the child is heard when decisions are being made, that the child’s best interests are at the heart of decision-making and that children have equality of access to their legal rights. In some cases, the child will have access to legal aid to proceed with their case to court.

Legal advice can be provided on the following areas:

Family Law

Being Looked After

Youth Justice

Mental Health Law

Access to Medical Services

Access to Family Support Services

School Admissions

Suspensions and Expulsions

Special Educational Needs

Social Security Benefits


Leaving home

The Human Rights Act

Equality and Discrimination


Our CHALKY legal advice and information service was launched in May 2000. We provide a child friendly legal advice and information service which is unique in Northern Ireland. Each year we deal with over 2000 issues. On a daily basis our advice team assist children, young people, their parents and professionals with legal queries relating to difficulties in school, access to services for disabled children, special educational needs, mental health service provision, family law issues or general legal queries.  We also provide free legal representation, particularly at SENDIST and Mental Health Review Tribunals and undertake strategic litigation following the criteria contained within our Casework Policy.

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UNCRC Reporting

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

The Children’s Law Centre is founded on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) which aims to protect, promote and realise the rights of all children and young people in Northern Ireland. The full text of the Convention can be accessed here.

The UNCRC is the most highly ratified international human rights treaty in the world and it also contains the broadest range of rights of all the UN treaties and is a powerful tool in the furtherance of children’s rights. The UNCRC applies to all children, defined in it as, “every human being below the age of eighteen years unless, under the law applicable to the child, the majority is attained earlier”.

The UK Government ratified the Convention in December 1991. In doing so the Government has committed to upholding a set of non-negotiable and legally binding minimum standards and obligations in respect of all aspects of children’s lives, from respecting and promoting fundamental principles such as the best interests of the child and the child’s right to be heard, to rights in areas such as standard of living, education, care and protection, health, juvenile justice and play.

Through ratification the Government has also made a commitment to recognise and respond to the specific needs of particular groups of children and young people who may suffer discrimination, such as Travellers and other ethnic minorities, children and young people with disabilities, asylum seeking children, children in care, children in the juvenile justice system and others.

The UK Government was last examined in 2016 by the Committee on the Rights of the Child on its compliance with its obligations under the UNCRC. The full text of the Committee’s Concluding Observations and Recommendations can be found here.

UNCRC Reporting Process

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Contact Info

Children's Law Centre
‘Rights House’
127-131 Ormeau Road,

Tel: 028 90245704
Fax: 028 90245679

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