Rights of the Child UK (ROCK) Annual Conference 2019

Date: 10th December 2019


The conference, held on 3th December in Belfast, brought together almost 70 delegates from across Scotland, Northern Ireland, England, Wales, Jersey and other parts of Europe to explore developments taking place in each country to embed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into law and policy.

The annual conference is organised by the ROCK Steering Group made up of Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights), Children in Wales, Children’s Rights Alliance for England and UNICEF UK.

The 2019 conference was opened by Professor Ursula Kilkelly, University College Cork, who addressed key aspects of the legal mechanisms for incorporating the UNCRC. The morning session featured both governmental and non-governmental speakers from Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England and Jersey who provided updates on UNCRC implementation across these jurisdictions.

The afternoon session focused on incorporation more broadly and featured speakers who reflected on developments in incorporating human rights into law at an international, UK and devolved level and explored learning and implications for the UK. It also included a keynote address by Guðríður Bolladóttir - Senior Legal Advisor at the Office of the Ombudsman for Children in Iceland who shared the Icelandic experience of UNCRC incorporation and implementation.

The conference was concluded by reflections and discussion from the Children’s Commissioners from Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Jersey.

Panel discussions and opportunities for questions throughout the day allowed delegates to share thoughts and ideas with the speakers. There were also networking opportunities that allowed delegates to learn from each other.

The ROCK Steering Group would like to thank UNICEF UK, Children and Young People’s Commissioner Jersey and the Centre for Children’s Rights at Queen’s University Belfast for their generous support for the conference.  

The report from the conference will be published in early 2020.