Welcome to the Center for the Human Rights of Children (CHRC)! The CHRC represents Loyola University’s efforts to protect and advance the human rights of children by engaging students, faculty, and the community at large through research, scholarship, advocacy, and programs. The CHRC was founded in 2007 with the belief that children’s rights are human rights and mobilized by the work and leadership of Diane Geraghty, Director of Loyola’s Child Law Center, and James Garbarino, Professor (Maude C. Clarke Chair in Humanistic Psychology and former CHRC Director).
The CHRC is unique in that, while other institutions may focus expertise on one area of human rights (e.g., Law, Education, Health), the CHRC’s work consists of collaborative, multidisciplinary efforts to improve the lives of children, and is guided by principles derived from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The concept of “protecting the human rights of children” can enlarge and enrich the scholarly work of faculty from diverse disciplinary backgrounds, and sits squarely within the Jesuit commitment to social justice.
My own experience working with survivors of human trafficking and exploitation has demonstrated to me the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to address critical issues affecting the lives of children. Successful interventions and outcomes in these cases depend on sound research and efforts from community-based organizations, social workers, medical professionals, attorneys, advocates and government agencies working collaboratively to provide children protection, services, and access to justice. A child’s survival and healthy future is dependent on family, community, civil society and government working with a shared goal to advance the fundamental rights and needs of a child.
The CHRC’s first Symposium on the Human Rights of Children, held April 16-18, 2008, affirmed this belief. Speakers included scholars from developmental psychology, pediatrics, psychiatry, biology, history, social work, public health, law, sociology, and ethics. The “human rights” focus led to important dialogue on how to bring social justice to oppressed and afflicted children and their families, both in the United States and around the world.
I hope you will join with us in this vital endeavor, be you faculty, student, staff, alum, or community member. Please sign up for our e-mailing list to learn about projects and access our resources.
Katherine Kaufka Walts, JD
Director, Center for the Human Rights of Children
Loyola University Chicago