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Centre for Children and Young People

Ethical Research Involving Children

We are very proud of the distinctive contribution we make regionally, nationally and internationally in advancing the rights, wellbeing and participation of children and young people.

We also strive to continue to serve our regional community well through collaborative partnerships with government, non-government and community agencies to deliver research and program evaluation that has high relevance and impact.

In this section we showcase just one of our current projects. We encourage you to peruse our complete project profiles.

Ethical Research Involving Children

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The Centre for Children and Young People (CCYP) at Southern Cross University has been leading a 2 year international project called Ethical Research Involving Children that has culminated in the release today of a range of resources to provide clear guidance on ethical issues and concerns that can be applied in almost any research context.

Working in partnership with UNICEF's Office of Research, Childwatch International Research Network, and the University of Otago, the CCYP has undertaken research in 46 countries and consulted with over 400 members of the international research community, to develop an International Charter for Ethical Research Involving Children, a print based compendium of resources including extensive evidence-based ethical guidance on key issues researchers face, a collection of over 20 case studies from diverse contexts, and an inquiry based framework to guide ethical research involving children (aptly called 'Getting Started').

Professor Anne Graham, Director of the Centre for Children and Young People, said that undertaking this project was important because many researchers report feeling quite isolated in their research activities, particularly when it comes to making informed decisions about core ethical concerns, such as how to balance the protection of children while providing an opportunity for them to participate in research.

"Part of the difficulty lies in the fact there are no clear-cut answers or universal solutions to every ethical concern," said Professor Graham, "not least because the range of research contexts and issues being investigated differ so markedly." Professor Graham added that the main motivation of the Centre for Children & Young People in leading such an ambitious project extended well beyond simply ensuring researchers tick appropriate boxes to indicate they comply with ethical requirements. "This work is about ensuring the human dignity of children is respected at every stage of the research process, regardless of social, cultural or methodological context. Ultimately we must be confident that research benefits children and contributes knowledge that improves their lives". The print-based materials are complemented by a website Child Ethics specifically designed to provide a rich repository of evidence-based information, resources and links to journal articles, to guide and improve research involving children, and to provide a forum where researchers and others can share questions, ideas and resources.

For further information please contact:

Professor Anne Graham

Download summary of the project.