European Childrens Rights Unit

European Children's Rights Unit

The European Children’s Rights Unit (ECRU) is a research-intensive cluster located within the University of Liverpool’s School of Law and Social Justice. Our work covers a broad range of children’s rights areas, including immigration and asylum, children’s rights in the legal process, childhood obesity, special educational needs and exclusions, criminal justice, Brexit, online technologies, children’s sexual and gender identity, child labour, best interests decision-making and cross-border parental child abduction. Much of this research has involved close collaboration with external partners ranging from academic, policymakers, practitioners and intergovernmental and civil society organisations.

The Unit has a specific expertise in progressive participatory approaches to research involving children and in building capacities among practitioners and policy makers – through training, consultancy and strategic litigation - to enable them to apply a children's rights-based approach to their work.

For further information about ECRU's activities, please contact one of the directors, Professor Helen Stalford or Dr Aoife Daly.

PhD research in ECRU

PhD researchers form an integral role in ECRU. They participate in the annual international PhD children’s rights symposium, which was launched by ECRU in 2012 and is now run in collaboration with the Children’s Rights European Academic Network (CREAN). They also help organise the monthly children’s rights reading group, manage the University’s Young Persons Advisory Group, and collaborate with established academics on consultancy and research. If you are interested in pursuing PhD research with ECRU, please contact one of the directors who will be happy to discuss your proposed project with you.


Discover more about our researchers and their interests.


Learn more about our internationally recognised research output.

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Research projects

Find out more about the impact ECRU makes through our research projects.


See how our expertise informs debate and influences policy around the rights of the child.


Find out about our upcoming events and conferences as well as calls for papers.