Coloured pencils plus white text on a blue background that reads 'Members - European Children's Rights Unit'

Meet our Members

Discover more about our researchers and their interests.

Academic Staff

  • Dr Eleanor Drywood (Director) – children’s rights under EU immigration and asylum law; developing children’s rights-based approaches to regulating the football industry and other sports. 
  • Dr Amel Alghrani (Reader) – The rights and welfare of children born as a result of new reproductive technologies. Education law, exclusions and the rights of children with special educational needs and disabilities. 
  • Dr Hannah Hurst (Post Doctoral Derby research fellow) - Family Law and access to justice; gender equality
  • Dr Nicolás Brando (Post Doctoral Derby research fellow) - Philosophy of childhood and children's rights; social and political theory; civil and political rights; the capabilities approach.
  • Professor Anna Carline (Impact Lead for the Liverpool Law School) - criminal law and criminal justice (in particular domestic violence and sexual offences), family law and feminist/gender theory. 
  • Professor Marie Fox (Professor of Law) - 
  • Professor Nicola Barker (Professor of Law) - feminist approach to the broad areas of constitutional and family law.
  • Joseph Savirimuthu (Senior Lecturer) – online technologies, data protection and children’s rights.
  • Professor Helen Stalford (Head of the Liverpool Law School) – The impact of Brexit on children’s rights; children’s access to and experiences of justice processes; asylum and migration, with a particular focus on unaccompanied children; participatory methods.
  • Deborah Tyfield (Law Clinic Practitioner) – special education needs and social care for children. Manages a specialist law clinic for the families of child patients at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.
  • Dr Sarah Woodhouse (Law Clinic Practitioner) – children’s rights under immigration/asylum law.
  • Dr Leona Vaughn (Post Doctoral Derby research fellow) – anti-colonial approaches to research, critical perspectives of ‘risk’ policies, slavery and unfree labour.
  • Dr Ed Horowicz (Lecturer) - ethical and legal issues that arise in the provision or non-provision of medical interventions for intersex and gender diverse children and adolescents.
  • Dr Leah Gilman (Post Doctoral research fellow, University of Manchester) - social, cultural and legal perspectives on reproduction, childhood, personal relationships and medicine.
  • Dr Sacha Waxman (Lecturer) - medical ethics.
  • Dr Craig Purshouse (Senior Lecturer) - medical law.
  • Dr Nazia Yaqub (Senior Lecturer, Leeds Beckett University) - child rights, gender justice, Islamic law and international human rights law.


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.

PhD students


  • Deborah Lawson - Thesis examining the rights and experiences of children from indigenous communities in Canada and Australia, through the lens of Article 19 UNCRC (protection against violence).
  • Matilda Clough – Tilly's working thesis title is 'An Investigation into the Charitable Status of Independent Schools.'
  • Katrina Miles – Katrina's thesis title is 'The Legal Regulation of Teenage Sexting and Youth Produced Sexual Imagery.'
  • Jenny Preston – Jenny is responsible for the management and delivery of a children, young person and family involvement strategy linked to EATC4Children activities.
  • Amber Pugh – Mental capacity, disability rights, sexual and reproductive rights. 
  • Jessica Randall – Jessica's thesis title is 'Until Death: The Impact of the Gender Recognition Act on Trans Relationships.'
  • Emily Warrilow – Emily's thesis title is 'Childhoods in the Legal Archive: Children, Sexual Crime and Colonial Law in India, 1830-1940'
  • Alison Wolfreys (The Open University) – Alison's thesis is on children's participation in cross-border child abduction proceedings. 
  • Monique Mehmi - Monique's thesis is on the intersection between asylum law, anti-trafficking, and criminal justice, as they relate to young migrants.


Honorary Research Fellows


Our Honorary fellows bring a wealth of frontline experience and intellectual rigour to ECRU’s work, enabling us to maximise the relevance and impact of our research, and helping us to link up directly with children and young people on the ground.

  • Professor Michael Freeman (Emeritus Professor UCL) – internationally leading commentator on children’s rights and founder of the International Journal of Children’s Rights.
  • Liam Cairns (Co-Director of UK children’s rights organisation, Investing in Children) – Particular expertise in children’s participation in shaping services and in co-producing research. 
  • Tony Dobson (former social worker and researcher with The Children’s Society) – Particular expertise in participatory approaches to decision-making; child poverty and social exclusion.
  • Mike Jones (former social worker, researcher and Manager with The Children’s Society) – Particular expertise in participatory approaches to decision-making; child poverty and social exclusion.
  • Frances Meyler (Immigration judge [first tier tribunal]) – Particular expertise in children’s rights under immigration/asylum law.
  • Paul Walmsley (Liverpool-based youth worker and founder of the Lewis Dunne Foundation) – Particular experience of working with children at risk of criminal exploitation/county lines.
  • Professor Barry Goldson (Emeritus Professor) – youth justice law and policy at domestic, European and international level; human rights and youth justice reform; poverty and access to welfare rights for young people.
  • Dr Aoife Daly (Lecturer - University of Cork) - human rights based approaches and children's rights in areas which include environmental rights, climate activism, and access to justice.
  • Dr Hannah Hurst - medical law, gender theory, and children's rights. 

Back to: Liverpool Law School

    ERCU's Formal Associations


    Eurochild is a network of organisations and individuals working in 35 European countries to improve the quality of life of children and young people. Eurochild’s activities include: sharing information on policy and practice; monitoring and influencing policy development at national and European level; creating interest groups and partnerships between member organisations; representing the interests of its members to international institutions; strengthening the capacity of its members through training, individual advice and support.

    Investing in Children

    Investing in Children (IiC) is an organisation concerned with the human rights of children. It was created in the 1990s in County Durham by managers in the local authority and the National Health Service. Over the last 17 years, IiC has developed a range of different ways in which children and young people are supported to say what they want to say, and help to improve services used by them, by discussing their ideas with the adults who run the services. IiC also provides staff training programmes and contributes to national and international debates about the human rights and citizenship of children and young people.

    Impact: Law for Social Justice

    Impact: Law for Social Justice brings together a hand-picked team of litigators, journalists, project planners and researchers, with direct experience of how the law can be used alongside other campaign tools to drive lasting social change. Impact offers tailored, timely, tried-and-tested advice and support for individuals and groups to plan and execute a litigation campaign strategy. Their mission is to advise and work with organisations, communities and individuals on whether the law, in conjunction with other campaign tools, could bring lasting change in their sectors. They have helped ECRU develop the strategic litigation strand of their work.

    The Children’s Rights European Academic Network (CREAN)

    ECRU is an active member of CREAN, an academic network of more than 30 higher education institutions in Europe. Its aim is to enhance interdisciplinary exchange and collaboration amongst academic institutions working in the field of children’s rights.


    Collaborative Academic Institutions and Individuals

    The Centre for Childhood and Youth Research, University of Central Lancashire

    The main areas of their research are Children and young people’s participation in decision-making; Children and young people’s inclusion (in relation to ethnicity, poverty, disability and ill-health, care, etc); Migration and child refugees; Children’s rights and citizenship. They work together with young people to plan projects and research to enable them to participate as fully as they can.

    The Child Law Clinic, University College Cork

    This is a research initiative which provides Pro-Bono services from students to lawyers litigating children's issues. They aim to provide better legal aid for children in hopes of progressing reform in child law in Ireland and internationally.

    The Centre for Children’s Rights, Queen’s University Belfast

    The Centre aims to promote high quality, interdisciplinary research that provides a better understanding of the issues that affect children and young people in order to improve their life chances and experiences.

    Maria Roth, Babeş-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca, Romania

    Maria Roth's research interests include Social work methods; Child protection; Foster care and adoption; Developmental psychology; Domestic violence; and Program and service evaluation.

    Collaborative NGOs

    YES forum

    The Youth and European Social Work Forum is a growing network of organisations across several EU and non EU countries committed to fostering social inclusion and active participation of children and young people who experience disadvantage and exclusion.

    Separated Children in Europe Programme

    A Branch of Save the Children whose aim is to ensure that the rights of all separated children entering or travelling across Europe will be realised and allow them to participate in decisions that affect their lives.


    The partners of ChildONEurope consist of the representatives of National Observatories and National Ministries in charge of policies for children. ChildONEurope aims to create a forum for discussion and exchange of knowledge and best practices on children's policies, mainly through research and study activities.

    Child Rights Alliance of England (CRAE)

    CRAE protects the human rights of children by lobbying government and others who hold power.

    Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights

    A Human rights institute which looks at many areas including; Women‘s Rights, Children‘s Rights and Trafficking.