Meetings with various Universities

Always inspiring to be with the next generation of child rights advocates as spring 2023 confirmed again. A special thanks to Karl Hanson, Hilda Paredes Dávila, Alice Diver and Ton Liefaard for the opportunity to speak to their students and academics about the work of Child Identity Protection (CHIP).

Earlier in April, CHIP had the privilege of rethinking children’s rights and intercountry adoption with a focus on their right to identity as part of the Master of Children’s Rights, University of Geneva. Conversations focused on how intercountry adoption has been moving towards a more child centric system away from the illicit practices, often emblematic of the pre-1993 Hague Adoption Convention. A key message of the session was on the State’s responsibility to speedily re-establish missing elements – both receiving and sending – as thousands of adoptees are lacking a fundamental part of their origins.

Late in April, CHIP was invited to brief students about the importance of children’s right to identity in child protection systems, in the framework of a recently-established Interdisciplinary Academic Group of Experts in Child Protection Systems (GAINESPI-UNAM). This group brings together academics and students of the School of Social Work and of the Faculty of Psychology of Mexico’s National Autonomous University (UNAM). They intend to focus on the development and strengthening of true child protection systems in the country and are currently meeting monthly to address various aspects of the latter. Thus, CHIP was honoured to be able to contribute to their work and reflections by offering information on children’s rights to identity and their importance in the protection of children, from the prevention of family separation to family  reintegration or the determination of protection, care or adoption measures. CHIP remains committed to strengthening the understanding of this right amongst a variety of professionals and to contribute to academic works on related issues.

At the beginning of May, as part of the annual visit of students from the Advanced Studies in International Children’s Rights, Leiden Law School to Geneva, CHIP was able to explain the wider context of working opportunities in this international environment. On this occasion, it was a special treat to be able to celebrate the election of Ann Skelton as the CRC Chairperson as she leads this fantastic cohort of students as the Director of the Advanced Studies program.

Finally, CHIP also participated remotely in the Interdisciplinary Symposium on Adoption and Kinship Rights ‘Avoiding origin deprivation and genetic identity losses’, organised by Queen’s University Belfast. Whilst CHIP presented its signature publication, which focuses on the creation, modification, falsification, preservation and access to origins as well as the restoration of children’s identity and guides CHIP’s work, the latter was also privileged to hear the testimonies of a number of adoptees, social workers and academics. We reiterate our thanks for the invitation and for this opportunity to continue reflecting on these issues with participants with lived experiences.

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