Project Details

Page last updated: 21st August 2012

Louise Kinlen

Rights, Advocacy and Well‑Being of Children Seeking Asylum in Ireland

Dates: September 2010, ongoing
Department: Children and Youth Programme: based at CFRC, NUI Galway
Supervisor(s): Professor Pat Dolan

The purpose of this study is to gain an understanding of the application of rights‑based and advocacy approaches to securing the well‑being of children; particularly to children in the asylum seeking process.

Asylum seeker children have been identified as a particularly vulnerable group. Children who come to Ireland as asylum seekers, both with their parents or unaccompanied, spend long periods awaiting a decision on their status, during which time they live in hostel accommodation under the current Direct Provision and Dispersal Scheme. The scheme puts many asylum seekers at risk of severe poverty and it is claimed that it breaches certain human rights.

This study will examine the impact of this scheme on children using a rights‑based approach; it will include an inquiry into rights such as the right to family life, the right to privacy and the rights of children under the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The debate surrounding children’s rights, including constitutional reform and the view of the State of its non citizen children, will form an important part of the study. The relationship between rights‑based approaches and advocacy and their application to children will be examined, with a focus on the role of the voluntary sector; it will also attempt to include the voice of asylum seeker children and their families. This study will also explore the notion of advocacy as it relates to children and particularly the role of the voluntary sector and its relationship with the State. Legislation, policy and practice in relation to asylum seeker children will be analysed from a rights‑based perspective, including an analysis of its impact on this group. The analysis will be both from a legal or human‑rights perspective and will draw on sociological approaches, such as the sociology of childhood literature.

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Contact Details

Louise Kinlen


PhD Student and
Doctoral Fellow




Louise is also employed as a Doctoral Fellow on the Children and Youth Programme.
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