I am directing a comparative-historical project on independent children’s rights institutions (ICRIs, sometimes called children’s ombudspersons and children’s commissioners). This research project consists of three components. The first component examines the legal powers children’s ombudspersons possess. As independent institutions, what legal powers do ICRIs possess and how do they use these powers? The second component is the independence of children’s ombudspersons. Typically labeled, to what degree are ICRIs independent of public and private organizations? The third component is how and why ICRIs decide to use their powers.
This research on children’s ombudspersons has benefited from the cooperation of the European Network of Children’s Ombudspersons (ENOC) and its members, as well as others, including actors and organizations in the United Kingdom. These research projects have received support from the British Academy, the U.S. National Science Foundation, and Case Western Reserve University.