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Child Advisory Board

Join the Child Advisory Board

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The Child Advisory Board is an entity built by GlobalChild, a research program housed in the University of New Brunswick, Saint John. The Child Advisory Board brought together a group of 15 New Brunswick children (ages 11 to 17) to receive training in human rights and meet periodically to discuss and advise the GlobalChild team on multiple research projects.

The Child Advisory Board has begun as a two-year project, during which the members of the Child Advisory Board are assembled, trained, and consulted on GlobalChild projects. The first project the Child Advisory Board worked on was the CORE project in which Children’s Opinions about their Rights in the E-world were heard.

Another important project on which the Child Advisory Board will be consulted is the SSHRC-funded InspiRights project, a project aimed at taking an inventory of good practices from around the world which promote, respect and protect children’s rights. The identified good practices will be beneficial for governments to refer to in considering how their own practices and programs can improve to better meet the needs and rights of children.

In their work with the InspiRights project, the Child Advisory Board will consult with the InspiRights team, providing their input and insight into what constitutes a good and effective practice, providing key feedback which will shape the assessment and identification of practices throughout the project. The Child Advisory Board will also have the opportunity to participate in different stages of the NB Pilot of GlobalChild as well as pilots across other regions of Canada.

Children have the right to be heard

Child participation is articulated as one of the four grounding principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and is an area of particular importance to GlobalChild’s work. Under Article 12 of the CRC, children have the right to be heard and participate in all matters affecting their lives.

As a general principle, the right to be heard and to participate is central to the fulfillment of all rights, including the right to the attainment of the highest standard of health (Article 24) and the right to life, survival and development (Article 6). Considering this nexus between rights, health and development, GlobalChild is launching the Child Advisory Board project. Indeed, the CRC repaints the image of the child and shifts the paradigm.

Children are experts in their own lives and are uniquely positioned to provide insight and opinions on policies and practices that impact them. It has been widely recognized that children’s involvement in research will improve the research quality. Providing a designated space for children to exercise their agency and voice within research not only recognizes and affirms their human rights but also strengthens the research by providing children’s perspectives and experiences.

This research project intends to not only respect children’s right to be heard, but to also create a space in which children can share their opinions and participate in the research being conducted by GlobalChild. Through children’s participation in GlobalChild’s projects, we enrich the project by bringing children’s perspectives into our work.

How it works

There are two essential parts for the fulfillment of right to be heard: 1) provision of adequate and child-friendly information on the subject; and then 2) providing safe spaces for children to voice their opinions on the subject matter. Working on this central guideline, we will follow Dr. Laura Lundy’s model of child participation in all consultations.

The first session of Child Advisory Board projects began with the training of the members. Collaborating with child participation experts, the Child Advisory Board received training on their human rights as children and how to effectively participate in consultations.

Over the course of the CORE project, the Child Advisory Board met twice as a team (including one training session) and once in the format of deeper one-on-one explorations.

The work of Child Advisory Board will continue beyond the life of this project and extend to various aspects of the InspiRights and GlobalChild projects. These consultations will include discussions in which the Child Advisory Board will share their thoughts and opinions on projects as well as the development of knowledge translation (KT) products (such as peer-to-peer video clips, and child-friendly documents to raise awareness on children’s rights, the outcome of different projects, and the experience of being a Child Advisory Board member) and actively participating in the planning, designing, producing and delivering of these KT products.


This project will run for two years, beginning in 2023 and concluding in 2025.

If you are interested in joining the Child Advisory Board to engage in research that directly impacts your rights, do not hesitate to contact us. You may become a team member of the next board we will develop.

Child Advisory Board process

Upon receiving applications, the team works to assess applications upon a clear set of criteria, taking into consideration the need for a diverse group and prepare the information materials for recruited children.

The training session for CAB helps the members understand what is expected of them, what children’s rights are and how they will participate in these sessions.

The consultation session on the CORE study will involve, first, the team members training children about their rights in the online environment, and second, the CAB members discussing these rights and sharing their opinions and experiences with regards to participating in social media.

The second consultation will involve the CAB accessing and discussing the current scoring model that the GlobalChild team has prepared for assessing the good practices identified in the InspiRights project. This discussion will help the InspiRights team in analyzing collected data and in identifying good practices.

Following the completion of the data collection, cleaning and analysis and cleaning for the NA pilot, the CAB and InspiRights team will discuss the identified good practices, the scoring models and any other matters that arose. Discussions will include whether there are any adjustments that need to be made for the scoring model.

The forth consultation will focus on the creation of KT activities for the identified NA good practices.

The fifth consultation will include discussions of identified good practices from the global survey. This session will also include brainstorming sessions for the CAB to prepare KT activities.

The sixth consultation session will be dedicated to the creation of KT activities, namely video clips with the CAB members discussing their experience with the project and their contributions to the project.

Team members

Principal supervisor, GlobalChild

Dr. Ziba Vaghri is the director of the GlobalChild program of research and the Principal Investigator of the CIHR fund that supports the GlobalChild project. She is an Associate Professor at the University of New Brunswick Saint John.

Graduate student

Shiva Joudaki is working on the CORE project. For questions or concerns about the CAB and/or volunteering contact:

International Human Rights Consultant

Véronique Lerch is an international human rights consultant, specialised in child rights, working for institutions such as UNICEF, the European Commission, Eurochild or Amnesty International.

She holds an European Master degree in Human Rights and Democratisation (EMA) from Global Campus of Human Rights and a Master in International Affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Tufts University).


The Child Advisory Board is funded through the generous funds of the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation.