chapter  8
18 Pages

Children, young people and conflict in the north of Ireland

In October 2003 Northern Ireland’s first Commissioner for Children and Young People (NICCY) began work by announcing the commissioning of a major study to research the state of children’s rights, adequacy of provision for children and how rights and provision in Northern Ireland compared with other European jurisdictions. I was a member of a Queen’s University-based research team that conducted the research and took primary responsibility for the work on youth justice and policing also having an input on mental health. With Clare Dwyer I carried out the qualitative research. The Northern Ireland Prison Service refused me access to the Hydebank Wood Young Offenders’ Centre, although I gained access to young women in prison at the Mourne House Women’s Unit, Maghaberry Prison. Ciara Davey and Siobha´n McAlister took responsibility for much of the primary research in schools and with children experiencing particular vulnerability and disadvantage. The full report (Kilkelly et al. 2004) and a version for children (Haydon 2004) were published in 2004.