Carleton University today conferred a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, on Gerison Lansdown in recognition of extraordinary leadership in advocating for children’s rights.
Lansdown was honoured during Carleton’s Spring Convocation, where about 3,500 students are receiving degrees over the course of four days.
“Millions of children are refugees and asylum seekers, often lacking the protection of the right to life, to freedom from torture, to family life, education, health care and, perhaps most commonly ignored but hugely important, the right to play, the very essence of being a child,” said Lansdown.
Lansdown was founder-director of the Children’s Rights Alliance for England from 1992 to 2000, and has since worked as an international consultant and advocate, publishing and lecturing widely on the subject of children’s rights.
She supported the Committee on the Rights of the Child in the development of several general comments, including the right of children to be heard and to play, and on the rights of children during adolescence. She was also actively involved in developing of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and worked with the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to draft a general comment on inclusive education.
She has an honorary doctorate from the Open University, an honorary fellowship from the University of Central Lancashire, is a member of the Open Society Foundation Early Years Advisory Board and is on the editorial advisory board of the Canadian Journal of Children’s Rights. She is a former vice-chair of UNICEF-U.K. and is currently chair of Child to Child.
“No student of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and of meaningful child and youth participation will be unaware of the pioneering and influential work of Gerison Lansdown and I, personally, am proud to count her both as a mentor and as a friend,” said Daniella Bendo, a PhD candidate in Law and Legal Studies who presented Lansdown’s doctorate.
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