In 2019 Coram International  received funding from the Chubb Rule of Law Fund to conduct a small-scale research study on the mental health detention of children in England and Wales. This research follows on from our previous global report on the administrative detention of children, and our work with the Children’s Commissioner for England on the experiences and wellbeing of children in detention in the UK. The main aim of the research is to gain a better understanding of young people’s (ages 12 to 18) experiences of mental health detention. The research is being carried out in collaboration with the Anna Freud Centre and UCL. The study will look at both the admission process and young people’s experiences during their stay, with a potential to focus on the differences between informal admissions and admissions under the Mental Health Act. In doing so, this study will fill a large gap in current research around the legal basis of the informal admission of young people to psychiatric wards and their experiences once there, and will inform future policy on the mental health detention of children and young people in the UK. The study is qualitative in nature, meaning individuals will take part in semi-structured interviews. Recruitment of participants into the study is ongoing.

In 2017, Coram International carried out an evidence review of the views, perspectives and experiences of children subject to immigration control, on matters related to their subjective wellbeing, as commissioned by the Children’s Commissioner. The main objectives of the review were to identify, appraise and synthesise published qualitative evidence on the subjective wellbeing of children subject to immigration control in England, and to draw out key findings and conclusions from the evidence, as well as identifying any important gaps. A report was produced as part of a series of studies examining the subjective wellbeing of vulnerable groups of children in England. This series was produced as part of a larger project focused on improving evidence about childhood vulnerability.

In 2016, Professor Carolyn Hamilton consulted with Ecorys on a report exploring the experiences of vulnerable consumers in family law in the United Kingdom, providing expert advice and input into qualitative and quantitative research tool development, analysis and reporting. The research explored the related issues of access, cost and quality in the context of recent legal aid reforms to family law, from the perspective of legal firms and consumers.

Between 2014-2016, Coram International designed, developed and piloted training of professionals across 10 EU member states from justice, residential care and detention centre settings on child rights and child-friendly communication skills. Coram International co-ordinated a network of 11 in-country partners to develop a project that has resulted in the production of training modules and resources which can be replicated widely across the EU. During the two years, training modules were delivered by key experts to 920 professionals across the 10 countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Poland, Slovakia and the United Kingdom). The piloted, evaluated and refined training is now available through a web platform providing e-learning tools, certification and a guide for professionals on how to integrate the training into existing systems. Click here to access these resources.

Coram International conducted a pilot research project in partnership with the International Planned Parenthood Federation. The research explored how law, as well as knowledge and perceptions of law, can create barriers to young people’s access to sexual and reproductive health services. The research was qualitative and highly participatory, involving interviews and focus group discussions with children and young people in four different jurisdictions around the world: England and Wales, Northern Ireland, Senegal and El Salvador. The findings from this research informed a report providing recommendations on how the legal system and awareness or knowledge of the legal framework can affect access to sexual and reproductive health services, as well as recommendations for how International Planned Parenthood Federation’s Member Associations can structure their programming to overcome these barriers.