Welcome to the Children's Issues Centre

The Children’s Issues Centre aims to make a difference in children’s lives by improving policy and practice relating to children, young people and their families/whānau. The Centre serves as an interdisciplinary forum for researchers, practitioners, policy makers and students with an interest in advancing knowledge about children’s development, well-being and rights.

Our research, teaching and advocacy is underpinned by our commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and how this is honoured within Aotearoa New Zealand. Children and young people’s agency, voice and participation are central to our work. Using a Childhood Studies approach we aim to understand and highlight children and young people’s voices. We are committed to understanding children’s experiences and conducting research that includes and values children and young people’s perspectives on important aspects of their lives - within their families, schools and communities. Central to this are research approaches and methods that enhance children and young people’s participation in research and respect their rights throughout the research process. We have particular expertise in conducting research with children and young people and the methodological and ethical issues related to research involving children and young people.

The Children's Issues Centre was established in 1995. Between 2009-2012 it was known as the Centre for Research on Children and Families, but in 2013 reverted to its original name. The Centre is based at the University of Otago in the Department of Sociology, Gender and Social Work within the Division of Humanities.

The generosity of the Alexander McMillan Trust has enabled the establishment of a Leading Thinking Chair in Childhood Studies. This position is currently held by the Centre Director.

The Children’s Issues Centre is deeply saddened by the passing of our inaugural Director, Emeritus Professor Anne B. Smith on May 22, 2016.

Read a tribute by our current Director, Associate Professor Nicola Taylor.

Contact Details

Children's Issues Centre
University of Otago
PO Box 56
Dunedin 9054
New Zealand
Tel 64 3 479 5038
Fax 64 3 479 5039
Email cic@otago.ac.nz

Physical address

3 Leithbank Street
New Zealand


Homepage University of Otago