The 21st century holds uncertain promise and grave risks for the great majority of young people. To respond to these risks, we conduct research and analysis on children, adolescents, and youth in extreme circumstances with the goal of promoting sustainable solutions. Our major initiatives focus on child protection and adolescent agency, particularly the transition to adulthood.
• Prevention of human trafficking and bonded labor in India and the United States;
• Identification and promotion of factors critical to the psychosocial adjustment and social reintegration of former child soldiers and other war-affected youth in Sierra Leone;
• Family strengthening interventions among Rwandan children and families affected by HIV/AIDS;
• Advancement of the rights of children in undocumented, refugee and detention settings; and
• Protection of the health rights of women, children, and adolescents through policy deliberations at the state and international levels.
• Enhancement of access to secondary education among rural adolescent girls in Gujarat, India;
• Assessment of success factors among first-generation female college students in several states in India;
• Collaboration with organizations in South Africa intent on improving education and employment opportunities for disadvantaged adolescents and youth; and
• Empowerment of Roma adolescents and youth in Europe through social media and participatory research to challenge and remove obstacles to their education and employment.
In the search for sustainable solutions that can be implemented on a larger scale, we employ a range of interdisciplinary methods derived from public health and law, the social sciences, and the humanities. We then translate our findings into policy recommendations and practice by engaging with international entities and relevant levels of government and civil society. For example, we contributed to improving the standards applied to unaccompanied children who seek asylum; helped define mental health policy in post-conflict Sierra Leone; and participated in the drafting of the General Comment of the UN Human Rights Council on the Right to Maternal Health.
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