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Tara Collins

Tara Collins

Professor, School of Child and Youth Care
OfficeSHE-626, Sally Horsfall Eaton Centre for Studies in Community Health
Phone416-979-5000, ext. 554563
Areas of Expertise Child rights; Human rights, Child and youth participation, Monitoring, Child protection

I am Associate Professor in the School of Child & Youth Care at Toronto Metropolitan University in Toronto, Canada. I am also Program Faculty with the graduate programs on Immigration & Settlement Studies, Early Childhood Studies and Policy Studies. I am Honorary Associate Professor at the Children’s Institute at the University of Cape Town (external link)  in South Africa.

I have a PhD from the University of London. My professional experience since 1996 includes work for: universities in Canada, South Africa, Brazil, and Ireland; Canadian federal government (Department of Foreign Affairs and Canadian International Development Agency) and Parliament; and a non-governmental organization.

I have worked with young people in various ways in volunteer and professional capacities in community and recreational contexts since 1989.

In addition to serving as Principal Investigator for the International & Canadian Child Rights Partnership (ICCRP) (described further below), I am a member of: the Program Committee for Equitas (external link) : International Centre for Human Rights Education; the Child Rights Academic Network (external link) ; Advisory Committee of the Landon Pearson Resource Centre for the Study of Childhood and Children’s Rights (external link) , Carleton University; and the International Child Protection Network of Canada. I also serve as an Editorial Board member for Canadian Journal for Children’s Rights.

CYC 8002 Child & Youth Care Research Methods, (Master of Arts in Child and

Youth Care program)

CYC 8005 International Child & Youth Care Work  

CYC 825: Independent Study, autumn

CYC 602: Children’s Rights, autumn

CYC 048 A/B: Independent Study

CYC 705: Program Evaluation, Child and Youth Care Program

CYC 705: Program Evaluation, Child and Youth Care Program

CYC 702: Ecological Perspectives in Child and Youth Care Practice

Prior to fall 2012: I have taught graduate & undergraduate courses and classes elsewhere including:

EQUL 50130: UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: Role of an International Human Rights Instrument for Children, Egalitarian World Initiative, Equality Studies, School for Social Justice, University College Dublin, Ireland;

CHST1000: Childhood in a Global Context, Carleton University; &

MDG 5196: Special Topics in Globalization & International Development – International Human Rights, School of International Development and Global Studies, & International development issues in Africa; international development & ethics (in French); international humanitarian law; research methods, at the University of Ottawa

Research interests include child and youth participation; child protection; monitoring and child rights impact assessments (CRIAs); general principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) including best interests and child and youth participation; CRC general measures of implementation including law reform, budgeting, and child rights education; rights-based approaches (RBAs); anti-violence violence in schools; the right to play, and business.

International and Canadian Child Rights Partnership (ICCRP)

The International and Canadian Child Rights Partnership (ICCRP) involves Toronto Metropolitan University, International Institute for Child Rights and Development, University of Cape Town, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Edinburgh University, Lakehead University, and McGill University along with numerous institutional partners in Canada and around the world: Centre intégé universitaire de santé et de services sociaux (CIUSSS) de Centre-Ouest-de-l'Île-de-Montréal, Equitas-International Centre for Human Rights Education, New Brunswick Office of the Child and Youth Advocate (Canada), Plan International Canada, Right To Play International/Right to Play China, and Save the Children Canada. (The Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth – Ontario was also a partner until it closed on May 1, 2019).

This partnership was established as an outcome of an international conference held at Toronto Metropolitan University in October 2015 on the subject of children's participation and child protection. We have come together in order to research the following question:  How can children’s participation in international and Canadian child protection programs and policies be monitored? The ICCRP understands children’s participation as a human right and the necessary means to monitor and address protection concerns.

To ensure the inclusion of young people in the partnership, an international Child and Youth Advisory Committee has been established to guide the research process. This Committee is comprised of youth from Brazil, South Africa, China and Canada and meets virtually regularly to discuss issues related to children’s rights and the research process and efforts.

Specific ICCRP research objectives over three years until March 2020 include: 1) Identify current conceptualizations of monitoring participation in international child protection; 2) Understand the realities, challenges, and successes of
monitoring participation in child protection in specific contexts and
develop recommendations for effective measurement; and 3) Analyze the
connections between children’s participation and child protection outcomes.

In addition to establishing the Child and Youth Advisory Committee, the first phase of research in 2017 addressed the first aforementioned research objectives. Adult professionals from multiple sectors and contexts around the world were interviewed and an academic literature review was undertaken.

In order to elaborate the second objective identified above, phase two commencing in late January 2018 involved researching children’s participation in their protection in four different countries namely: Brazil, South Africa, China, and Canada (in separate studies in New Brunswick and Ontario).  In addition to creating local Child and Youth Advisory Committees and supports, each of these cases involved the following three steps:

  1. Identifying and analyzing the existing policies and programs as well as gaps;
  2. Creating reflective spaces for key stakeholders to discuss Phase I results; and
  3. Co-producing ‘next steps’ for how to effectively monitor protection efforts.

Phase three of this collaborative effort is addressing the third aforementioned research objective to analyze the connections between children’s participation and child protection outcomes. ICCRP is investigating the potential for learning across the earlier two objectives, assessing similarities and differences. This objective will consider the implications for monitoring norms and tools and advance knowledge mobilization.

See our website, the International and Canadian Child Rights Partnership. If you have any questions about this project, please contact Dr. Tara Collins at

Publications: Collins, T.M. Feb. 2021

Books edited:

Collins, T., Grondin, R., Pinero, V., Pratte, M., & Roberge, M.-C. (Eds.), Droits de l'enfant: Actes de la Conférence internationale, Ottawa, 2007: Rights of the Child: Proceedings of the International Conference, La Collection Bleue, Montreal, Wilson & Lafleur, 2008.  This book is also published in Spanish as Collins, T., Grondin, R., Pinero, V., Pratte, M.,  & Roberge, M.C. (Eds.). Derechos del niño. Buenos Aires: Eudeba, 2010.

Chapters in books:

Collins, T.M. (in press). Child Rights and Human Tragedy, in J. Freeman (ed.). Caring to Connect: Nurturing Hope in a Distressed World (working title), CYC Press.

Collins, T.M. (2020). Chapter 12: A Testament of the Great Impact of the Hon. Landon Pearson. In V. Caputo (ed.). The Children's Senator:  Landon Pearson and a Lifetime of Advocacy. 151-160. McGill-Queen’s Press.

Collins, T.M. (2020). The general measures of implementation: opportunities for progress with children’s rights, In A. Gadda, J. Harris, E.K.M. Tisdall, E. Millership, & U. Kilkelly (eds.) Human Rights Monitoring and Implementation: How To Make Rights ‘Real’ in Children’s Lives. 21-39, Routledge.

ISBN: 978-0-367-52069-4. This is a publication of a peer reviewed journal article on the general measures of implementation identified below.

Collins, T.M. (2019). Children’s Rights in HRIA [Human Rights Impact Assessment]: Marginalised or mainstreamed? in N. Götzmann (ed.).  Human Rights Impact Assessment, Research Handbooks on Impact Assessment series, 118-133, Edward Elgar Publishing. See (external link) 

Collins, T.M., & Wright, L. (2019). Advancing the Right To Play in International Development, in C. Fenton-Glynn (ed.). Children's Rights and Sustainable Development: Interpreting the UNCRC for Future Generations, 306-336, Cambridge University Press (Treaty Implementation for Sustainable Development series), See further (external link) 

Collins, T.M., & Gervais, C. (2016). Children’s Rights: Their Role, Significance and Potential, in G. DiGiacomo (ed.), Current Issues and Controversies in Human Rights, 168-197, University of Toronto Press.

Paré, M., Collins, T., & M. Ranjbar, (2016). “Taking stock of bullying and cyberbullying research and introducing a child rights perspective”. T. Liefaard & J. Sloth-Nielsen (Eds.), The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: Taking Stock after 25 Years and Looking Ahead, 541-563. Brill| Nijhoff, (external link) 

Paré, M., Collins, T., & Ranjbar, M. (2016).  “Canadian Bullying and Cyberbullying Research, Laws and Policies – Introducing a Child Rights Perspective” in Rohan Rajpal Ed., CAPSLE 2014: Equality in Law and Education: The Small Under the Protection of the Great, Proceedings of the Twenty-Fifth Annual Conference of the Canadian Association for the Practical Study of Law in Education, held in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island April 27 - 20, 2014, 209-242. CAPSLE.

Collins, T.M. (2015). Child Participation in Monitoring the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in T. Gal & B. F. Duramy (eds.), International Perspectives and Empirical Findings on Child Participation: From Social Exclusion to Child-Inclusive Policies, 405-437, Oxford University Press. See further (external link) 

Collins, T.M., & Wolff, L. (2012). Canada’s Next Steps for Children’s Rights? Building the Architecture for Accountability through the General Measures of Implementation of the CRC, in E. Murray (ed.) Children Matter – Exploring Child and Youth Human Rights Issues in Canada, 14-40, Mount Royal University.

Collins, T.M . (2008). "Monitoring: More than a report", in Tara Collins, Rachel Grondin, Veronica Pinero, Marie Pratte & Marie-Claude Roberge (Editors), Droits de l'enfant : Actesde la Conférence internationale, Ottawa, 2007 – Rights of the Child: Proceedings of the International Conference, La Collection Bleue, Montreal, Wilson & Lafleur, 1-14. This chapter is also available in Spanish as “Supervisión: más que un informe” pp. 21-34. (This chapter is included in the edited book identified above.) 

Papers in refereed journals:

Collins, T.M., Caruana, S. Cherry, S., Gharabaghi, K. & Marcano, R. (2021). From Procedural Child Rights Education to a Relational Child Rights-Based Practice Model, Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care, 20(1): 1-20, (external link) .

Collins, T., Rizzini, I. & Mayhew, A. (2021), Fostering global dialogue: Conceptualisations of children's rights to participation and protection, Children & Society, 00:1-16; (external link) 

Collins, T.M. & Paré, M. (2020). Anti-Violence Efforts in Canadian Schools: A Critical Overview of Civil Society Responses to Bullying, Canadian Journal of Children’s Rights, 128-163; (external link) 

Collins, T.M., Sinclair, L., Zufelt, V. (2020).  Children’s Rights to Participation and Protection: Examining Child and Youth Care College Curricula in Ontario, Child & Youth Services, DOI: 10.1080/0145935X.2020.1790352.

Collins, T.M., Jamieson, L., Wright, L.H.V., Rizzini, I., Mayhew, A., Narang, J., Tisdall, E.K.M., Ruiz-Casares, M. (2020). Involving child and youth advisors in academic research about child participation: The Child and Youth Advisory Committees of the International and Canadian Child Rights Partnership, Children and Youth Services Review, 109, Article 104569, 1-9, DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2019.104569 (external link) 

Collins, T.M. (2019). “The general measures of implementation: opportunities for progress with children’s rights”, International Journal of Human Rights, 23(3): 338-356. (external link) 

Collins, T.M. (2017). “A child’s right to participate: Implications for international child protection”, International Journal of Human Rights, 21(1), 14-46, DOI: 10.1080/13642987.2016.1248122. 

Collins, T.M., & Paré, M. (2016). “A Child Rights-based Approach to Anti-Violence Efforts in Schools”, International Journal of Children’s Rights 24(4), 764-802, doi 10.1163/15718182-02404005.

Paré, M. & T. Collins, (2016). "Government efforts to address bullying in Canada: Any place for children’s rights?" Journal of Law and Social Policy, 25, 54-77, (external link) 

Collins, T.M. (2014). "The Significance of Different Approaches to Monitoring: A Case Study of Child Rights", Special Virtual Issue, International Journal of Human Rights, to mark the launch of the Human Rights Researchers Network, and coincide with Human Rights Day, (as noted below, originally published in vol. 12, 2008, 159-187) December 10.

Collins, T.M., & Wolff, L. (2014). “Work in Progress: Twenty-five Years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child — The General Measures of Implementation Across the Globe”, Canadian Journal of Children’s Rights, 1(1), 85-121, (external link) .

Collins, T.M., (2014). “The Relationship between Children’s Rights and Business”, invited manuscript for special issue, International Journal of Human Rights, October, 18(6), pp. 582-633, (external link) .

Collins, T.M., & Guevara, G. (2014). “Some Considerations for Child Rights Impact Assessments (CRIAs) of Business” Revue générale de droit, 44(1), 153-192,  (PDF file) (external link) .

Collins, T.M. (2013). “International Child Rights in National Constitutions:  Good sense or nonsense for Ireland”, Irish Political Studies, 28(4), 591-619, (external link) .

Collins, T.M. (2012). “Improving Research of Children Using a Rights-Based Approach: A Case Study of Some Psychological Research about Socioeconomic Status”, Frontiers in Psychology, 3, Article 293, 1-4, doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00293, (external link) .

Collins, T.M. (2010). “Respecting the principle of best interests of the child in Canadian monitoring”, International Journal of Canadian Studies, 42, 69-89.

Collins, T.M. (2008). "The Significance of Different Approaches to Monitoring: A Case Study of Child Rights", 12 International Journal of Human Rights, April, 159-187, DOI: 10.1080/13642980801899626 

Some invited contributions and/or technical reports

Collins, T.M., Cuevas-Parra, P., McMellon, C., Shin, R. (H.J.), & Tisdall, E.K.M. (2021). Global Child Forum Corporate Guide: Children’s Participation: How to involve children in decision-making. Global Child Forum. Released on Feb. 1, 2021 on (external link) 

Rizzini, I., Tabak. J. & Collins, T. M. (eds.) (2020).  (PDF file) PDF file(Des)Proteção Social e Violação de Direitos – English: Social Protection at Risk and Rights Violations. Editorial [in Portuguese]., external link (external link)  O Social em Questão/Journal Social Question PUCRio Journal 46(1). 9-20. 

Dean’s Teaching Award – Faculty of Community Services, 2017

Knowledge Mobilization and Engagement Award, 2015