Initial Seeds

The impetus for Ethical Research Involving Children (ERIC) was borne out of shared international concern that the human dignity of children be honoured and their rights and wellbeing respected in all research, regardless of context.

The seeds for the ERIC initiative were sown in conversations and meetings within the Childwatch International Research Network (comprising 50 global child research centres) during 2004-2011.

Developing ERIC

An extensive research and development process then followed, led by Southern Cross University, which included an international survey (Powell, Graham, Taylor, Newell & Fitzgerald, 2011), literature reviews (Powell, Fitzgerald, Taylor and Graham (2012)) and consultations with over 400 researchers across the Global North and South. This was supported by UNICEF’s Office of Research, Innocenti, the Childwatch International Research Network and the University of Otago (for more detail on the history and process see, Graham, Powell & Taylor, 2015). Further information on the roles of each of the project partners is available here.

Launching ERIC

In 2013, the ERIC resources were launched as a 210-page Compendium and this companion website, funded by UNICEF’s Office of Research, Innocenti. The entire ERIC compendium (Graham, Powell, Taylor, Anderson & Fitzgerald, 2013) remains very relevant and is available to download as a pdf file (available in English, français, español, 한국어, Türkçe and Bahasa Indonesia).

ERIC Today

The on-going international collaboration in resourcing, maintaining and updating the ERIC website continues to evolve under the leadership of Professor Anne Graham, AO, Director of the Centre for Children and Young People at Southern Cross University, with colleagues Julia Truscott and Dr Kate Neale, and contributors around the globe. In addition to the ERIC Charter and Guidance, this website now houses a growing bank of international case studies, an online interactive glossary, a curated library of high quality, peer reviewed literature on ethical research involving children and an expert blog, with contributions from leading international scholars and others engaged in cutting-edge research involving children. The website is accessed in over 185 countries, with opportunities for researchers of all levels of experience to learn, connect and contribute.

ERIC gives voice and direction to shared ethical interests, concerns and best practice in research involving children.