News Releases

UWI, University of Geneva partner for e-Summer School on Children’s Rights and Welfare

For Release Upon Receipt - July 16, 2021

St. Augustine

The UWI St. Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago. Friday July 16, 2021 — The UWI St. Augustine’s Institute of International Relations (IIR) and the Centre for Children’s Rights Studies at the University of Geneva recently completed the eighth cycle of the e-Summer School “Children at the Heart of Human Rights”. The virtual summer school programme, which took place from June 21 to July 2 was the first concrete outcome of a Memorandum of Understanding on academic cooperation and exchange signed in 2020 between the two universities.

Five scholarships from the Centre in Geneva were made available to UWI students and young professionals and four individuals were awarded: Ms. Kobina Wilson, Ms. Melissa Dassrath, Ms. Mala Ramesar and Ms. Tracy-Ann King. The group, comprising current UWI students and recent graduates, all work in areas connected with children’s rights and welfare, including child protection, child-related policy planning, media and communication and child psychology.

“This course went beyond my expectations,” said Wilson. “The schedule was laden with presentations on issues affecting the rights of the child from most knowledgeable, qualified presenters with practical experiences to inspire and lead our cohort of young academics, activists and professionals. We tracked contemporary and emerging issues such as the rights of the child and social media, the COVID-19 pandemic, Climate Change, Refugees and Asylum Seekers,” she added.

Reflecting on the opportunity which brought together a diverse group of experts and students with a passion for children’s rights issues, Dassrath expressed gratitude stating, “My knowledge has been strengthened re the international provisions for child protection and the implementation challenges, the need for advocacy re migrant children gender fluid youth and climate change impacts. The opportunity to participate in the Summer School reinforced the stellar work of the IIR in offering a superb M.Sc. Global Studies programme.”

King, who is a child rights advocate, holds an MSc in Child and Youth Studies. She has always been eager to learn more and connect with others in the field and noted that the scholarship opportunity was able to facilitate just that. “We had enriching discussions on the CRC from its academics, members and other experts. I feel confident in embarking on and supporting child rights initiatives here in Trinidad and Tobago and elsewhere and will welcome partnering with any organization to protect and promote children’s rights. Thank you to the UWI IIR for providing a truly amazing opportunity!” she said.

The Institute’s collaboration included the organization of a Caribbean programme on June 30, which featured themes and issues related to children’s rights in the CARICOM sub-region. Professor Aldrie Henry-Lee, Director of SALISES at The UWI delivered a session on Budgeting in the Caribbean for Child Protection, Social Protection and Education and the day ended with a Round Table on Children’s Rights in the Contemporary Caribbean. The panel was moderated by Professor Jessica Byron, IIR Director and Mrs. Ria Carrera-Toney, Manager of the Children’s Court in Tobago. Presenters included Independent Senator Hazel Thompson-Ahye from Trinidad and Tobago, Mrs. Diahann Gordon-Harrison, a Children’s Advocate for Jamaica and Ms. Roberta Clarke of the Trinidad and Tobago Coalition against Domestic Violence.



About The UWI

The UWI has been and continues to be a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development; residing at the centre of all efforts to improve the well-being of people across the region.

From a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948, The UWI is today an internationally respected, global university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and its Open Campus, and 10 global centres in partnership with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe.

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Culture, Creative and Performing Arts, Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences, and Sport. As the Caribbean’s leading university, it possesses the largest pool of Caribbean intellect and expertise committed to confronting the critical issues of our region and wider world.

Ranked among the top universities in the world, by the most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education, The UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists. In 2020, it earned ‘Triple 1st’ rankings—topping the Caribbean; and in the top in the tables for Latin America and the Caribbean, and global Golden Age universities (between 50 and 80 years old).  The UWI is also featured among the top universities on THE’s Impact Rankings for its response to the world’s biggest concerns, outlined in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Good Health and Wellbeing; Gender Equality and Climate Action.

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(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)