The lived experience case studies developed by the International Coalition Against Restraint and Seclusion and their partners/collaborators within the advocacy community have informed and have been included in a variety of reports the purpose of which is to urge lawmakers to reform existing laws and pass new legislation that will protect vulnerable children against the abusive practices of restraint and seclusion in educational environments.
In addition to the above organizations and government agencies that are on display in the graphic (above) and which are also listed (below), ICARS has also collaborated with NIPSO (Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman) and the Department of Education in Northern Ireland.
As a volunteer advocacy group, the reach and impact which ICARS has achieved since its founding in May of 2018 is impressive. The first such group to seek international legislative reform related to the human rights of school-aged children, ICARS has done something remarkable: facilitating and amplifying the voices of those directly impacted by the failures of existing laws related to the practices of restraint and seclusion.
Collecting, curating, collating, and distributing the personal testimony of child victims and their families, advocacy teams operating under the umbrella of ICARS ~ and collaborating with ICARS ~ bring forth one of the most powerful influencers of change: the human element. When the immense cost to human dignity and wellbeing that is paid by the affected children and their families is put on display, for the entire world to see, the issue of radical change becomes a matter of “when”, not “if”. Compassion motivates, ultimately. Protecting the vulnerable becomes a choiceless choice.
The reports in which the lived experience case studies have been featured are:
No Safe Place: Restraint and Seclusion in Scotland’s Schools, Children’s And Young People’s Commissioner: Scotland.
Inquiry: How Schools Are Monitering The Use Of Restraint, the Equality And Human Rights Commission
Northern Ireland/Ireland Call For Evidence On The Use Of Restraint And Seclusion In Schools, the Northern Ireland Assembly
Observations On The Draft General Commment Number Four On Article Twenty-four Of The U.N. Convention On The Rights Of Persons With Disabilities, the U.N. Committee On The Rights Of Persons With Disabilities
Reducing Restrictive Intervention Of Children And Young People, The House Of Lords
Submission to the Northern Ireland Committee For Education On The Human Rights Implications Of Current Guidance Relating To The Use Of Restrictive Practices In Schools, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, presented to the Northern Ireland Assembly
To further illustrate how far-reaching ICARS’ influence has been, thus far, please refer to the following image:
In addition to directly influencing the formation and reformation of legislation and public policy, ICARS, their collaborative partners, and fellow advocates have been successful in disseminating information, educating, advocating, and rallying support for their cause through coverage by or collaboration with the following media outlets and news organizations:
And this is just the beginning. With passage of the measure that will allow “Harry’s Law” to be drafted as legislation, ICARS will be intensifying its efforts to insure that the voices of child victims and their families are heard and the public awareness of the dangers of restraint and seclusion practices in our schools increases. With more awareness and increased pressure from global citizens, parents, advocates, allies, and activists, meaningful and lasting change is possible… and, we hope… inevitable.