Interdisciplinary Research Center for Children Rights (IRCCR) was created and established in 2016, and it is the first research center of such kind in Lithuania. It is linked to the Faculty of Law at Kazimieras Simonavičius University and encourages the development of a high level interdisciplinary research and training in the area of children’s rights with the ultimate goal of contributing to better protection of the rights of children both nationally and internationally.

The IRCCR aims to create a national and international forum and network of researchers and practitioners from various child-related disciplines. Discussion among the specialists will result in a transfer of knowledge and information, practical on-the-ground benefits, and the development of future joint training and research opportunities between members of academia and front-line workers.

Child Protection Guidelines

Events of IRCCR

International Workshop on Children’s Welfare – 1st of December, 2016. More information here.

Information about children's rights situation in Lithuania (media review)

2017.02.27 Another tragedy in Lithuanian town – newborn baby body found in the garbage bin (Jonava, Lithuania). More information here.

2017.03.02 Violence against children in the family causing their death continues in Lithuania (Šiauliai, Lithuania). More information here.

Head of Interdisciplinary Research Center on Children Rights
Dr. Aida Ki
KSU Faculty of Law
+370 5 213 5172


Head of IRCCR:

Dr. Aida Kišūnaitė – Director of IRCCR and Dean of Law faculty of KSU – is an academic lawyer, legal practitioner and political scientist working in the field of human rights with the particular attention on groups of the most vulnerable children and youth. In 2014 she was a national consultant on children mental health policies for the project “Challenges of implementation of mental health policy in Lithuania” (funded by the Research Council of Lithuania). In 2013 she directed the project “Children and youth welfare in Lithuania: challenges and possibilities” (funded by Lithuanian Ministry of Social Security and Labour). Dr. Aida Kišūnaitė has participated in various international multi-disciplinary research teams working on European policy issues with the major focus on social and health policies and the role of different stakeholders in the policy cycle.

Dr. Tomas Butvilas – Vice Director of IRCCR –  has an experience in conducting researches and projects connected with children rights. Tomas has published over 50 academic international scientific papers and recently participated in various international projects, such as: “United Europe for Youth – UEFY“ (Nigde University, Turkey, 2014-2016), “PROVYP – Professional Orientation of Vulnerable Young People“ (Madrid, Spain, 2015-2017) etc. Also Tomas Butvilas is a member of several international academic networks that mainly deal with human / children rights protection, assurance and implementation: Subcontractor at FRANET of European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA, Vienna, Austria, 2014-2019); member of the International Childhood and Youth Research Network (ICYRNet, Cyprus, since 2012); former member of American Psychological Association (APA, 2010-2011); Member of European Network of Master’s in Children Rights (ENMCR, Berlin, since 2007); Former member of Children’s Rights Erasmus Academic Network (CREAN, Berlin, 2012-2015) etc.

Members of Honor of IRCCR:

Dainius Pūras, PhD – United Nation‘s Special Rapporteur on the right to health. Dainius Pūras is a Professor and the Head of the Centre for Child psychiatry social paediatrics at Vilnius University, Lithuania. Works closely with different stakeholders for the translation of scientific evidence into effective policies and practices through the application of modern human rights and public health approaches. More information here.

Cheri Lovre, MS – Director of Crisis Management Institute in Salem (Oregon, USA), has over 30 years of experience in the field of prevention, crisis response, grief and trauma with specialization in working with youth. More information here.

Gintaras Chomentauskas, PhD. Associate Professor, obtained degrees of Doctor of Psychology (Lomonosov Moscow State University, MSU); MA in Marriage, Family and Child Therapy (California Family Study Center). Additionally Gintaras has studied with famous psychotherapists: V. Satir, C. Rogers, F. Pucelik, R. Resnick et al. Works as a CEO at Human Study Center, and Psychology Academy in Vilnius, is a President of Lithuanian Association of Applied Psychology. He is also known as an author of books, articles and educational programs in applied psychology. More information here.

Members & Experts of IRCCR:

Dr. Stefanos Spaneas is an Assistant Professor in the Social Sciences Department of the School of Humanities (University of Nicosia, Cyprus), Social Sciences and Law and is the Programme Coordinator for the Social Work Programme at both the Bachelor and Masters levels. A strong advocate of the belief that all people have unique abilities, Stefanos is actively engaged in the study of social work and social justice and the promotion of equal opportunity for all. Currently, Stefanos is engaged as a partner in a European-funded programme entitled, Professional Orientation of Vulnerable Young People (PROVYP), which seeks to promote re-skilling and up-skilling across 8 Member States by providing vulnerable young people with e-career guidance and improving the orientation measures offered by the adult education providers in the field.

Dr. Justinas Sadauskas has five years of experience of pedagogical work at school with children of all age groups (1999-2003).  He worked at State Child Rights Protection and Adoption Service under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour for three years (2006-2009). Now he is an associate professor with the PhD in Social Science at the Institute of Educational Sciences and Social Work Faculty of Social Welfare in Mykolas Romeris University. He has offered lectures at the universities of Italy, Romania, the Czech Republic, Finland, Portugal, Spain and Latvia. He is the co-author of two monographs, two scientific studies, one textbook and 16 scientific articles. Dr. Justinas Sadauskas participated in the implementation of over 20 projects. Over the last four years he has prepared five publications examining the issues of family and child protection, the questions of social assistance to the victims of domestic violence.

Dr. Vilma Živilė Jonynienė’s main research interest since 1993 is the promotion and implementation of the rights of the child. She started researching on children’s rights in 1994 by joining ISPA Cross national study on Children’s Rights (led by S. Hart, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis). Her MA and PhD studies and more than 10 research papers were prepared on the basis of ISPA cross national project -study. Since 2001 she has worked on the topic of Strategies of implementation of the Rights of the Child. She also has Developed a new MA study program “Children’s Rights Protection”, implemented at MRU since September 2007.

Dr. Jūratė Butvilienė has earned Master’s in Children Rights Protection and Management (MEd) and also defended PhD in Sociology at Vilnius University. Since 2008 Juratė has published over 15 international articles concerning both children’s rights and society welfare. Jūratė Butvilienė also actively participates in various scientific conferences, internships (e.g. Bremen Workshop, 2009; European Network of Masters in Children‘s Rights – ENMCR, 2009) and projects (e.g. PROVYP – helping vulnerable youth to get into the labor market and reducing early school leaving, 2015-2017). At the given moment Juratė works as an Associate Professor and the Head of Economics and Business dept. at Vilnius Business College (since 2008).

Dr. Eva Králová, graduated her Master´s degree in the field of music education and English language teaching with the focus on effective techniques in education. Later on she continued in postgraduate studies and earned her PhD in English language and literature concerning humanity in Steinbeck´s work. In 2012 she defended Ph.D. in Music theory and pedagogy at the Faculty of Education at Ostrava University with the focus on school transitions via music activities and background music. Since 2008 she has published over 45 academic international scientific papers in journals and reviewed collections of scientific proceedings, three chapters in foreign university textbooks and one university textbook published abroad concerning the potency of music activities on quality of life, social climate and healthy development of children. Dr. Králová has participated in various scientific and professional projects, such Alexander Dubcek University of Trencin wants to offer modern education”; The completion of the technical infrastructure for the development of science and research at the Alexander Dubcek University through Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy; OPV – Professional and career development of educational staff. Further training as a tool for human resource development. Support of further education. She was an executive member of Slovak Association of Music Therapy (SAMT), executive vice president for international affairs since March 2013 and the representative of SAMT in European Music Therapy Confederation. Currently she is a member of Czech music therapy association.

Mrs Jolanta Tupko-Mazur is a lawyer and a practicing mediator. Since 2009 she has been interested in communication between adults and children, and in 2009 and 2011 she successfully graduated the 80-hours workshop How to Talk so Kids Will Listen & Listen so Kids will Talk and in 2016 – the 40-hours workshop Siblings Without Rivalry organized by the Vilnius Psychological-Pedagogical Service. Mrs Jolanta Tupko-Mazur is a certificated mediator in family mediation and as a family mediator she has successfully practiced these activities for 5 years, she is also a certificated mediator in Civil and Commercial Mediation, in 2013 she improved her mediator’s skills in the workshop Advanced Techniques in Mediation.  Mrs Jolanta Tupko-Mazur had lectures dedicated for teachers and social educators about conflicts in schools and school mediation. At the given moment Mrs Jolanta Tupko-Mazur is employed as a lecturer at the Faculty of Law of the Kazimieras Simonavičius University and is actively promoting school mediation.

Prof. Dr. Steven M. Shardlow, an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences (UK), is Head of the School of Social Science and Public Policy at Keele University, UK. Professor Shardlow joined Keele as Professor of Social Work in 2013; previously he held academic positions at the Universities of Salford (Professor) and Sheffield. He took his undergraduate and masters’ degrees at Oxford and in 2010 was awarded an honorary doctorate [Doc. Soc. Sci (h.c)] from the University of Kuopio, Finland. Professor Shardlow is a registered with HCPC as a social worker (England). He has held visiting professorial appointments, at Fudan University, Shanghai, and the University of University of Nordland, Norway; and City University & Polytechnic University of Hong Kong. Previously he has been Chair of the Association of Teachers in Social Work Education (ATSWE) and a Member of Board of the European Association of Schools of Social Work (EASSW). He is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Social Work  and has published 16 books and over 70 articles and book chapters.  His current research is focussed upon: professional practice in social work, applied professional ethics, the human services workforce and comparative research in social policy.

Dr. Sara Serbati, a post-doc researcher at the Univerity of Padua, Italy. She works with the Italian Laboratory of Research and Intervention in Family Education (LabRIEF) on the theme of participative evaluation in the social work field.

Dr. Inga Kudinavičiūtė-Michailovienė is a professor at Private Law Institute of Law Faculty (Mykolas Romeris University). She constantly participates in scientific conferences, debates, exchange programmes and qualification development events, gives lectures and professional training courses for advocates, notaries and officers of state institution for the protection of the child’s rights in Family Law Matters. Dr. I. Kudinavičiūtė-Michailovienė published monograph, is a co-author and author of a number of scientific studies, reports, articles on family law issues. I.Kudinavičiūtė-Michailovienė is a member of Lithuanian Lawyers Society and Lithuanian Bar Association (attorney at law) also. As advocate she represents clients in family law issues (divorce cases, child abduction, child maintenance and contact order, etc.). I.Kudinavičiūtė-Michailovienė participates in activity of various international organisations – she is an expert of Commission on Europe Family Law (CEFL) and a member of International Society of Family Law (ISFL).


Ombudsperson for Children’s rights of the Republic of Lithuania (Vilnius, Lithuania)
University of Nicosia, Department of Social Sciences, Social Work Programme (Nicosia, Cyprus)
European Network of Masters in Children’s Rights (Berlin, Germany)
Crisis Management Institute (Salem, Oregon, USA)
Human Study Center (Vilnius, Lithuania)


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