Jeannette Francesca Rodgers

picture of jeannette rodgersLost in Transition: making a case for the meaningful participation of children in transitional justice.

Supervisors: Dr. Danielle Beswick and Professor Aoife Nolan

Research Affiliations: Dr. Eric Ndushabandi, Institute of Research and Dialogue for Peace (IRDP), Kigali, Rwanda and Dr. Joseph Ryarasa Nkurunzuza, Never Again Rwanda (NAR), Kigali, Rwanda

Jeannette’s research seeks to understand why the meaningful participation of children in transitional justice is needed, and how a case for it can be built on the participation rights of the child in international law. She will be conducting focus groups and interviews with children in schools, dialogue groups and transitional justice institutions in Kigali, Rwanda, and is affiliated with the Institute of Research and Dialogue for Peace and Never Again Rwanda. Jeannette has recently presented her research at the General Conference of the European Consortium of Political Research in Wroclaw, Poland. Jeannette is funded by the Midlands 3 Cities DTP in association with the Arts and Humanities Research Council. 


Prior to undertaking her PhD research, Jeannette studied for her LLM in International Law at the University of Birmingham from 2015-2016, obtaining a distinction both overall and for her dissertation. During this time, Jeannette was awarded the highest mark given to any undergraduate or LLM student cohort for the 2015/2016 academic year, for an assignment on international human rights, economic rights and transitional justice. She also published an article for the inaugural edition of the University of Birmingham Student Law Review. Her dissertation, supervised by Dr. Janine Clark, assessed the rights of children in post-conflict societies as viewed through the lens of child soldiers in Uganda and Colombia, and argued for a new framework for international law. Prior to this, Jeannette obtained her Graduate Diploma in Law.


  • LLM International Law: Crime, Justice and Human Rights (with Distinction), University of Birmingham
  • Graduate Diploma in Law: University of Law (Birmingham Campus)
  • BMus Music (2:1), University of London (Royal Holloway)

Research interests


Jeannette’s research interests lie in how the differing experiences of children affect the case for child participation in transitional justice mechanisms. Of interest to Jeannette is looking at how the rights of the child, particularly participation rights, are (or are not) operationalised in transitional justice, particularly within the geographical context of Africa. Jeannette’s research highlights the importance of examining how children and young people understand and conceptualise participation, exploring and identifying the differences (and similarities) that might emerge across different groups of children and different types of transitional justice mechanism. She is keen that her findings demonstrate the case for why children should be participants in transitional justice in a way which is meaningful to the children and young people themselves, to the transitional justice process, and in a way that meets international human rights standards and the goals of international development, as well as in a way which provides a participatory model or framework for further study of other transitional justice contexts.

Other activities

Jeannette is passionate about the role of education in the UK in promoting the rights of children as presented in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, especially with nursery and primary school pupils, and the benefits and limitations of existing approaches to rights education for young people. To this end, Jeannette has created a project entitled ‘Child Rights Week’ in conjunction with Midlands 3 Cities, the Children and Childhood Network of the University of Birmingham, UNICEF and Birmingham City Council, to promote the rights of the child within nursery settings in Birmingham. So far, these have concentrated on the ‘right to shelter’ and the ‘right to play.’ In 2019, the Child Rights Week project was awarded the AHRC/Midlands 4 Cities Cultural Engagement Award.

Jeannette has set up a Fieldwork Support Group for postgraduate research students at the University of Birmingham, funded by the School of Government and Society. The group was set up in response to numerous articles and studies about mental health and postgraduate research students in relation to returning from fieldwork, and the capability of university mental health services in providing counselling or similar therapies for experiences of this nature. In association with Stitched Voices, the group provides a safe space for researchers to share their fieldwork stories whilst engaging in a crafting activity, but also a way to turn their fieldwork experiences into a way of engaging in activism and change.

Jeannette is also the Postgraduate Research Director for the Children and Childhood Network (CCN) at the University of Birmingham, where she is planning the first ever CCN Conference on the theme ‘The Power of Play’ with other CCN postgraduate researchers. She is also an Assistant Editor for the International Journal of Human Rights, and a member of the Standing Group for Human Rights and Transitional Justice for the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR), and a UNICEF Children's Champion.


‘Parallel intentions, contemporary disparities: the prohibition of the use of force in conventional and customary international law.’ B.S.L. Rev. 2016, 1(1), 22-33. Compares the regulation of the prohibition of the use of force under the United Nations Charter 1945 arts 2(4) and 51 with the rules of customary international law. Examines the exceptions provided by art.51. Reviews the contemporary debates on the scope of the prohibition.

Law and Development Encyclopedia - entry on "Transitional Justice"
Published by the Law and Development Research Network (LDRN)
To be published in 2020

'Lost in Translation: the interdisciplinarity of transitional justice through the lens of child participation.'
General Conference, European Consortium of Political Research, 4-7 September 2019
University of Wroclaw, Poland
(currently being edited for a journal)

A written contribution on Rwanda for a travelling exhibition curated by fellow M3C PhD researcher Amy Williams, alongside World Jewish Relief: 'Responding to the Present by Remembering the Past.'

Contact details:

Telephone: 07468532633